Viral infections like shingles show up in the form of sores as well as rashes on skin. A virus called varicella zoster is known to cause shingles. Onset of this condition is more likely to occur among elders and those who have had a prior spell of chickenpox. The virus remains inactive for long, and gets active as your immune system turns weak. Drugs such as famciclovir are commonly used for treating viral conditions. But, what are the safety precautions to be taken while you are taking this antiviral med? It is a wise thing to have knowledge of needful precautions.

Onset of viruses such as herpes zoster and herpes simplex trigger a wide range of infections. Herpes simplex causes sores in many parts of your body especially, in the nasal tract, oral organs and anus. Herpes zoster triggers spells of skin conditions like rashes, inflammation of skin, shingles, blisters or discoloration. It becomes essential to take medications under the guidance of a qualified medical practitioner. In this light, antiviral medications like famciclovir are widely administered.

Famciclovir is commonly sold as a tablet form or pill. Typical dosage strengths range from 125 milligrams (mg) to 500 mg. Those who are treated for oral herpes are advised to take a dosage of 1,500 mg within a 24-hour timeline. In case of genital herpes, dosage is lowered to 1,000 mg; this is taken twice per day. Treatment is restricted to a week or 10 days at the most. However, in some people with genital herpes – based on the severity of their medical condition – a long term dosage plan is administered. In such cases, strength is lowered to 125 mg or 250 mg each day. You are advised to talk to your caregiver about the likely impact of a long term intake of this antiviral med.

In case of shingles, you may be advised to take dosages of 250 to 500 mg every 8 hours, for a week’s time. No two people with shingles are prescribed with the same dosage plan. Your treatment depends on body weight, age, prior clinical conditions as well as severity of the underlying infection.

Precautions relating to the use of famciclovir for viral infections

This drug is taken either before or after a meal; typical dose is twice or thrice each day. This is not an over the counter med; hence, the dosage plan is administered under the supervision of a qualified physician. If you are allergic to antiviral drugs, your doctor must be aware of such hypersensitivity. If you have a medical history of renal ailments or kidney based disorders, it is important to keep away from this med. Also, if you are noticing symptoms such as discoloration of urine, painful episodes of urination, altered output (often a decrease in quantum) of urinary discharge, etc., talk to your treating doctor of these signs.

Use of alcohol along with famciclovir

Intake of alcohol while you are taking famciclovir can lead to harmful outcomes. Key ingredients of this antiviral drug can cause dizziness or drowsiness. So, combining alcohol along with this med can lead to intensive episodes of drowsiness. Those who have the habit of drinking alcohol regularly must keep their caregiving team aware of such habits. Your physician must also be informed of prior episodes of substance abuse i.e., use of cannabis or marijuana.

Those who are taking drugs for common cold or cough need to know that such meds may have alcohol in them. It is hence a safe practice to share details about all the meds you are presently taking. As a precautionary measure, provide inputs about treatment plans with your caregiver. You are advised to make a list of all medications you currently consume; as you make this list, include over the counter meds, prescription drugs, herbal medications, dietary aids, vitamins and / or protein supplements. Also, once you have shared the list, never make changes to it without the consent of your treating physician.

Other precautions associated with the use of famciclovir

It is unsafe to consume this antiviral drug with antibiotics (penicillin based drugs such as amoxicillin and other antimicrobial meds). Women who took antibiotics and famciclovir saw a drastic decrease in red cells; in most cases, this led to blood disorders like anemia. On the other hand, among men – intake of antibiotics and this antiviral med may cause stomatitis and a few other discomforts.

Famciclovir is likely to have lactose in it. Those who have prior conditions like intolerance (to sugars such as lactose) or to dairy foods like milk and yoghurt must tell their doctor about such allergies. Such people may find it difficult to absorb this drug and its active ingredients. Owing to this, your diet plan may need to be altered with a reduced intake of other forms of lactose.

Those who are intending to undergo a surgical or a dental intervention must tell their caregiving team of their dosage plan. It is quite likely that your caregiver may advise discontinuing the intake of famciclovir a few days prior and after the date of surgery / dental procedure. This is mainly because the key chemicals of this antiviral drug may interfere with the working of anesthetic meds.

Also, stay away from taking shots of vaccines – especially to prevent the onset of varicella variant of virus. Among elderly people or those aged above 55 years, famciclovir may cause acute side effects such as being dizzy or confused. Older users of this antiviral may also encounter renal related problems (than younger users). So, if you are aged above 55 years, and are witnessing pains while urination, consult with your treating doctor without much delay.

Pregnant women must refrain from using this med. Also, women who are breastfeeding must avoid using it. Nursing women who took this drug may see their baby develop signs like crying or sleeping disorders. It is safe to take needful guidance from your doctor prior to starting the dosage plan.

In sum, antiviral drug famciclovir can cause excessive level of dizziness if taken with alcoholic drinks or with cough meds (which can contain alcohol in them). It is equally unsafe to take this med with antibiotics. It is a safe practice to tell your caregiver of the drugs you are presently using. Also, if you are old, pregnant or are breastfeeding a newly born infant, talk to your physician before starting your treatment. It is a good practice to take this antiviral drug under the supervision of a qualified clinical practitioner.

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