Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Valtrex?
When you’re taking many medicines, whether they’re over-the-counter or prescription, it’s important to know the risks, side effects and also any potential interactions or substances you should avoid. Many medicines do have interactions with alcohol, other medications, supplements and even vitamins.
So what about alcohol and Valtrex? Can you drink alcohol while taking Valtrex? This is a common question, and the answer is explored below.
Valtrex is a brand name prescription drug with the generic name valacyclovir. Valtrex is an antiviral, oral drug that treats herpes viruses including shingles, genital herpes, and cold sores. It’s not a cure for herpes, but it does reduce symptoms through slowing the spread and growth of the virus. Valtrex also helps the user’s immune system more easily fight the infection and reduce outbreaks. When someone takes Valtrex, it can help in the healing of cold sores, the prevention of new cold sores, and it can reduce pain and itching.
An off-label use of Valtrex is treating cytomegalovirus, which is a viral infection that is particularly worrisome for pregnant women and people with a compromised immune system.
Side effects of Valtrex can include mental and mood changes such as confusion and agitation, as well as kidney problems. People on Valtrex are also warned that it doesn’t prevent herpes from spreading, and herpes can be transmitted even when someone is symptom-free.
Common side effects include nausea, dizziness, stomach pain, headache, diarrhea, and vomiting. Some of the more severe but less common side effects include the mental or mood changes touched on above, shakiness, changes in urination, and problems speaking.
In very rare situations, Valtrex can cause a disorder that affects the blood cells and kidneys, and it can be deadly. This is more likely to occur in people with a weakened immune system resulting from something like a kidney transplant or HIV.
There are possible interactions with Valtrex and drugs that affect the kidneys, such as NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen.
So, what should you know about alcohol and Valtrex? Can you drink alcohol while taking Valtrex?
There are also something things to consider with alcohol and Valtrex.
First, there are symptoms of Valtrex that are relatively common including nausea and vomiting. If you combine alcohol and Valtrex, it can make symptoms of the drug more pronounced. For example, with alcohol and Valtrex combined you may be more likely to feel nauseous than you would if you took the drug on its own.
Since there are side effects like drowsiness and dizziness possible with Valtrex, if you combine it with alcohol you may also need to avoid doing anything requiring concentration or being clear-minded.
If you’re taking Valtrex to treat shingles, you should avoid alcohol altogether. Shingles can be very painful, and alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system, and may also reduce the effectiveness of your medication.
If you’re suffering from shingles and you want to heal more quickly, avoid alcohol.
Basically, with any viral infection, you want your immune system to be operating at its peak level, and if you’re drinking this may not be possible.
If you drink alcohol while taking Valtrex, it can make the symptoms of the medication worse. It can also suppress your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight the viral infection or outbreak you’re using Valtrex to treat.
First and foremost if you’re asking “can you drink alcohol while taking Valtrex,” always speak to your physician for guidance.
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