Valacyclovir is commonly used to treat shingles, cold sores, chickenpox, and genital herpes. It can also help prevent recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes and decrease the spread of the virus to sexual partners. The medication comes in tablet form and must be taken as prescribed in order for it to work properly. Commonly reported side effects include headache, nausea, and dizziness.
Valacyclovir hydrochloride (Valtrex®) is a prescription medication licensed to treat several conditions related to infections with the herpes virus, including shingles (herpes zoster), cold sores (herpes labialis), chickenpox, and genital herpes.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with valacyclovir. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are often minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
The most common side effects of valacyclovir include:
- Nausea (upset stomach)
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
- Painful menstrual periods
- Depression (see Valtrex and Depression)
- Joint pain
- Increased liver enzymes.
(Click Side Effects of Valacyclovir to learn more, including serious side effects to look out for.)
You can also read about specific side effects in the following eMedTV articles: