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Headaches with Valtrex?

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Valtrex makes me feel very dehydrated. I sometimes feel like I could drink 5 gallons of water and still be thirsty. No lie. It also seems to make me really tired. I'm always tired now. Which could be depression. I haven't for sure figured it out. My hair shed a lot before but more so now. Literally a wad will be in my tub after I shower. Luckily, I got thick hair so I got a lot to let shed without looking like a freak. Anyways, no headaches, just the above. The dehydration and tiredness seem to be my biggest issues with it. But hey... It's not like there is a cure anytime soon so just pump ourselves with meds until they figure something out or deal with the outbreaks. I hate pharmaceutical companies. Out for treatment not cures.

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Valtrex CAN cause depression from what I read somewhere recently. If it's affecting you that way, see if your Dr can get you on Acyclovir and see if that helps .....


And really, perhaps you can try taking it every other day ...you are not having any more OB's so see if you can cut back if you don't need it to protect anyone else..... no use taking a drug if you don't need it.



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Yes :) I hated having to take it every day... I had terrible headaches, sometimes they would keep me up all night. I also had to take it at night, as it made me so tired/dizzy I wasn't safe to drive, etc otherwise. I took it every single day for about 4 months, but quit completely about 2 months ago (I don't even take it during outbreaks...) I think the only reason I would take it again would be if I had a H- partner. But I know people who have no side effects whatsoever with it... I hope things improve for you!!

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OMG, I just watched that video and I'm on the floor laughing so hard I can barely type. Seriously, this belongs on the pages of the Enquirer it's so laughable. This thing has taken tidbits of truth, spun them into something to scare the hell out of viewers, and then promises to "unscare" you by giving you the miracle cure?


All I have to say is if this "Dr. Dad" was so gosh darned good, he'd be the most popular and well known man in the United States and his name would be scribbled on bathroom stalls from Tampa to Toledo.


Your depression is coming from your stressing over the H'man. And, yes, it's causing you to be tired. Solution: Stop stressing, focus on your awesome new job, and remember to look yourself in the eye every morning and say "I love you, no matter what." Do that and I guarantee you will discover the "miracle" cure these guys are promising to sell you with a 60-money back guarantee just as soon as we can pry the funds from our Cayman bank accounts.

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it IS actually possible that the depression/mood change *could* be the Valtrex... according to Rxlist.com, these are the lesser-seen side effects


drowsiness, mood changes, increased thirst, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting;

swelling, weight gain, feeling short of breath;

confusion, agitation, aggression, hallucinations, trouble concentrating;

feeling shaky or unsteady;


Every drug has a small percentage of people who have uncommon reactions to it. My Ex-hubby was put on Zoloft for depression and within 2 weeks started having issues with stuttering and eventually would be rendered "speechless" (literally couldn't talk) under certain conditions. I went to his Dr and the Dr told me he was "self-hypnotizing to escape the situation"... even tho he was able to write to communicate with me. Over time it DID get to a point where he actually couldn't write either and he even woke up one day totally "dumb".... took 2 days for all those symptoms to pass. About a year later the Dr came to me and admitted he had another patient who showed the same symptoms and he called the company and they admitted that there was a very small percentage of people who would develop "speech problems" on the drug. They changed him to another drug but by that time somehow that pattern never left him and when he is in VERY stressful situations (like when his house burned down) he will go "dumb"...usually just sleeping it off works to "reset" his brain. I also saw a young lady ask about it on FB once (said she suddenly found herself unable to talk) and when I PM's her she had just started on Zoloft.


I tell this because people need to understand that with ANY substance - drugs, food, chemicals, etc. - you never know why one individual may have a really bad reaction to it when most of the population has no negative effect from it. Drug companies (much as I hate them much of the time) are doing AMAZING things to figure out exactly what mechanisms in the body are affected by each "class" of drugs ... I was with a shrink with my father (who has a partially diagnosed PTSD/schizophrenia issue) who sat with her drug book for about 45 minutes figuring out which drug we could try on him (to stop him hearing voices and reduce his anxiety/help him sleep) and narrowing the class of medications down (they all had code numbers for which part of the brain they work on) until she hit on one that was the most likely to do what we wanted without screwing up his other meds. Very very few Dr's have that in depth of a kind of knowledge (or the time to research) of all the drugs they dispense. So any time I hear of someone with ongoing unsusal symptoms, I look up the total list of possible side effects. These people may be in the 1-2% of the population who just don't tolerate a drug like everyone else does.




I seriously would talk to your Dr about the depression and perhaps see if it might be worth trying acyclovir...from what I can see although there are some brain chemistry issues with it I didn't see "mood changes" as one of them.... it would be worth a try. :) AND given that you have GHSV1, odds are you won't be having OB's as much anyway... you may even want to try to wean off it and see what happens. It may just be that your body needs to clean out for awhile too.


All drugs have can have *some* affect on kidney, liver, or brain function and it's often a delicate balance of benefit-to-side effects that we run when we take ANY drug. For ME, if in doubt, if I don't need a drug for any immediate gain or for life-saving need, I go off it. But you have to do what it right for you.... so talk to your Dr and see if he/she thinks you should re-visit the need for the Valtrex at the moment. :)

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Headache is a very common side effect of Valtrex. I agree with all the suggestions above, "try something else". Valtrex is a prodrug that gets converted to acyclovir once is in the body, but even though both of the medications have the same final products, there is a higher incidence of headaches in patients taking valtrex, by10-36%. This could be due to the other metabolites that are created in the conversion of Valacyclovir to acyclovir. If I were you, I would switch to acyclovir. The only set back is that you might need a twice a day dosing to achieve same plasma levels as valtrex. Good luck and I hope you feel better!

PharmD student

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@wcs thanks for watching that.... I was literally sitting here with a "wtf" feeling in my stomach. With all my research, I never once heard or saw meningitis be mentioned. But I wanted to be sure. Interesting enough, I've had the shakes twice while on it, think I posted about that actually, definitely thirst kidney thing then makes sense, mood changes is a definite. I know, I need to talk to him, I go back to my doctor in May, for my yearly and new prescription. I am actually having him run bloodwork again. I want positive papers in my hands to give to men. I just worry if I go off it, and I need medicine later, I don't want to have to miss work to go, I want him to just call it in for me... Or give me a script and I'll just let it sit at the pharmacy until I need it. I've had a rough time with valtrex I think, my friend has no issues with it. Everyone is different. Then again, if I had of been smart I wouldn't be in this position to feel like it was necessary to take medicine everyday.

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I just keep a month's worth of acyclovir handy (not for OB's for me, but just in case I meet someone ;) ) so I have time to get a script filled....


There ARE a few cases of Herpes Meningoencephalitis each year but they are very rare...the number of cases mentioned in that video was ridiculously more than the truth. Meningitis can be caused by bacteria, fungi, virus, and other germs.... not just Herpes.... so unless you want to wrap yourself in cling film and abstain from any human or other contact, there will always be a very small risk of getting it...just like anything else ;)

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