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Difference Between Acyclovir and Valtrex

Acyclovir vs Valtrex

Most, if not all, are aware of what viruses can do to the body. Although these viruses are self-limiting, they can do damage and could leave people vulnerable to other infections. Furthermore, people might have heard of genital herpes or just herpes, and its high risk of transmission, more especially since it is considered as a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).

Sexually Transmitted Diseases, based on the name itself, are disease conditions that affect the sex organs, or the mouth in some infections, and are transmitted to other persons. To give some background information, the Herpes infection is caused by the Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 or 2. This infection causes the formation of blisters, and ulcerations on the affected area. which could make one feel sore and itchy. Pus-formation can also occur.

Herpes affects millions of people. Unfortunately , many do not know about it. Nevertheless, this should not lead to hopelessness, since there are medications that are effective enough to reduce the threat of the virus, thus, render the virus inactive. These antiviral medications come in many forms, although acyclovir and valtrex are the more popular ones. They have differences though which would be discussed later on.

Acyclovir is the earliest form of antiviral medication especially developed for genital herpes. Since its creation in 1982, it still in use, although in the generic form. It was first developed as a topical ointment, which is rubbed thoroughly to the affected area. Now, it is in oral form.

On the other hand, Valtrex is the brand name for Val Acyclovir. What is Val Acyclovir? Val Acyclovir is the product or active ingredient of acyclovir. This means that when acyclovir is taken into the body, it must be broken down first to its active ingredient before it can act on the herpes virus.

How do these drugs work? After being broken down to their active compounds, the drugs block the ability of the virus to replicate, making them inactive. These drugs are effective during the initial and subsequent incidents of infection.

The other difference is on the number of doses to be taken per day to make the drugs effective. Acyclovir needs to be taken 3-5 times per day, for a specific number of days. On the other hand, since Valtrex is already in its active form, one may only need fewer doses per day to make it work.


1. Acyclovir is an antiviral medication that was first developed to treat herpes by blocking the ability of the viruses to replicate, thus making them inactive.
2. Val acyclovir (Valtrex) is the active ingredient of acyclovir. This indicates that it is the compound that acts on the virus to render it inactive.
3. For acyclovir to be effective, about 3-5 doses/day is required, but since Valtrex is already in active form, then fewer doses per day may only be needed.

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