Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about VALACOR 500 (valaciclovir).
It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
This leaflet was last updated on the date at the end of this leaflet. More recent information may be available. The latest Consumer Medicine Information is available from https://www.ebs.tga.gov.au/ and 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 VALACOR 500 against the benefits it is expected to have for you.
If you have any concerns about using/taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Keep this leaflet with this medicine. You may need to read it again.
What VALACOR 500 tablet is used for
VALACOR 500 tablets contain valaciclovir (as hydrochloride). VALACOR 500 tablets belong to a group of medicines called anti-virals.
VALACOR 500 tablets are used for one or more of the following in adults:
- Treatment of Herpes zoster (shingles): Valaciclovir works by stopping the multiplication of the virus which causes shingles. It can reduce the length and severity of an outbreak of shingles and the duration of pain associated with shingles. It is important the treatment is started within the first three days of the shingles attack.
- Treatment of Ophthalmic zoster (shingles affecting the eye region)
- Treatment of genital herpes infection: Valaciclovir works by stopping the multiplication of the virus which causes herpes. It can reduce the length and severity of an outbreak of herpes, the duration of pain and shorten the time to healing of crusts associated with herpes. They do not eliminate the herpes virus from the body. The herpes virus is also known as the Herpes Simplex Virus, or HSV.
VALACOR 500 tablets help the blisters to heal more quickly. If you start taking them as soon as you feel an outbreak starting, you may actually prevent the blisters from developing.
- Prevention of genital herpes in immunocompromised patients with moderate to normal kidney function: VALACOR 500 tablets can be taken by immunocompromised patients (with moderate to normal kidney function) to help prevent the HSV infection coming back. It will be determined by your doctor if you should be given VALACOR 500 tablets or not.
- Reduction of risk of transmission of genital herpes: VALACOR 500 can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus that causes genital herpes in patients who are taking it continuously. It does not cure genital herpes or completely eliminate the risk of transmission. Therefore, in addition to therapy with valaciclovir, it is recommended that patients avoid contact when symptoms are present and always use condoms.
Valaciclovir (or any other antiviral) is not a cure for genital herpes. Because genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease, you should minimise having intercourse when you have an outbreak of herpes or show any symptoms. This will avoid the risk of spreading herpes to your partner.
- Prevention of cytomegalovirus infection (CMV) and disease: VALACOR 500 tablets are used to prevent cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and disease, following solid organ transplantation. CMV is a type of herpes virus. It can cause symptoms similar to glandular fever (high temperature, sore throat and swollen glands).
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why VALACOR 500 tablets have been prescribed for you.
VALACOR 500 tablets are available only with a doctor's prescription.
Before you take VALACOR 500 tablets
When you must not take it
- Do not take VALACOR 500 tablets if you are allergic to valaciclovir, aciclovir or any of the inactive ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may be mild or severe. They usually include some or all of the following: wheezing, swelling of the lips/mouth, difficulty in breathing, hay fever, lumpy rash (hives) or fainting.
- Do not take VALACOR 500 tablets after the expiry date (EXP) printed on the pack.
If you take it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.
- Do not take VALACOR 500 tablets if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If you are not sure whether you should be taking VALACOR 500 tablets, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take VALACOR 500 tablets
You must tell your doctor if:
- You are allergic to foods, dyes, preservatives or any other medicines.
- You have a kidney or liver problems.
- Do not take VALACOR 500 tablets if you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant or breast-feeding, unless your doctor says you should. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using VALACOR 500 tablets when pregnant and during breast-feeding.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interfere with the absorption or action of valaciclovir.
- Cimetidine (used for indigestion)
- Probenecid (used to treat joint disorders and used in combination with certain anti-infectives called antibiotics)
- Mycophenolate, Cyclosporin, Tacrolimus (used after organ transplantation)
These medicines may be affected by VALACOR 500 tablets, or may affect how well it works. You may need to use different amounts of your medicine or you may need to take different medicines. Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell you what to do when taking/being given VALACOR 500 tablets with other medicines.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking VALACOR 500 tablets.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, please do so before you take VALACOR 500 tablets.
Use in children
There is not enough information to recommend the use of VALACOR 500 in children.
How to take VALACOR 500 tablets
How to take it
Take VALACOR 500 tablets exactly as your doctor has prescribed. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you:
- how many tablets to take at each dose
- how many doses to take each day
- when to take your doses each day.
The label on the pack will give the same information. If there is something you do not understand, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
How much to take
Your doctor will decide what dose you should take and how often you should take VALACOR 500 tablets. The dosage may vary depending on your medical history.
Treatment of Herpes Zoster: the usual dose is 2 VALACOR 500 tablets (each containing 500 mg of valaciclovir) three times a day.
Treatment of genital herpes: If you are suffering from genital herpes infection for the first time, the dose usually given is one VALACOR 500 tablet (containing 500 mg of valaciclovir) given two times a day.
If you have had a herpes infection before, the dose usually given is one VALACOR 500 tablet (containing 500 mg of valaciclovir) given two times a day. You should start to take VALACOR 500 tablets as early as possible if you think you are about to have a recurrence (attack) of genital herpes. Dosing should ideally start just before, or straight after the first signs of genital herpes infection appear.
Prevention of genital herpes in immunocompromised patients with moderate to normal kidney function: To prevent the herpes infection appearing again, the usual dose to take is one VALACOR 500 tablet (containing 500 mg of valaciclovir) given two times a day.
Reduction of risk of transmission of genital herpes: In adults with normal immune function with less than 10 recurrences of genital herpes infection per year, the usual dose for the infected partner is one VALACOR 500 tablet (containing 500 mg of valaciclovir) taken once daily.
Prevention of cytomegalovirus infection (CMV) and disease: The dosage of VALACOR 500 tablets in adults and adolescents (from 12 years of age) is 4 tablets (each containing 500 mg of valaciclovir) four times a day for 90 days.
If you are elderly: your dose may be adjusted by your doctor according to you kidney function.
If you have liver or kidney problems: Your dosage would be different if you have liver or kidney problems and your doctor will decide the dose and duration of treatment for you.
If you think you have been advised to take a different dose, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
How to take it
VALACOR 500 tablets are to be taken orally. Swallow the tablet whole with a full glass of water.
You should drink plenty of fluids while on treatment with VALACOR 500, especially if you are elderly.
When to take it
Take your VALACOR 500 tablets at about the same time each day. Taking your tablets at the same time each day will have the best effect. It will also help you to remember when to take the tablets.
How long to take it
For the treatment of shingles the usual course of treatment is 7 days.
For the treatment of genital herpes infections, the usual course of treatment is 5 days. However in some instances your doctor may want you to take your tablets for 10 days.
For prevention of genital herpes infections in immunocompromised patients with moderate to normal kidney function and reduction of risk of transmission of the genital herpes infection, you should continue to take this medicine as long as prescribed by your doctor.
For the prevention of CMV infection and disease, the usual course of treatment is 90 days.
Continue taking the medicine as long as the Doctor has told you to. Do not stop taking the VALACOR 500 tablets before the course of treatment is finished just because you feel better. If you stop too soon, the infection may start again.
If you forget to take it
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to. Otherwise, take it as soon as you remember, then go back to taking it as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
If you are not sure what to do, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (Overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Center (13 11 26), or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital, if you think that you or anyone else has taken too much of VALACOR 500 tablets. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention. Keep this telephone number handy.
If you are not sure what to do, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
While you are taking VALACOR 500 tablets
Things you must do
- Tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking VALACOR 500 tablets if you are about to be started on any new medicines.
- Tell your doctor if you become pregnant or are trying to become pregnant or intend to breast-feed while you are taking VALACOR 500 tablets.
- Drink plenty of fluids while you are taking VALACOR 500 tablets.
Tell your doctor if, for any reason, you have not taken your medicine exactly as prescribed. Otherwise, your doctor may think that it was not effective and change your treatment unnecessarily.
Things you must not do
- Do not stop taking VALACOR 500 tablets, or alter the dose, without first checking with your doctor.
- Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.
- Do not use VALACOR 500 tablets to treat any other complaints unless your doctor says to.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how VALACOR 500 affects you.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if you have any health problems while taking VALACOR 500 tablets, even if you do not th the problems are connected with the medicine or are not listed in this leaflet.
Like all medicines, VALACOR 500 tablets can cause some side effects. If they occur, they are most likely to be minor and temporary. However, some may be serious and need medical attention.
Some people are allergic to medicines. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may be mild or severe. Allergic reactions to valaciclovir are rare. However, if you think you are having an allergic reaction, tell your doctor immediately or go to the casualty department at your nearest hospital. Symptoms usually include some or all of the following:
- Swelling of the lips/mouth
- Difficulty in breathing
- Hay fever
- Lumpy rash (hives)
The most commonly reported side effects are:
- Gastrointestinal discomfort (vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, abdominal pain, indigestion, flatulence)
These should be reported to the doctor or pharmacist if they are severe or become troublesome.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- Dry mouth
- Difficulty sleeping
- Back pain
- Skin rash which may be itchy
You should contact your doctor if you experience any of the following side effects which are more common in patients with kidney disease or in those taking high doses of valaciclovir. Usually these side effects get better when valaciclovir treatment is stopped:
Some rare side effects of valaciclovir include:
- Sensitivity to UV light, such as development of a rash like sunburn even after short exposure to UV light.
- Damage to the kidney, which gets better when valaciclovir treatment is stopped.
- Unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any bruising or bleeding, as it may indicate that the number of platelets (a type of blood cell responsible for blood clotting) in your blood are reduced.
- Damage to the liver, which gets better when valaciclovir treatment is stopped.
This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell, even if it is not on this list.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand anything in this list.
Do not be alarmed by this list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
After using VALACOR 500 tablets
Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them.
If you take the tablets out of the box or the blister pack they may not keep well.
Keep your VALACOR 500 tablets in a cool, dry place where it stays below 25°C.
Do not store it, or any other medicine, in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave it in the car on hot days.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep this medicine where young children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking VALACOR 500 tablets or you find that they have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any tablets that are left over.
What it looks like
VALACOR 500 tablets are available as blue coloured, capsule-shaped, biconvex, film-coated tablets, debossed with 'V' and '5' on either side of the breakline on one side, notched on either side along with the breakline and plain on the other side containing valaciclovir (as hydrochloride) 500 mg.
VALACOR 500 tablets are available in blister packs containing 30, 42 or 100 tablets.
Valaciclovir (as valaciclovir hydrochloride)
- microcrystalline cellulose
- magnesium stearate
- povidone (K 30)
- povidone (K 90D)
- indigo carmine aluminium lake
- Opadry 02C50740 Blue
Opadry 02C50740 Blue consists of hypromellose, titanium dioxide, macrogol 400, macrogol 6000, polysorbate 80 and indigo carmine aluminium lake.
VALACOR 500 is supplied in Australia by:
Pharmacor Pty Ltd
Suite 401, 7 Oaks Avenue
Dee Why NSW 2099
Australian Registration No.
AUST R 177373
This leaflet was prepared in January 2013.
Published by MIMS May 2016