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Drug Guide    F   Famciclovir

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   Famciclovir

Famciclovir
Oral


This drug is used in certain patients to treat or help prevent outbreaks of herpes simplex on the skin (mouth, lips, genitals, anus). Famciclovir is also used to treat outbreaks of shingles (herpes zoster). The viruses that cause these infections are similar. They live in the body quietly until an outbreak is triggered. Famciclovir is not a cure for the infections, but treating an outbreak can speed up healing of the sores, decrease pain, and lower the risk of complications from the virus (e.g., whole body infection, brain infection, persistent pain after sore healing).This medication may also be used to help prevent outbreaks of shingles in some patients with frequent outbreaks.

 
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OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Famciclovir

Uses
This drug is used in certain patients to treat or help prevent outbreaks of herpes simplex on the skin (mouth, lips, genitals, anus). Famciclovir is also used to treat outbreaks of shingles (herpes zoster). The viruses that cause these infections are similar. They live in the body quietly until an outbreak is triggered. Famciclovir is not a cure for the infections, but treating an outbreak can speed up healing of the sores, decrease pain, and lower the risk of complications from the virus (e.g., whole body infection, brain infection, persistent pain after sore healing).This medication may also be used to help prevent outbreaks of shingles in some patients with frequent outbreaks.
Notes
  • To reduce the risk of spreading herpes to others, stop all sexual activity during an outbreak until it is completely healed.
  • Always use effective barrier protections (e.g., latex or polyurethane condoms, dental dams) during all sexual activity.
  • Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.If you have a shingles outbreak, you should not be around pregnant women who have never had chickenpox (caused by the same virus that causes shingles).
  • If a pregnant woman is exposed to you while you have an outbreak, she should contact her doctor immediately.Do not share this medication with others.Keep all medical appointments.

Storage
  • Store tablets at room temperature at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
  • Brief storage between 59-86 degrees F (15-30 degrees C) is permitted.
  • Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.


How To Use
  • Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 2-3 times daily or as directed by your doctor.
  • It is very important to continue taking this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor.Dosage is based on your kidney function, medical condition, and response to therapy.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.Do not take more or less of this drug than prescribed or stop taking it even for a short time unless directed to do so by your doctor.
  • Skipping or changing your dose without approval from your doctor may decrease the effectiveness of the drug.Inform your doctor if your outbreak does not get better or worsens.

Side Effects
  • Headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, stomach pain, tiredness, and tingling of hands/feet may occur as your body adjusts to the medication.
  • If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects.
  • Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (agitation, slowed thinking, confusion, hallucinations), sleepiness, dizziness, tiredness.Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: new fever, chills, cough, breathing problems, loss of appetite, weight loss, new diarrhea, sore throat, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe tiredness, easy bruising/bleeding.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs.
  • Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before taking famciclovir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to penciclovir; or if you have any other allergies.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: cancer, HIV infection, problems with the immune system, kidney problems.This drug may rarely make you dizzy or drowsy; use caution engaging in activities requiring alertness such as driving or using machinery.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages.This medication may contain lactose.
  • If you have certain metabolic conditions (e.g., galactose intolerance, lactase deficiency) that requires you to restrict your intake of lactose, consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding the safe use of this medication.Kidney function declines as you grow older.
  • This medication is removed by the kidneys.
  • Therefore, caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to the effects of the drug, especially dizziness, confusion, and sleepiness.This medication should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy.
  • Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk.
  • This product may cause undesirable effects in a nursing infant.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is within 2 hours of your next dose.
  • In that case, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • Your healthcare professionals (e.g., doctor or pharmacist) may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for it.
  • Do not start, stop or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with them first.Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all prescription and nonprescription/herbal products you may use, especially of: probenecid.If you are currently using this medication listed above, tell your doctor or pharmacist before starting famciclovir.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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