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Valaciclovir is an antiviral treatment for genital herpes. It can be taken to treat an acute herpes outbreak or prevent recurrent outbreaks.

To place an order, fill in our brief questionnaire. You can choose a preferred treatment, such as Valaciclovir. Our online doctor will review your information and approve an appropriate treatment.

Prescriptions for urgent treatment can be delivered by Pharmacy Collect, usually within an hour. Or you can choose for your prescription to be delivered to your address. Prescriptions can be used at a pharmacy of your choice.

A consultation for genital herpes treatment costs €20.

What is Valaciclovir?

Valaciclovir is an antiviral medicine used to treat genital herpes, cold sores, chickenpox and shingles. However, it is not a cure: there is no current cure for genital herpes. The virus can only be suppressed so that the virus remains in a dormant state and no further symptoms are experienced. The herpes virus can never be completely destroyed. Valaciclovir will work on both HSV 1 and 2, which are cold sores and genital herpes respectively.

What does Valaciclovir do?

The herpes virus is not active and can remain so for many years. This is why, during a first infection, symptoms may only appear after a week or so it is only when the virus activates that you experience the symptoms of the infection. In the active state of the virus, Valaciclovir prevents the enzymes which help build DNA from working properly. This means that the virus can’t replicate.

How effective is Valaciclovir at treating genital herpes?

So long as you take Valaciclovir as instructed, it should control the spread and extent of your genital herpes. Make sure you take it within the first five days after symptoms appear to maximise treatment effectiveness. Genital herpes cannot be completely cured as the virus cannot be totally eliminated; only the spread of the virus can be controlled.

Who usually takes Valaciclovir?

Men and women can take Valaciclovir unless they take any of the medicines or suffer any of the conditions in the “Warnings” tab. The majority of patients with symptoms of genital herpes will be under 30 as this group tends to be experiencing their first episode of the virus.

How will I know if I have genital herpes?

Herpes frequently has no symptoms, and so you should take a herpes test if ever you have unprotected sex or a condom breaks. The STI can also be passed by sharing sex toys.

You may, however, experience symptoms such as fever, nausea, aching muscle and pain during urination. Abnormal vaginal discharge can be another symptom of genital herpes in women, as well as inflammation of the womb. The main symptom of genital herpes is blistered and itchy skin. In women, blisters may appear around the vagina, thighs, anus and buttocks. In males, blisters may appear on the penis, scrotum, thighs, buttocks and anus. In addition to this, oral sex can result in genital herpes in the tongue and lips, however this is quite rare.

When should I start Valaciclovir treatment?

You should start within the first 5 days of symptoms arising, but within the first 2 days is preferred: this will reduce the risk of any severe consequences. If it is your first infection, the symptoms usually take one or two weeks to arise. You should get tested as soon as you have unprotected sex or share sex toys, rather than waiting for the symptoms to arise.

Do I still need to complete treatment even if the symptoms clear up?

Yes. This is really important as it will reduce the risk of you suffering recurring infections.

Can I still have intercourse during treatment?

This is not advisable. This will put your partner at risk of genital herpes too. People often overlook the fact that oral and anal sex can also result in the transmission of genital herpes as well. If you do have sexual intercourse, it must be protected. You should always use a condom.

Can I drink whilst taking Valaciclovir?

Alcohol does not interact with Valaciclovir. This means that you can drink whilst taking this treatment.

Do I need a prescription?

Yes. You can get this online with DrEd, provided you are suitable for the treatment.

Is HSV anything to do with HIV?

These are separate viruses. Genital herpes is harmless if you receive the correct treatment as soon as possible. However, the presence of genital herpes may put you at increased risk of getting HIV. You should speak to your doctor about risks and prevention if you are concerned.

How do I know if my treatment is working?

You should notice that the symptoms, if any, should disappear and the blistering will die down. However, you should arrange to see your doctor a couple of weeks after your first symptoms appear so you can assess if the infection has been suppressed.

How does Valaciclovir compare to other genital herpes treatments?

All the antiviral treatments for genital herpes have the same effectiveness. Aciclovir, Valaciclovir and Famclovir, respectively sold as Zovirax, Valtrex and Famvir are the other treatments. The advantage of Valaciclovir is that patients experience fewer/less extreme side effects compared to the other genital herpes medications and this is what makes it slightly more expensive.

What is the best way to prevent genital herpes?

Protection is the most important prevention method. You should always use a condom, particularly with a new partner. Genital herpes cannot be cured and it is likely that infections will recur throughout life, so protection is particularly important.

What other names might I come across for Valaciclovir?

The most common brand name for Valaciclovir is Valtrex.

What do the tablets look like?

The tablets are oval and white with “VC1” marked on 250mg tablets, “VC2” marked on 500mg tablets and “VC3” marked on 1000mg tablets.

What dosage of Valaciclovir should I take?

If this is your first infection, you should take 2 500mg dosages per day for around 10 days. Your doctor will advise you of your treatment plan, so it is important to follow their instruction. For recurring infections, the treatment plan is usually the same, but only for 3 to 5 days.

If you overdose, you must seek medical assistance.

If you miss a dose, do not double dose the next time. Simply continue with the treatment as normal the next day.

You must drink a lot of fluids whilst taking Valaciclovir and wear sun cream as your skin is more sensitive to UV light when taking Valaciclovir.

What does a Valaciclovir tablet contain?

Valaciclovir is the active ingredient in Valtrex tablets. Each tablet contains either 250mg, 500mg or 1000mg valaciclovir (as valaciclovir hydrochloride monohydrate). The other ingredients are tablet are cellulose microcrystalline, povidone, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, titanium dioxide (E171), macrogol 400,and hypromellose.

Valaciclovir Side Effects

If you experience a serious allergic reaction (symptoms are facial swelling, itchy skin and difficulty breathing), stop taking Valaciclovir immediately and seek medical assistance.

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Rashes and itching
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Confusion/agitation
  • Tremors
  • Feeling drowsy
  • Hallucinations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Hive like rash
  • Blood in the urine
  • Reduction in number of white blood cells
  • Reduced platelet count
  • Increased substances produced by the liver
  • Unsteadiness whilst walking/lack of coordination
  • Slow/slurred speech
  • Fits/coma
  • Altered brain function
  • Disturbed thoughts
  • Altered kidney function

You should always consult your doctor if you experience any of these side effects, or any other changes.


You must not take Valaciclovir if you are allergic to any of the tablet ingredients.

  • Are over 65
  • Have kidney problems
  • Have liver problems
  • Have a weak immune system

Make sure you don’t become dehydrated whilst taking Valaciclovir by drinking water.

You must tell your doctor if you are on any of the following medications before taking Valaciclovir:

  • Non-prescription herbal medicines
  • Medicines that affect the kidneys. These include: aminoglycosides, organoplatinum compounds, iodinated contrast media, methotrexate, pentamidine, foscarnet, ciclosporin, tacrolimus, cimetidine and probenecid.

Consult your doctor if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding and wish to take Valaciclovir.

You should not drive or operate heavy machinery if your feel dizzy or sleepy whilst on Valaciclovir medication.

If you have a question about this service, please email [email protected] with the question, and one of our doctors will get back to you within 24 hours.

Pharmacy Collect

If you need your medication urgently, choose DrEd's Pharmacy Collect service. This service is available between 9am and 4pm Monday - Friday. Orders placed outside of these hours will be processed the next working day. First, our doctors will review your treatment and approve if appropriate. We will then send an advanced notification of your prescription to a pharmacy of your choice. We aim to do this within an hour.

If your chosen pharmacy is unable to fulfil your prescription, we will get in touch with you to arrange alternative collection arrangements.

Prescription sent by mail

You can choose for your paper prescription to be delivered to your address. This takes 3-5 working days.

DrEd Abroad

If you would like to avail of DrEd's services but do not live in Ireland, please be aware that we also operate in:


1 Order Prescription

Complete a fast and simple online health questionnaire

2 Doctor Prescribes

Doctor reviews your suitability and if appropriate issues your prescription

3 Prescription Delivered

We’ll send urgent scripts fast to any Irish pharmacy or the paper script to your address

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