Valtrex has an exceptionally high bioavailability, exceeding the similar parameter of acyclovir by 3-5 times. In addition, even with oral administration of the drug, its plasma level reaches high values comparable to the values obtained when acyclovir was injected into a vein. This property of valacyclovir is due to its chemical structure. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that valacyclovir is a compound of L-valine and acyclovir by an ether bond. This feature makes it possible to deliver proacyclovir unchanged into the blood plasma. Metabolized in the liver by hydrolase, valacyclovir breaks down into valine and acyclovir, which, in turn, already has an antiviral effect. In addition, some part of valacyclovir is hydrolyzed in the small intestine with the release of the active form of acyclovir. The pharmacokinetics of this drug make it possible to prescribe it regardless of food intake.
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Valacyclovir is a valine ester of acyclovir.
This is a so-called prodrug, which is converted into the active substance acyclovir under the influence of the intestinal and hepatic enzyme valacyclovir hydroxylase. Due to the modification of the molecule, an increase in the bioavailability of the drug is achieved, which is 3-5 times higher than that of acyclovir and is 54-70%. Therefore, valacyclovir can be used less often (2-3 times a day), which makes therapy more convenient for the patient.
Valtrex is usually well tolerated, side effects are rare.
Unlike acyclovir, all types of herpesviruses are sensitive to Valtrex, but representatives of the alpha subfamily have the highest sensitivity.
Accidental phenomena against the background of taking Valtrex are possible in the area of:
• central nervous organization and mental state – cephalgia, hallucinogenic visions, deterioration of mental abilities, agitation, trembling of limbs, convulsive convulsions, coma;
• gastrointestinal - abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, nausea with vomiting;
• blood formation - decrease in the number of leukocytes and platelets in the blood;
• immunity – anaphylactic reactions;
• respiratory organs - shortness of breath;
• dermatology – skin rashes, photosensitization, nettle fever, itching, angioedema;
• urinary structures – kidney dysfunction, pain, acute insufficiency.
There is a small amount of data on the occurrence of anemia symptoms when red blood cells are destroyed in combination with a decrease in platelet levels.
The role of Valtrex in the treatment of herpesvirus infections is shown and analyzed according to the peculiarities of the clinical course of diseases. Valtrex has a unique mechanism for increasing oral bioavailability compared to its predecessor acyclovir. At the same time, the high safety of using this drug and the possibility of individual dose selection remains. One or two times its use reduces the patient's dependence on the drug, which has a positive effect on their emotional status.