Generic Name(s): Famciclovir
Drug Class: DNA polymerase Inhibitor
Treats: Shingles, Herpes simplex virus infection, Genital herpes, Cold Sores
Famvir is an antiviral drug that prevents viruses from multiplying their genetic material hence resulting in virus level drop in the blood. Famvir is used to control viral infections such as genital herpes, shingles, cold sores, as well as mucocutaneous herpes in HIV-infected people.
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Famvir belongs to the family of drugs called antivirals and class known as DNA polymerase inhibitors. Famvir can prevent multiplication of blood viral matter that can cause different ailments. For this reason, Famvir is used to control viral infections mainly herpes-related infections such as shingles which is caused by herpes zoster, cold sores around the mouth and anal area caused by herpes simplex as well as genital herpes. Famvir can also be used to prevent recurrence of such viral infections.
Since viral infections have no known cures, control of the virus population in the body serves as the best way to manage the occurrence and severity of the infections. Through virus population control, Famvir helps to reduce the length of an infection during an outbreak, reduces pain and enhances faster healing of infection related sores. People with a weak immune system can use Famvir to prevent the spread of viruses to other parts of the body. Famvir may also be used by HIV-infected people to herpes simplex related sores on lips and mouth areas.
- Herpes simplex virus infection
- Genital herpes
- Cold Sores
A doctor's prescription is the best dosage option for Famvir users. This may be based on individual's health conditions and degree of infection at the time of diagnosis. The standard Famvir doses are as follows;
- For shingles, the normal adult dose is 500 mg taken 3 times daily for 7 days. Treatment should start within 72 hours of the appearance of the rash.
- For genital herpes, the normal adult dose is 125 mg taken two times a day for 5 days. Treatment should start at onset of symptoms as soon as you notice lesions.
- For preventing recurrent episodes of genital herpes, the normal dose is 250 mg taken two times a day for up to a year. For treating mucocutaneous herpes, the normal dose should be 500 mg taken two times a day for 7 days.
Several factors such as body weight, other medication in use and different medical conditions may influence the Famvir dose requirement of a patient. The doctor's prescribed dose should be followed to the latter together with adequate consultation where need be. Famvir tablets should be swallowed whole with or without a meal and prescribed doses have to be completed even when symptoms disappear to prevent recurrence of infections. A missed dose should be taken as soon as you remember unless it is one hour to the next scheduled dose where you can skip the missed dose and continue with the next on schedule. No extra medicine is required to cover for a missed dose. In case you are not sure what to do, always consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Famvir Side Effects
Famvir use may result in headaches, nausea or diarrhea. You should consult a doctor immediately in case of persistent effects. Minimum serious side effects occur from Famvir use since the prescribing doctor or pharmacist should always weigh the benefits against side effects before subscription of Famvir to ensure maximum benefit for the patient. It is important to inform the prescribing doctor of any critical side effects from Famvir use such as:
- mental/mood changes including agitation, slowed thinking, confusion and hallucinations
- change in the amount of urine
- yellowing of eyes or skin
- easy bruising or bleeding
Severe allergic reactions to Famvir use are rare but in case of any you should report immediately to a doctor such as rashes and itching. Famvir intake may cause dizziness hence it is advisable to avoid activities that require alertness until you are sure you can safely handle such. Reduce alcohol intake when under Famvir medication.
Reaction of Famvir with other drugs can result in enhanced side effects hence it is important to disclose any relevant information concerning any other drugs in use or drug history to the prescribing doctor or pharmacist before Famvir prescription. Famvir may interact with several herbal products as well as prescription or nonprescription medication bought over the counter. You should always adhere to the prescription details given by the doctor or pharmacist, and any alteration should involve consultation with a doctor.