FAMCICLOVIR

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Famvir

GENERIC NAME(S): FAMCICLOVIR

 

Description: Famciclovir is an antiviral drug that inhibits the reproduction of the herpes virus.

Pharmacokinetics:

Absorption: Rapidly absorbed from the GI tract. Food may delay absorption. Bioavailability: 77% (penciclovir). Time to peak plasma concentration: Approx 1 hr.

Distribution: Penciclovir: Volume of distribution: 0.91-1.25 L/kg. Plasma protein binding: <20%.

Metabolism: Converted to penciclovir via deacetylation and oxidation.

Excretion: Penciclovir: Via urine (73%); faeces (27%). Elimination half-life: 1.6-3 hr.

Famciclovir is used to treat shingles caused by herpes zoster, genital herpes and herpes labialis (cold sores). In people with frequent outbreaks of genital herpes, famciclovir is used to help reduce the number of future episodes.

 

Famciclovir is an antiviral drug. However, it is not a cure for these infections. The viruses that cause these infections continue to live in the body even between outbreaks. Famciclovir decreases the severity and length of these outbreaks. It helps the sores heal faster, keeps new sores from forming, and decreases pain/itching. This medication may also help reduce how long pain remains after the sores heal. In addition, in people with a weakened immune system, famciclovir can decrease the risk of the virus spreading to other parts of the body and causing serious infections.

 

How to use famciclovir

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking famciclovir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

 

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 2 to 3 times a day or as directed by your doctor.

 

This medication works best when started at the first sign of an outbreak, as directed by your doctor. It may not work as well if you delay treatment.

 

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

 

This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.

 

Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished. Do not change your dose, skip any doses, or stop this medication early without your doctor’s approval.

 

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Pregnancy Risk: Category B

 

Side Effects

Some of the side effects that can occur with famciclovir may not need medical attention:

More common

  • Cramps
  • diarrhea
  • headache
  • heavy bleeding
  • nausea
  • stomach pain

Less common

  • Bloated, full feeling
  • burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feeling
  • confusion as to time, place, or person
  • excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  • hives or welts
  • holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
  • itching skin
  • mood or mental changes
  • passing gas
  • rash
  • redness of skin
  • seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness
  • unusual tiredness or weakness

vomiting

Before taking famciclovir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to penciclovir; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

 

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems.

 

This drug may rarely make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

 

This medication may contain lactose. If you have certain conditions such as galactose intolerance, severe lactase deficiency (not lactose or milk intolerance), or glucose-galactose malabsorption that require you to restrict your intake of lactose, consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medication.

 

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

 

Do not have certain immunizations/vaccinations (such as vaccines against the varicella virus) without the consent of your doctor.

 

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and change in the amount of urine.

 

Famciclovir does not protect against the spread of genital herpes. To lower the chance of giving herpes to your partner, do not have sexual contact during an outbreak or if you have symptoms. You can spread genital herpes even if you do not have symptoms. Therefore, always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

 

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

 

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. It may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

 

Interactions

 

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately.

 

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

 

This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless your doctor directs you to do so. A different medication may be necessary in that case.

 

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

 

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

 

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

 

Brands

 

There are no brands containing this molecule.

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