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Famciclovir

famciclovir

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With NowPatient's private treatment plans you can treat Genital Herpes, Herpes Simplex Virus and Shingles with famciclovir safely and easily in a few simple steps. Get started by selecting the medication you are interested in or by hitting the start consultation button below.

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We connect you to a prescribing clinician by secure video link who will spend time with you to understand your requirements and ensure that famciclovir is appropriate, safe and effective for you. The consultation is FREE and you only ever pay for the medication, if it is prescribed. Medications are supplied and delivered discreetly by NowPatient.

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Table of contents
OverviewOther known brand namesAbout famciclovirKey facts of famciclovirFamciclovir contraindicationsHow and where to get famciclovir?Dosage and strength for famciclovir for Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, and shinglesInformation about how to take famciclovir for Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, and shinglesWhat happens if you take too much famciclovir?What are the side effects of famciclovir?Information about taking famciclovir at the same time as other medications or herbal supplementsCan famciclovir taken for Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, shingles be taken long term?Is there a herbal famciclovir?Can women use famciclovir?Should I avoid any particular food or drink when taking famciclovir?What lifestyle changes can I make to help me with Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, or shingles.?Alternatives to famciclovirSourcesPeople also asked
Navin Khosla NowPatientGreen tick
Medically reviewed by Navin Khosla, BPharm and written by Rajive Patel, BPharm - Updated on 26 Jan 2024
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What to do if you missed your famciclovir dose

The MHRA's reporting program for suspected side effects to medicines, vaccines, e-cigarettes, medical device incidents, defective or falsified (fake) products to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to ensure safe and effective use.

Learn more about reporting side effects

Other known brand names

Valtrex

About famciclovir

Famciclovir is an antiviral drug used for the treatment of cold sores (herpes labialis, HSV-1)) and genital herpes (herpes simplex strain 2, HSV-2). Famciclovir is also used to treat varicella zoster virus (VZV, herpes zoster), which causes chickenpox and shingles in immunocompetent patients.

Famciclovir is a prodrug which is broken down in the body to penciclovir, which blocks certain enzymes in the virus, preventing the virus from multiplying. This allows the immune system to control the infection.

Now Patient offers famciclovir under the brand name Famvir, or as the generic famciclovir for the treatment of Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, and shingles only, following an online consultation with a prescribing clinician.

Key facts of famciclovir

  • Famciclovir is used to treat genital herpes, cold sores, and shingles in adults
  • Famciclovir has some common side effects which include nausea and vomiting
  • It can be dangerous if you take famciclovir with certain medications. If you’re not sure if it is safe, discuss this with the prescribing clinician

Famciclovir contraindications

Famciclovir may not be suitable for some people. To make sure it’s safe for you, speak to the prescribing clinician before taking famciclovir if you:

  • Have had an allergic reaction to famciclovir or the inactive ingredient lactose
  • Have certain conditions such as galactose intolerance, severe lactase deficiency, or glucose-galactose malabsorption
  • Have kidney problems
  • Have hepatic problems
  • Have a weak immune system

How and where to get famciclovir?

Famciclovir tablets are available with a prescription only. They are not available over the counter at a pharmacy.

Now Patient does not allow customers to buy famciclovir tablets directly. Our service is certified, safe and effective, and we only ever treat conditions. If you book a consultation with a prescribing clinician for the treatment of Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, or shingles, you can discuss if famciclovir is a suitable treatment option for you.

At the end of the consultation, the clinician will decide if a treatment plan is suitable for you. If it is, the clinician will issue you with a prescription which can then be ordered, paid for and delivered directly to your chosen address by Now Patient.

Dosage and strength for famciclovir for Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, and shingles

Famciclovir is available as a tablet, and when used for Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, or shingles, it is available in strengths ranging from 250 to 750 mg tablets.

Information about how to take famciclovir for Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, and shingles

Your dose of famciclovir will depend on the condition you are being treated for:

  • Herpes Simplex virus – 500mg three times a day for 7 days, or 750mg 1-2 times a day for 7 days
  • Genital herpes – 250 mg three times a day for five days or longer if new lesions appear or healing incomplete
  • Shingles – 500mg tablets three times a day for 7 days, or 750mg 1-2 times a day for 7 days

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at your usual time. You should always complete the course of treatment as prescribed by your healthcare provider and read the patient information leaflet provided with your medication.

What happens if you take too much famciclovir?

If you take more than prescribed, then it can lead to some unpleasant side effects. You should talk to your doctor or reach out to one of our prescribing clinicians, if you have taken too much famciclovir and you experience any of the following side effects:

What are the side effects of famciclovir?

Common side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea

If you experience any serious side effects, you should contact NHS 111.

If you experience a serious allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis with the signs shown below you should contact emergency services on 999.

  • Your lips, mouth, throat or tongue suddenly become swollen
  • You’re breathing very fast or struggling to breathe (you may become very wheezy or feel like you’re choking or gasping for air)
  • Your throat feels tight or you’re struggling to swallow
  • Your skin, tongue or lips turn blue, grey or pale (if you have black or brown skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet)
  • You suddenly become very confused, drowsy or dizzy
  • Someone faints and cannot be woken up

Always report adverse effects to the MHRA yellow card reporting system. You can read more about this here How and where do I report side effects of my medication? – NowPatient

Information about taking famciclovir at the same time as other medications or herbal supplements

There is not enough evidence to suggest there are any drug interactions between herbal supplements and famciclovir. In any event, you should let your prescribing clinician know if you are taking any herbal supplements. Also, speak to your doctor if you are taking certain prescription drugs, in case of drug interactions:

  • Cladribine
  • Entecavir
  • Probenecid

Can famciclovir taken for Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, shingles be taken long term?

Courses of treatment of famciclovir range from 5 to 7 days. If your condition has not improved within this time, speak to your doctor for medical advice.

Is there a herbal famciclovir?

No. Herbal famciclovir does not exist. If you have been marketed such a formulation, it may be fake.

Can women use famciclovir?

Women can take famciclovir for the treatment of Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, or shingles. However, famciclovir is not recommended during pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding as famciclovir may pass into breast milk. Checking with your doctor before taking famciclovir.

Should I avoid any particular food or drink when taking famciclovir?

You can eat and drink normally when taking famciclovir for the treatment of Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, or shingles.

What lifestyle changes can I make to help me with Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, or shingles.?

Condoms can reduce the risk of getting genital herpes if used correctly, but be aware, a condom will only protect the area of the body it covers. You should also avoid sex while you have outbreaks of sores or blisters.

Shingles develops when the varicella-zoster virus, which originally caused chickenpox, is reactivated in your body, after you have already had chickenpox. There are vaccines such as Shingrix that are now available. Speak to your doctor for advice if you are considering the Shingrix vaccine.

Alternatives to famciclovir

Alternatives for the treatment of Herpes Simplex virus, genital herpes, or shingles include other antiviral drugs such as Valtrex (valaciclovir), Famvir and acyclovir.

Sources

Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information in this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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