Common Name: famciclovir
How does Famvir work?Famciclovir belongs to the family of medications known as antivirals. It is used to treat genital herpes and shingles (a painful rash caused by some herpes viruses). It prevents the virus from making DNA (genetic material) and copying itself, and so leads to lower levels of virus in the blood. Your doctor may choose to use a medication for conditions other than the ones listed in these drug information articles. If you're unsure why you are taking this medication, contact your doctor.
How should I use Famvir?Shingles: The recommended adult dose of famciclovir is 500 mg three times daily for 7 days. Start treatment within 72 hours of the onset of the rash. Genital herpes: The recommended adult dose of famciclovir is 125 mg twice a day for 5 days. Start treatment during the prodromal period (the period during which early symptoms warn of a herpes flare-up) or as soon as you notice lesions. For prevention of recurrent episodes, the recommended dose is 250 mg twice a day for up to 1 year. The tablets should be swallowed whole and may be taken with or without food. Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor. It is very important that this medication be taken on a regular schedule as prescribed by the doctor. Take this medication for the full duration of the prescription even if you feel better. If you miss a dose of this medication, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and carry on with your regular schedule. Do not double-up on doses.
What form(s) does Famvir come in?Famvir® is available in strengths of 125 mg, 250 mg, and 500 mg. 125 mg: Each white, round, film-coated tablet, with a raised hexagonal area on both sides, marked "FAMVIR" on one side and "125" on the other, contains famciclovir 125 mg. 250 mg: Each white, round, film-coated tablet, with a raised hexagonal area on both sides, marked "FAMVIR" on one side and "250" on the other, contains famciclovir 250 mg. 500 mg: Each white, oval, film-coated tablet, marked "FAMVIR" on one side and "500" on the other, contains famciclovir 500 mg. Nonmedicinal ingredients: hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, lactose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycols, sodium starch glycolate, and titanium dioxide.
What should I NOT take with Famvir?Anyone allergic to famciclovir or to any of the ingredients of the medication should not use it.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for Famvir?Transmission: Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease with an increased risk of passing it on to a sexual partner during acute episodes. It is not known if famciclovir will prevent transmission of the infection to others. People using the medication for this reason are advised to avoid intercourse when lesions or symptoms are present (even if treatment with an antiviral has been started) in order to avoid infecting partners. Genital herpes can also be transmitted in the absence of symptoms. Pregnancy: The safety of famciclovir during pregnancy has not been established. It should not be used during pregnancy unless the potential benefits outweigh the risks. Breast-feeding: It is not known whether this medication passes into breast milk. A decision should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop taking the medication, taking into account the importance of famciclovir to the mother. Children: The safety and efficacy of this medication for children and adolescents under the age of 18 years has not been established.