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Famvir is a small white pill made up of an antiviral drug called famciclovir. This medication can be purchased under the brand name Famvir, or it can be purchased at a reduced price as a generic alternative, sold as famciclovir. This medication is available in 125mg, 250mg, and 500mg!

Famvir is a medication used to treat infections caused by the herpes virus. Famvir can be used to treat shingles caused by herpes zoster and the outbreak of herpes simplex, which causes genital herpes and cold sores on and around the lips and anus. Famvir does not cure herpes but can reduce the length and severity of the condition, heal the outbreaks much faster, reduce the number of outbreaks, decreases the pain and itching caused by herpes and can shorten the amount of pain you feel after the sore has healed.

This medication works by slowing the growth of the herpes virus and preventing its spread from helping fight the infection it causes.

You should only take this medication the way that you have been directed to by your doctor. It is important to follow his or her directions to achieve the full effect of the medication and to avoid adverse interactions. Directions given by your doctor can commonly be found on the prescription label. If you are unsure of how to take this medication, call your healthcare professionals.

Take this pill when you begin to see the symptoms of cold sores or genital herpes. These symptoms may include stinging, blisters, or tingling.

This medication can be taken with or without food; however, your doctor has directed you to do.

Store this medication at room temperature. Keep out of reach of children and pets.


Talk to your doctor about the ingredients found in Famvir and discuss any drug allergies you may have before proceeding to use Famvir.

This medication does not prevent the transmission of the herpes virus. Herpes is contagious, and direct contact with others should be avoided, even while being treated. Wash your hands frequently.

You may need a dose adjustment if you have liver disease, kidney disease, a weak immune system, galactose intolerance, severe lactase deficiency, or glucose-galactose malabsorption. Famvir may contradict these conditions or the medications these conditions require.

Herpes can be passed onto your baby during childbirth if you have genital lesions when your baby is born. It is very important to prevent herpes lesions during pregnancy if you have genital herpes.

It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medication; speak to your doctor if you are concerned about this.

This medication should not be used by anyone under the age of 18 years old.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Famvir (famciclovir) may include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

The above side effects should not alarm you.

Serious side effects of Famvir (famciclovir) may include:

  • Confusion
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Vomiting of blood

If you have any of the above side effects, contact your doctor right away.

Signs to watch for:

  • Kidney problems - little or no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.
  • Allergic reaction - hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.


Are there any types of herpes this medication will not treat?

Famvir may not be effective for treating your first episode of genital herpes, genital herpes in black or African-American people, or in any person with herpes zoster (shingles) affecting the eye.

How long will I need to take Famvir for to prevent recurrent genital herpes?

You may be required to take Famvir for up to one year to prevent the reoccurrence of genital herpes.

What is the average dose for an adult with herpes simplex (genital herpes)?

The initial episode requires 250 mg orally 3 times a day for 7 to 10 days.

Recurrent episode requires 1000mg orally 2 times a day for 1 day; or 125 mg orally 2 times a day for 5 days.

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