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Valaciclovir (UK) or valacyclovir (US) is a generic antiviral drug used against most herpesviruses. It does not cure herpes, but helps reduce the viral expression, by interrupting the replication of viral DNA.[1]

Valaciclvir is the international nonproprietary name used by the World Health Organization (WHO). The non-generic or trade names are Valtrex and Zelitrex, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

It is available by prescription only, worldwide, and is administered orally.

Once in the body, valaciclovir is converted to aciclovir (UK) or acyclovir (US).

Treatment with Valacyclovir reduces the number of Epstein-Barr virus-infected B cells, but not the number of EBV DNA copies within each infected cell.[2]

Use in ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

Some ME/CFS specialists prescribe valaciclovir to help mitigate the effects of the Epstein-Barr virus which may be reactivated in ME/CFS. Dr. A Martin Lerner studied the efficacy of higher doses of Valtrex on ME/CFS and concluded that it increased physical functioning, improved heart functioning, and decreased Epstein-Barr virus antibody levels. [3]

Valtrex inhibits the replication of HH-1, HH-2, HH-3, HH-4 (Herpes simplex (HSV-1, HSV-2), Herpes Zoster (VZV), Epstein Barr (EBV)) and has seen improvements in 85% of ME/CFS patients. Among adolescents, the outcome was even better with 92% responding. Only one patient experienced nausea and discontinued the antiviral. Improvement occurred over the course of 3-5 months with 85% percent of the patients responding by 3 months, and 92% by 5 months. Symptoms of fatigue, exertion induced malaise, excessive sleep, napping, unrefreshing sleep, headaches, cognitive symptoms, and emotional symptoms all resolved.[4][5]

In Dr Lerner's IIMEC3 presentation his slides discuss using Famciclovir at similar dosages to Valtrex. He states in his slides that Famciclovir, "can be substituted and although there is not the strong evidence that we have for valacyclovir, it likely is equally effective." [3]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia - Valaciclovir
  2. Hoshino, Yo; Katano, Harutaka; Zou, Ping; Hohman, Patricia; Marques, Adriana; Tyring, Stephen K.; Follmann, Dean; Cohen, Jeffrey I. (November 2009), "Long-Term Administration of Valacyclovir Reduces the Number of Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-Infected B Cells but Not the Number of EBV DNA Copies per B Cell in Healthy Volunteers", Journal of Virology, 83 (22): 11857–11861, doi:10.1128/JVI.01005-09, ISSN 0022-538X, PMC 2772668, PMID 19740997, retrieved November 9, 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Dr. Martin Lerner's Treatment Protocol for ME/CFS" (PDF). CFS Treatment Guide. Archived from the original on 2019. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  4. Henderson, Theodore A. “Valacyclovir treatment of chronic fatigue in adolescents.” Advances in mind-body medicine vol. 28,1 (2014): 4-14.
  5. The Role of Antiviral Therapy in Chronic Fatigue Treatment, Theodore Henderson, MD, PhD, March 2015