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Valacyclovir During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Generic Name: valacyclovir-pregnancy-breastfeeding.jpgValacyclovir
Indications: Herpes simplex, inflammation due to herpes simplex infection, cold sores and genital herpes infections.
FDA Drug Category: B

Summary Recommendations
Valacyclovir is prescribed for the treatment of the herpes simplex virus. The virus can cause cold sores and genital herpes. Physicians may also prescribe the drug to treat inflammations associated with viral infections caused by herpes simplex. The brand name for valacyclovir is Valtrex.

General Precautions
Women taking valacyclovir for the first outbreak of genital herpes should NOT stop taking the medication after testing positive for pregnancy. The first infection can be life-threatening, so taking the full course of treatment is necessary for fetal/maternal health. If you’re taking valacyclovir when you find out you’re pregnant, contact your physician as soon as possible.

Effect While Trying to Conceive
There are no known effects of valacyclovir treatment on fertility or conception rate. If you plan on attempting to conceive in the near future and you’re taking valacyclovir for genital herpes, talk with your physician before attempting to get pregnant.

Effects on Pregnancy

Clinical studies completed on valacyclovir have shown no birth defects associated with drug treatment during pregnancy. Valacyclovir converts to acyclovir once ingested. At least three major studies have been completed on acyclovir and/or valacyclovir with participant pools ranging from 200 births to more than 1,500 births with no birth defects reported.

Safe During Breastfeeding
Valacyclovir is approved for use during pregnancy. The drug is available in topical cream/ointment. If cream or ointment is used on the skin on or around the breast, areola or nipple, wash the area with gentle soap and water before allowing baby to breastfeed. A small amount of oral valacyclovir will pass to baby during breastfeeding, but the American Academy of Pediatrics supports use of the drug while breastfeeding as no side effects have been reported.

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