Famvir: medical facts you should know about this antiviral drug
This is an antiviral drug, which stops the growth and multiplication of the viruses but cannot kill them.
This drug is used against herpes virus infection. This drug like other antivirals basically acts as a suppressor of viral growth.
This drug cannot cure but can prolong the survival if used in AIDS patients by clearing HSV infections which are the most common in this group.
What is it?
It’s an antiviral drug, marketed in the name of Famvir, with the generic composition Famciclovir and is a guanosine analogue derivative.
It got approved by the FDA on august 24th of year 2007.
It came into existence because of the low bioavailability of other antiviral drugs.
What is it used for?
It is indicated for use by the FDA in the following conditions:
• Herpes zoster or shingles
• Herpes simplex virus infection especially those caused by the HSV 2
• Herpes labialis which is the presence of cold sores in the immune compromised patients
• It can e used in AIDS patients who have HSV infections
How should I take it?
Famvir is available in tablet form in the composition of 125 mg, 250 mg or 500 mg. The dose varies depending on the condition and its severity. To prevent stomach upset this drug should be taken with meals or milk.
Usually to treat herpes zoster a dose of 500mg is taken thrice a day for at least a week. On the other hand to treat HSV the same dose is taken twice for only a day.
This drug should never be taken without medical supervision. Those undergoing antiviral treatment must follow up with their physician regularly.
Contraindications and precautions:
Famvir is absolutely contraindicated for use in those who are allergic to it.
It should be used with precaution in people who have kidney or renal impairment or those who are severely immune compromised. Those who have galactose intolerance or any glucose-galactose mal-absorption deficits should talk to their physicians about it before undergoing treatment.
This drug has been kept in a category B for use in pregnancy this means that Famvir is not generally considered harmful for an unborn child but this should always be discussed at length with your physician before use if you are pregnant. Since viral infection like herpes can be passed on to the fetus you should be careful about this and any doubts should be directed to your physician.
This drug should be taken with care when used in conjunction with other drugs like other antivirals.
When compared to other antiviral drugs Famvir is better tolerated than most.
• Long term use of Famciclovir has shown to improve latent virus resistance.
• Early treatment with this drug will ensure that the outbreak shows least symptoms.
• Unlike most other antivirals this drug can safely be used in immune compromised patients, though this should be done under supervision.