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Famvir

Famvir
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Famvir (Famciclovir) is an antiviral drug. It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. Famciclovir will not cure herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of the infections.

Uses

Famciclovir (fam SY klo veer) is used to treat 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, cold sores, chicken pox) in HIV-infected patients and herpes zoster (shingles).

How to take

Famciclovir can be taken with or without food. Taking Famciclovir with food may decrease stomach upset. Take each dose with a full glass of water. Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor.

Side effects

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. Continue taking Famciclovir and talk to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects: nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, diarrhea, dizziness, sleepiness, mild itching or skin rash; or confusion. Stop taking Famciclovir 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 Famciclovir and talk to your doctor if you experience nausea or vomiting, a headache, diarrhea, dizziness, tingling in your hands or feet, or itching. A Famciclovir 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). If you suspect an overdose of Famciclovir, seek medical attention immediately.

Precaution

Treatment with Famciclovir should be started as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms (such as tingling, burning, blisters). Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Drink plenty of water while you are taking Famciclovir to keep your kidneys working properly. Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even while you are being treated with Famciclovir. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Avoid touching an infected area and then touching your eyes. Wash your hands frequently to prevent passing the infection to others. Famciclovir will not prevent the spread of genital herpes. Avoid sexual intercourse or use a latex condom to prevent spreading the virus to others. Lesions caused by herpes viruses should be kept as clean and dry as possible. Wearing loose clothing may help to prevent irritation of the lesions. Do not take Famciclovir 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, galactose intolerance, severe lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption. If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use Famciclovir, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment. Famciclovir should be used during pregnancy only if the benefit to the patient clearly exceeds the risk to the fetus. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether Famciclovir passes into breast milk, or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take Famciclovir without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Drug interactions

Before taking Famciclovir, tell your doctor if you are also taking probenecid (Benemid). If you are using probenecid, you may not be able to use Famciclovir, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment. There may be other drugs that can affect Famciclovir. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Missed dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

Storage

Store between 15C and 30C (59F and 86F) and out of reach of children.