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What is Famvir (famciclovir)?
Famvir contains the active ingredient famciclovir, which is an antiviral medicine. It is used to treat infections with herpes viruses, such as shingles (herpes zoster) and genital herpes (herpes simplex). Famvir is a prescription-only medicine.
What is this medicine used for?
Famvir is used to treat conditions caused by the herpes zoster or herpes simplex virus, such as:
- Genital herpes, an STD which infects the skin and mucous membranes of the genitals, causing sores, itching and a burning sensation.
- Shingles, a condition which is characterised by pain and itching, typically on one side of the body, followed by redness of the skin and blisters.
Famvir works by stopping these herpes viruses from reproducing and infecting more cells in the body. Famvir is also valuable for preventing herpes simplex infections in people whose immune systems are suppressed and therefore cannot fight off infection or to prevent the infection coming back in people who suffer from recurrent infections.
How to use Famvir (famciclovir)
Famvir should be taken at the first signs of infection. The tablets should be taken with liquid either before, during or after meals. It is important to finish the course completely. Stopping early could cause the infection to return.
Unless otherwise prescribed by a doctor, Famvir should be taken as follows. For the first outbreak of genital herpes:
- Adults: one 250-mg tablet three times a day for five days.
For subsequent outbreaks of genital herpes:
- Adults: one 125-mg tablet two times a day for five days.
To prevent an outbreak of genital herpes:
- Adults: One 250-mg tablet twice a day for as long as the doctor prescribes.
To treat shingles:
- Adults: one 500-mg tablet three times a day for seven days.
A different dosage regimen applies to people whose immune systems are suppressed. Famvir is not suitable for children under the age of 18. Read the package leaflet before use.
Treatment with Famvir may cause side effects, including:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
- Sleepiness or dizziness.
Consult your doctor if you have these or other symptoms. For a complete list of side effects, see the package leaflet.
When not to use this medicine
Famvir is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to famciclovir or any other ingredient in this medicine.
Consult a doctor on the use of Famvir if you have a kidney or liver condition, or if resistance is low. Famvir may interact with other medicines. See the package leaflet for a list of medicines you should not take with Famvir. Be sure to tell the doctor during the online consultation what other medicines you are currently taking.
Do not use Famvir if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. If you experience side effects such as dizziness or sleepiness, you should avoid driving. Famvir does not interact with alcohol.