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Author Topic: Valtrex vs Acyclovir (Suppressive therapy)  (Read 2888 times)

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Offline Cliff

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Valtrex vs Acyclovir (Suppressive therapy)
« on: December 30, 2007, 09:34:19 AM »
Because my HIV is advancing, I'm getting more herpes outbreaks than normal.  My GP was prescribing me 28 days worth of Valtrex (every 3 months) to take on an as needed basis.  However, I noticed that this year I started going through that supply quickly.  I spoke to my HIV consultant and he suggested that I go back on suppressive therapy (I was on it previously but stopped when I moved to London).  However, he could not prescribe Valtrex (which I was on before) because of cost.

I've now been on Acyclovir for about 2 months and it doesn't seem to be working effectively.  I take 2 (400 mg) tablets a day and yet I'm still getting outbreaks.  He also suggested that I could start back on HIV treatment.  At the moment, I would rather see if valy or acy would work first before going back on HIV treatment.

Do you think Valtrex would work better for suppressive therapy (i.e., is it even worth me pushing for it)?  I know they are basically the same drug, but I never had any issues with Valtrex (i.e., no outbreaks).  Or should I up my dose of Acyclovir (and would that cancel the cost differential)?


Offline Ann

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Re: Valtrex vs Acyclovir (Suppressive therapy)
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2007, 09:51:02 AM »
Ouch Cliff! I'm surprised that 800mgs of acyclovir isn't doing it for you - I'm on just one 400mg tablet a day and even with missing the odd day here and there, my herpes remains suppressed.

Although you'd want to discuss it with your doctor first, if I were having that problem, I would double my dose until things got under control and then drop one of the extra tablets, see how that goes, then if successful, I'd go back to the standard dose. One nice thing about acyclovir is the lack of side-effects and the fact that you can take large doses safely.

As for the money thing, the acyclovir I get is generic and costs very little. I'm not sure if there is a generic version of valcyclovir out yet; that might be why it's so much more expensive.

I can't help but wonder if you have a lot of stress in your life right now. Make sure you're eating right and getting enough rest... nag, nag, nag. Burning the candle at both ends won't be doing you any favours. More nagging. ;)

Good luck Cliff - nothing worse than having loads of outbreaks.

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Offline Cliff

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Re: Valtrex vs Acyclovir (Suppressive therapy)
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2007, 10:23:56 AM »
Thanks Ann! Until my next HIV appointment (Jan/Feb), I will take more (when needed).  I've moved, but that's about the only thing that has changed recently.  Hopefully things will settle down and I'll be back to normal.

I hope to still get my 28 day Valtrex script from the GP.  Though my HIV consultant was going to write to him, so he may now be aware that I'm on Acyclovir.  If I do get it, I may just try to use it in place of Acyclovir for a week or two and see how it holds up, then switch back to Acyclovir when I run out.


« Last Edit: December 30, 2007, 10:26:01 AM by Cliff »


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Re: Valtrex vs Acyclovir (Suppressive therapy)
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2007, 11:20:53 AM »
Hi Cliff.   I'm on acyclovir suppressive therapy for regular cold sores as well.   I take 800mg daily in addition to Atripla, but my Doc has me take an additional 800mg for a week if I get an outbreak.   This seems to work pretty well for me.    Maybe it could work for you :)


Offline newt

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Re: Valtrex vs Acyclovir (Suppressive therapy)
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2007, 07:15:12 PM »
Do consider the possibility of acyclovir resistance .. this may extend also to valacylcovir albeit this being a stronger drug and therefore a better bet

Combo, yes, well this is often but not always the solution.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Valtrex vs Acyclovir (Suppressive therapy)
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2008, 01:06:25 AM »
Cliff:  When I was first infected w/Herpes, I was 23.  I was HIV- and had outbreaks 9 months out of the year.  After about 5 years, the outbreaks slowed down to about one every nine months.  It stayed that way until I was infected w/HIV (23 years later!)... and at first, no difference... but after two years, I also began to have more frequent outbreaks, but the duration is much less than it was when I was 23.  Now... after 3 more years, the outbreaks are slowing down again... without using any suppressive therapy.  I believe my immune system "lost" its memory of the herpes virus due to the damage caused by HIV.  Now, it seems that immunity it returning naturally.  Perhaps, in time, it will w/you as well.


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