FAMVIR®
(fam-veer)
for shingles

famciclovir (fam-SYE-klo-veer)


Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

This leaflet answers some common questions about FAMVIR.

It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.

The information in this leaflet was last updated on the date listed on the final page.

Some more recent information on the medicine may be available.

You should ensure that you speak to your pharmacist or doctor to obtain the most up to date information on the medicine.

You can also download the most up to date leaflet from www.novartis.com.au. Those updates may contain important information about the medicine and its use of which you should be aware.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking FAMVIR against the benefits it can provide.

If you have any concerns about this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.

What FAMVIR is used for

FAMVIR is an antiviral medicine that is used to treat shingles in adults and adolescents.

Shingles is a condition that is caused by a herpes virus called varicella zoster, the same virus that causes chicken pox. The virus can become active again in the body, even after many years, resulting in shingles. The main symptom is a rash that can cause pain, burning and blisters.

Although FAMVIR does not cure the viral infection, it helps to relieve the symptoms and shorten their duration.

The best results are obtained if the medicine is started as soon as possible after the first symptoms begin to appear.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed to you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.

FAMVIR is only available with a doctor's prescription. It is not addictive.

This medicine is not recommended for use in children under 12 years of age.

Before you take FAMVIR

When you must not take it

Do not take FAMVIR if you have an allergy to:

  • famciclovir, the active ingredient
  • penciclovir, a related antiviral medicine
  • any of the other ingredients of FAMVIR listed at the end of this leaflet

Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
  • rash, itching or hives on the skin.

Do not take FAMVIR after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering. In that case, return it to your pharmacist.

Before you start to take it

Tell your doctor if you have a problem with:

  • your body's immune system, which helps to fight off infections
  • your kidneys
  • your liver

Your doctor may want to take extra precautions in that case.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant or if you are breast-feeding.

FAMVIR should not be used during pregnancy unless necessary. Your doctor will discuss with you the potential risks of taking FAMVIR during pregnancy, and will also advise you if you should take FAMVIR while breast-feeding, based on the benefits and risks of your personal situation.

Tell your doctor if you are lactose intolerant. FAMVIR® 250 mg tablets contain lactose.

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives.

Your doctor will want to know if you are prone to allergies.

If you experience an allergic reaction, stop using the medicine and inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any t