Famciclovir is an antiviral medication which treats Herpes viruses:
- herpes simplex 1 and 2 (cold sores and genital herpes);
- varicella-zoster (chicken pox and shingles).
It suppresses the replication of viral DNA, which is needed for viruses to reproduce themselves. Famciclovir is actually considered to be a 'prodrug', because it is not active against viruses directly. Instead, this medication converts into penciclovir as it gets in the body. And it's penciclovir that is active against the viruses. (Penciclovir is also a topical, intravenous medication ).
Famciclovir is active against the same viruses as acyclovir. The difference is that it's action has longer duration, consequently it should be taken fewer times each day.
FDA approved Famciclovir for use in 1994.
Farmvir may be prescripted in one of these three cases:
- Episodic treatment: if genital herpes outbreak occurs, your doctor prescribes Famvir to treat it. The medication dose is one 125-mg pill. This dose should be taken twice a day, for 5 days.
- Suppressive treatment: in case if you have frequent or severe outbreaks, take one 250-mg pill twice a day. Period of treatment may last up to 1 year, to suppress the genital herpes virus and help to prevent further outbreaks.
- For patients with HIV: Famvir is the only oral prescription antiviral therapy, that is indicated for treating genital. The dose for patients with HIV and herpes simplex should be 500 mg, twice a day. Therapy lasts 7 days.
Patients may take Famvir with or without food.
In case you missed the dose of Famciclovir, make sure to take it as soon as possible. If it is close to your time to take the next dose, skip the missed dose, and continue with your regular schedule of doses. NEVER take 2 doses at once unless your doctor told you do so.
Store Famciclovir between 59 degrees F and 86 degrees F (15C – 30C). Keep the medicine away from children.
Famvir Safety information
If you are allergic to Famvir, notifywith your doctor prior to taking Famvir. Also notify your doctor if you have kidney disease before starting to take the medication. You may probably need a dosage adjustment and/or special monitoring during the course of treatment with Famvir.
Famvir (Pregnancy Category B) may be used during pregnancy only in case if the benefit clearly prevails the risk to the foetus.
Famvir Side effects
If you experience an allergic reaction (such as closing of your throat, difficulty breathing; swelling of your lips, tongue or face; or hives), STOP taking Famvir and contact your doctor immediately.
Other side effects, that are less serious may occur more often. Keep taking Famvir and consult with your doctor in case you experience headache, diarrhea, vomiting, itching, dizziness, or tingling in your hands or feet.
Also other side effects not listed below may happen. Discuss with your doctor any side effect that especially bothers you, or and seems unusual.