FAMVIR® (famciclovir) is a prescription oral antiviral medication that is indicated for treatment of recurrent genital herpes, suppression of recurrent genital herpes, and treatment of recurrent herpes simplex virus infections (genital herpes and cold sores) in HIV-infected patients.
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Types of Treatment
After the initial outbreak* of genital herpes, 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 or orolabial herpes in people infected with HIV. 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.
When discussing treatment options with your doctor, be sure to discuss your lifestyle, how you feel about outbreaks, the pain and severity of your symptoms, and the frequency of your outbreaks. Be sure to talk with your doctor about the type of treatment (episodic or suppressive) that would be most appropriate for you.
For episodic and suppressive treatment, always take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor. If you are taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medications, please be sure to tell your doctor. No medication has been proven to prevent the transmission of genital herpes. It's important to know that FAMVIR will not prevent the spread of genital herpes to others. During an outbreak, you must avoid sexual contact, and use a condom in between outbreaks.
Efficacy of FAMVIR
- Episodic Treatment
One clinical study showed that episodic treatment with FAMVIR significantly relieved all of the symptoms of a genital herpes outbreak. For many people, the duration of the symptoms associated with genital herpes, pain, burning, itching, and tenderness, was reduced. These same people also experienced a faster healing of sores compared to those taking a sugar pill.
- Suppressive Treatment
Many people on twice-daily suppressive therapy with FAMVIR may go almost a year without experiencing an outbreak.
Side Effects and Other Important Information
FAMVIR should not be taken by patients with known hypersensitivity to the product, its components, and DENAVIR® (penciclovir cream).
FAMVIR has no clinically significant interactions with cimetidine, allopurinol, theophylline, digoxin, or zidovudine (AZT).
Concurrent use of FAMVIR with probenecid or other drugs significantly eliminated by active renal tubular secretion may result in increased plasma concentrations of penciclovir.
FAMVIR does not contain any dyes.
FAMVIR (famciclovir) is not for everyone. In clinical studies with FAMVIR, the most commonly reported side effects included headache, nausea, and diarrhea. Ask your doctor if FAMVIR is right for you. If you have kidney problems, your doctor will determine if FAMVIR is appropriate, and if so, what the right dose is for you. See the full Prescribing Information for more information about FAMVIR.
* The efficacy of FAMVIR has not been established for the treatment of an initial outbreak of genital herpes infection.
If you have impaired kidney function, your doctor will determine the appropriate dose for you.
The safety and efficacy of FAMVIR therapy beyond 1 year of treatment have not been established.
No antiviral has been proven to prevent the transmission of genital herpes.
There is no cure for genital herpes.