What Does Valtrex Do for Herpes?


Valtrex (valacyclovir) is a prescription medication prescribed to prevent and treat outbreaks of the herpes simplex virus. Valtrex is not a cure for herpes, but it can help individuals who have the condition manage it more effectively. In addition, Valtrex does not prevent the transmission of herpes to other people through sexual contact.

Treating the First Herpes Outbreak

  • Valtrex should be taken within 24 hours of the appearance of herpes symptoms to be most effective. Typically, the first outbreak of herpes will be treated by taking two 1,000mg pills each day for 10 days.

Treating Recurrent Herpes Outbreaks

  • Subsequent outbreaks are typically treated by taking two 500mg pills each day for three days.

Preventing Recurrent Herpes Outbreaks

  • Individuals who want to prevent future herpes outbreaks are typically directed to take either one 500mg or one 1000mg pill each day.


  • Valtrex functions by slowing the growth of herpes. It also inhibits the spread of herpes as well.

Side Effects

  • Common side effects of Valtrex include voice loss, sore throat, congested ears, stuffy nose, body aches, muscle aches and joint aches.

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