Difference between Acyclovir and Valtrex
Acyclovir vs Valtrex:
Viruses are malicious things whether they are in a computer or within the human body. Yet, these viruses have a way of making themselves more visible in the human body and somehow more malignant too. The sexually transmitted disease (STD), genital herpes is one of such high risk diseases which is caused by a virus and is highly contagious to the people surrounding the one affected with the virus.
Genital herpes caused by the Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 or 2 affects the genitals, the mouth and sometimes even the hands of the person while forming blisters, and ulcerations which are painful, itchy and full of pus in the affected areas. Acyclovir and Valtrex are two medications which are prescribed for this conditions and although many people think that these two drugs can be used interchangeably, it is not considered wise to do that.
What is Acyclovir?
Acyclovir, also known as Zovirax is considered as the first and foremost antiviral medication which was introduced for the treatment of genital herpes. It is a synthetic purine nucleoside analogue with activity against a number of herpe sviruses which serves to concentrate acyclovir monophosphate into virus-infected cells which in turn helps reduce the effect of the virus in the cells. The Pharmacologist Gertrude B. Elion was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1988 partly for the development of aciclovir.
What is Valtrex?
Valtrex, also known as Valacyclovir, a prodrug which is rapidly converted to the active drug acyclovir used for the management of herpes simplex and herpes zoster which is also known as shingles. It is more expensive and is marketed under the tradenames Valtrex or Zelitrex by GlaxoSmithKline.
What is the difference between Valtrex and Acyclovir?
While Acyclovir is the earliest form of antivirul drug introduced in to the market for the treatment of genital herpes, Valtrex remains the more recent form of medication. Both medicine are taken orally, although the doage and the manner of taking is different.
The initial treatment with Acyclovir would be 200 mg every 4 hr, 5 times a day and for 7-10 days or 400 mg three times a day x 5-10 days. The chronic suppression for recurrence would be 400 mg twice a day for up to 12 months and the intermittent treatment for recurrence would be 200 mg every 4 hours for 5 times a day and for 5 days a week. The initial treatment for Valtrex would be 1g twice a day for 10 days and for chronic suppression and immunocompetence, the dose would be 1g a day. Also, for chronic suppression,immunocompetence and for 9 or less recurrences annually, it would be 500 mg a day. Therefore, one can see that since Valtrex is already in its active form, it needs to be taken on a fewer doses than Acyclovir.
The price ranges of the two drugs also differ. While Acyclovir is known to be the more affordable drug, Valtrex is considered to be more expensive. Therefore, Acyclovir remains to be the most largely used and the most popular form of drug because of its price and also the considerable amount in the market which beats that of Valtrex.