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Problems with Valacyclovir

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Hi all, I contracted HSV-1 nearly 8 years ago. I took Acyclovir to manage my first OB, as was prescribed by my local Planned Parenthood where the initial diagnostic test was done. I've lived completely symptom-free since by first OB, at least until recently. I had been prescribed Valtrex by my OBGYN when I entered a new relationship with my now-husband, in order to prevent passing the virus. This is something very important to my husband, as he wants to take every precaution possible so as to not catch the virus. I was on 500 mg daily suppressive therapy for over 2 years before having any issues. It all began on my honeymoon - yes, my honeymoon. Supposed to be the best time of my life and I have to explain to my new husband that I'm having intense itching and small sores. I called my OBGYN as soon as we got back, she really couldn't answer why I was having problems after years of no issues -- she just confirmed I was having symptoms of my HSV-1 and upped my meds to 1 g daily for suppression. I went a week's time feeling perfect and like a new woman -- my confidence skyrocketed and I felt great. I started going to yoga again, eating healthy and was super happy and my stress levels were lower than ever before. Three weeks later, the intense itching has returned and though I have no visible sores, I feel like I'm on the verge of an OB any minute. Incredibly frustrating, since she said the last OB could have been caused by stress and I'm literally the happiest I've ever been in my life, except for these problems with H. It's causing me some really terrible stress and anxiety to say the least. We have not been intimate because I'm scared of passing this along. I called my doctor today to get some advice, to see if I should stay on the Valtrex, and am waiting for a call back from her office. I just don't understand how I can go years with no symptoms at all, and then all of a sudden my anti-virals are making me worse? What's worse is I feel like my doc can't explain why this is happening, she just keeps blaming stress and upping medications. Anyone experienced anything similar?

 

Thanks for reading :)

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UPDATE: After 48 hours of back and forth phone-tag with the Nurse Practitioner at my doctor's office, they have prescribed me Diflucan, she said my symptoms sound like a yeast infection.. She also gave me a topical antiviral that she said is supposed to help. They can't offer me any other explanation as to why I'm suddenly having these constant symptoms on the Valtrex other than stress. This is taking a mental number on me as well. I've been in a deep depression for the past couple days, all I can do is sleep and wake up and hope these symptoms are gone. I'm scared my husband will leave me, we started our relationship when my symptoms were completely under control and I had never had any issues. It's not fair to him for him to have a wife with these constant issues. I wish I were dead. She said if I'm not feeling better to call her in 5 days for another costly appointment. Should I go to a different doctor for a second opinion? Are there herpes specialists out there? Or should I stick to an OBGYN??

 

HELP

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Many people have issues with one type of antiviral, but not others. Maybe it would be a good idea to ask if you can switch to a different antiviral. I know there have been people here on the forums that have had issues with one, and when switched, they had no issues at all.

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My doc seems very reluctant to switch me from the Valtrex. She prescribed me a topical antiviral -- I guess a cream form of Acyclovir, but the medicine costs nearly $600 and that's with my health insurance (which obviously isn't great, my Valtrex still costs $90 a month with it). But obviously I couldn't afford it. This is so incredibly frustrating. Thanks for responding. I've read a few of the other posts as well, I'm pretty sure this is what's happening. My body doesn't like the Valtrex.

 

I was also completely symptom-free on no antivirals. What's worse -- being on no antiviral suppressive therapy and having sex, or dealing with constant prodrome symptoms and having sex on the days in which I am feeling fine?

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I also had constant prodrome symptoms on Valtrex, but have done great on acyclovir. It also nearly eliminated the itching I always thought was due to yeast infections. Personally, I would stand firm and ask for a new prescription or find another doc. Remember, YOU are paying HIM! Gynos are plentiful in most cities. Also, I'm on a high deductible plan and haven't met my deductible yet, and still the acyclovir only costs me $11/month.

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I’m a few years late to this conversation but I am experiencing the same thing! I was diagnosed about 10 years ago. For the first year I would get a typical sore that would blister then scab over. I was on acyclovir episodically but was getting outbreaks frequently so I went on suppressive therapy. At first my Dr put me on acyclovir 200mg 2x a day, which is super low and not even the recommended dose for suppression but for a year it worked. After I had my son he upped the dose to 400mg 2x a day and that worked wonders for 8 years! The ONLY time I would get an outbreak, which now came in the form of a yeast infection almost because I would get internal symptoms) is when I was on birth control and this happened every 3 months for a year. When I stopped taking BC the outbreaks stopped completely. Fast forward to last year, I got a horrible outbreak while on suppressive therapy. I could barely walk. It was all internal, no sores, but redness and swelling. I thought maybe this was a one time thing but no, after that I would get the same awful outbreak every month during ovulation for almost a year. I finally went back to my GYNO and he told me its rare to develop resistance unless you’re immunocompromised. He changed me to valacyclovir 500mg once a day which I thought was too low and that did nothing. Finally in January I went to my PC and she prescribed me 1g of valacyclovir to take daily. I have been pretty much symptom free up until I started getting some discomfort this week (which of course is my ovulation week). I’m so worried this will turn into a massive outbreak. It has completely taken over my life. I don’t know why after all this time almost 11 years that I’m still getting these when I thought your immune system is supposed to suppress the virus and it supposed to become less frequent over time. I think what the doctors tell us it’s a crock of bullshit. I always feel terrible I can barely play with my children or be intimate with my husband. I exercise and eat healthy and take vitamins. It doesn’t make sense. Hope things are better for you now!

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On 5/11/2019 at 7:23 PM, ash128083 said:

I’m a few years late to this conversation but I am experiencing the same thing! I was diagnosed about 10 years ago. For the first year I would get a typical sore that would blister then scab over. I was on acyclovir episodically but was getting outbreaks frequently so I went on suppressive therapy. At first my Dr put me on acyclovir 200mg 2x a day, which is super low and not even the recommended dose for suppression but for a year it worked. After I had my son he upped the dose to 400mg 2x a day and that worked wonders for 8 years! The ONLY time I would get an outbreak, which now came in the form of a yeast infection almost because I would get internal symptoms) is when I was on birth control and this happened every 3 months for a year. When I stopped taking BC the outbreaks stopped completely. Fast forward to last year, I got a horrible outbreak while on suppressive therapy. I could barely walk. It was all internal, no sores, but redness and swelling. I thought maybe this was a one time thing but no, after that I would get the same awful outbreak every month during ovulation for almost a year. I finally went back to my GYNO and he told me its rare to develop resistance unless you’re immunocompromised. He changed me to valacyclovir 500mg once a day which I thought was too low and that did nothing. Finally in January I went to my PC and she prescribed me 1g of valacyclovir to take daily. I have been pretty much symptom free up until I started getting some discomfort this week (which of course is my ovulation week). I’m so worried this will turn into a massive outbreak. It has completely taken over my life. I don’t know why after all this time almost 11 years that I’m still getting these when I thought your immune system is supposed to suppress the virus and it supposed to become less frequent over time. I think what the doctors tell us it’s a crock of bullshit. I always feel terrible I can barely play with my children or be intimate with my husband. I exercise and eat healthy and take vitamins. It doesn’t make sense. Hope things are better for you now!

Are your symptoms better? 

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