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Famvir is an oral antiviral prescription medication that is prescribed for: treatment of recurrent genital herpes in otherwise healthy patients; suppression of recurrent genital herpes in otherwise healthy patients; treatment of recurrent herpes simplex virus infections (genital herpes and cold sores) in HIV-infected patients and herpes zoster (shingles).
Famvir can be prescribed in one of three ways:
- Episodic treatment: your doctor treats an outbreak of genital herpes as it occurs. The usual dose of Famvir is one 125-mg pill, twice a day, for 5 days.
- Suppressive treatment: if you have frequent or severe outbreaks, you take one 250-mg pill, twice a day, for up to 1 year to suppress the genital herpes virus and help to prevent outbreaks.
- Patients with HIV: Famvir is the only prescription oral antiviral therapy indicated for treating genital. In patients with herpes simplex and HIV, the dose of Famvir is 500 mg, twice a day, for 7 days.
Famvir can be taken with or without food.
Do not take Famvir if you are allergic to penciclovir (Denavir) without first talking to your doctor. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have kidney disease. You may need a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment with Famvir.
Famvir (Pregnancy Category B) should be used during pregnancy only if the benefit to the patient clearly exceeds the risk to the fetus.
IF YOU MISS A DOSE OF THIS MEDICINE, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do NOT take 2 doses at once.
Possible Side Effects
Stop taking Famvir and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives). Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take Famvir and talk to your doctor if you experience nausea or vomiting, a headache, diarrhea, dizziness, tingling in your hands or feet, or itching.
Store between 15°C and 30°C (59°F and 86°F) and out of reach of children.
Seek emergency medical attention. A Famvir overdose has no known symptoms, but an overdose of acyclovir (Zovirax), which is a similar drug, may cause seizures, hallucinations, and kidney damage (decreased urine production).
Treatment with Famvir should be started as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms (e.g. tingling, burning, blisters). Take all of the Famvir that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated. Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even during treatment. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Wash your hands frequently to prevent transmission. For more information, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider.
This drug information is for your information purposes only, it is not intended that this information covers all uses, directions, drug interactions, precautions, or adverse effects of your medication. This is only general information, and should not be relied on for any purpose. It should not be construed as containing specific instructions for any particular patient. We disclaim all responsibility for the accuracy and reliability of this information, and/or any consequences arising from the use of this information, including damage or adverse consequences to persons or property, however such damages or consequences arise. No warranty, either expressed or implied, is made in regards to this information.