Famvir is used to treat herpes zoster (shingles; a rash that can occur in people who have had chickenpox in the past). It is also used to treat repeat outbreaks of herpes virus cold sores or fever blisters in people with a normal immune system. Famciclovir is used to treat repeat outbreaks and to prevent further outbreaks of genital herpes (a herpes virus infection that causes sores to form around the genitals and rectum from time to time) in people with a normal immune system. Famciclovir is also used to treat returning herpes simplex infections of the skin and mucous membranes (mouth, anus) in people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Famciclovir is in a class of medications called antivirals. It works by stopping the spread of the herpes virus in the body. Famciclovir does not cure herpes infections and may not stop the spread of herpes virus to other people. However, it may decrease the symptoms of pain, burning, tingling, tenderness, and itching; help sores to heal; and prevent new sores from forming.
This drug is used in certain patients to treat or help prevent outbreaks of herpes simplex on the skin (mouth, lips, genitals, anus). Famciclovir is also used to treat outbreaks of shingles (herpes zoster). The viruses that cause these infections are similar. They live in the body quietly until an outbreak is triggered. Famciclovir medication is not a cure for the infections, but treating an outbreak can speed up healing of the sores, decrease pain, and lower the risk of complications from the virus (e.g., whole body infection, brain infection, persistent pain after sore healing).
Famciclovir is an antiviral medication which is used to treat certain viral infections. It acts by inhibiting the production of genetic material (DNA), which is required for reproduction and hence the survival of the virus. Famciclovir itself does not kill the virus, but by stopping it from reproducing the virus is present in lower numbers. The lower numbers mean that the body's immune system can more easily overcome the virus.
When you take Famvir tablets, it is absorbed into your bloodstream, and then converted into another drug called penciclovir. A virus attacks your body by multiplying over and over again, making new viruses. Penciclovir helps stop the varicella zoster virus (which causes shingles) from multiplying.
Directions for use:
Take this medication by mouth exactly as prescribed. This medication is most effective if taken as soon as herpes is noticed. For best results, space the doses at equal intervals throughout the day (and night if directed by your doctor). This will help ensure an even level of drug in the body at all times. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day. Do not increase your dose or take this more often than directed. Your condition will not improve faster but the risk of side effects may be increased.
Famvir drug is most effective if started within the first 48 hours after shingles first appears; treatment should be started at the first sign or symptom of genital herpes. Famvir treatment may not be effective if it is delayed more than 72 hours after the herpes zoster rash first appears or more than 6 hours after genital herpes becomes evident. Thus, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible after symptoms appear.
Take all of the Famvir that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated. Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even during treatment. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Wash your hands frequently to prevent transmission.
Famvir belongs to a group of herpes medications.
Famvir Safety Info
Do not take more or less of Famvir drug than prescribed or stop taking it even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor. Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may decrease the effectiveness of the drug.
Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even while you are being treated with Famvir medicine. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Avoid touching an infected area and then touching your eyes. Wash your hands frequently to prevent passing the infection to others.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: cancer, HIV infection, problems with the immune system, kidney problems. If Famvir tablet is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Famvir with probenecid, a drug used to treat gout (a type of arthritis).
If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. Famvir medication should be used during pregnancy only when the benefit to the mother clearly outweighs the potential risk to the baby. Famvir may appear in breast milk, and could affect a nursing infant. If this drug is essential to your health, your doctor may advise you to discontinue breastfeeding until your treatment with Famvir is finished.
Famvir drug may rarely make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery. Limit alcoholic beverages.
- Herpes Zoster: 500 mg every 8 hours for 7 days
- Recurrent Genital Herpes Treatment: 125 mg twice a day for 5 days
- Recurrent Genital Herpes Prevention: 250 mg twice a day for up to one year
- Recurrent Oral or Genital Herpes in HIV-infected Individuals: 500 mg twice a day for 7 days
Famvir Side Effects
- nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
- dizziness, sleepiness