Valtrex is the known name for the drug valacyclovir, and it is the most commonly used prescription to help healing/preventing outbreaks from herpes viruses.


How Long Does It Take to Work?

The time factor for Valtrex to work depends on many conditions including how severe is your outbreak and how early you take the prescription. Valtrex is usually prescribed for a 7- to 10-day period, which usually is the time it takes for making the herpes blisters subside. However, if you doctor recommends to take it for a longer period, then you should continue taking it even the sores are healed. Many people who take Valtrex report to have some relief from herpes symptoms within 2 or 3 days after taking them pills, with healing of the blisters (after approximately a week). Again, the sooner the person starts to take the prescription when an outbreak happens (or before it happens), the less the severity and healing time


How Valtrex Works

Valtrex is commonly known as a “prodrug” of acyclovir. This means the body converts Valtrex into acyclovir after the pill is absorbed. Valtrex works by attacking the DNA and prevent the herpes viruses from reproducing so fewer cells would be infected within the body.

Once Valtrex is inside infected cells, the drug blocks the activities of an enzyme called DNA polymerase. Herpes viruses use this viral enzyme to copy their genetic material and spread to other cells. When Valtrex blocks DNA polymerase, the virus is much less likely to multiply. The result is an infection that’s less severe, and the immune system is strengthened since it has an easier time to deal with the viruses.


Valtrex for Short Term Use

The herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2) that cause cold sores and genital herpes don’t exit the body after an outbreak, but rather go inactive until they are triggered again by many conditions and factors like stress, diet, alcohol, etc…. About 20% of Americans are infected with herpes viruses, but only around one-third ever have an outbreak. Some people have an initial outbreak but then it never happens again. Also, even for some people that never show any symptom, that doesn’t meant that they are not infected. After infection, people with HSV-1 tend to have fewer and less severe outbreaks than those with HSV-2 according to many studies. For many people that have repeated occurrence of outbreaks, Valtrex can make a big difference in quality of life.


Valtrex for Long Term Use in Those With Frequent Flare-Ups

People who have frequent outbreaks of herpes (either cold sores on the mouth or genital herpes). Taking Valtrex on a daily basis can help suppressing the virus and keep the frequency to a minimum. It is also known as suppressive therapy. This therapy can also help patients to have a normal sex life by reducing the risk of passing genital herpes to a sex partner as long as condoms and other safety methods are used too. People with herpes should avoid sexual activities whenever sores are present and wait at least one week after healing.