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Drugs & Medications

famciclovir

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Famvir

GENERIC NAME(S): FAMCICLOVIR

Uses

Famciclovir is used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses. It treats shingles caused by herpes zoster. It also treats outbreaks of herpes simplex that cause cold sores around the mouth, sores around the anus, and genital herpes. In people with frequent outbreaks of genital herpes, famciclovir is used to help reduce the number of future episodes.

Famciclovir is an antiviral drug. However, it is not a cure for these infections. The viruses that cause these infections continue to live in the body even between outbreaks. Famciclovir decreases the severity and length of these outbreaks. It helps the sores heal faster, keeps new sores from forming, and decreases pain/itching. This medication may also help reduce how long pain remains after the sores heal. In addition, in people with a weakened immune system, famciclovir can decrease the risk of the virus spreading to other parts of the body and causing serious infections.

How to use famciclovir

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking famciclovir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually 2 to 3 times a day or as directed by your doctor.

This medication works best when started at the first sign of an outbreak, as directed by your doctor. It may not work as well if you delay treatment.

The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.

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.

Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished. Do not change your dose, skip any doses, or stop this medication early without your doctor's approval.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

Side Effects

Headache, nausea, and diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that 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 right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes (such as agitation, slowed thinking, confusion, hallucinations), dizziness, drowsiness, change in the amount of urine, yellowing eyes/skin, easy bruising/bleeding.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

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. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems.

This drug may rarely make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

This medication may contain lactose. If you have certain conditions such as galactose intolerance, severe lactase deficiency (not lactose or milk intolerance), or glucose-galactose malabsorption that require you to restrict your intake of lactose, consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medication.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Do not have certain immunizations/vaccinations (such as vaccines against the varicella virus) without the consent of your doctor.

Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, and change in the amount of urine.

Famciclovir does not protect against the spread of genital herpes. To lower the chance of giving herpes to your partner, do not have sexual contact during an outbreak or if you have symptoms. You can spread genital herpes even if you do not have symptoms. Therefore, always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. It may have undesirable effects on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Notes

Do not share this medication with others.

This medication has been prescribed for your current condition only. Do not use it later for another infection unless your doctor directs you to do so. A different medication may be necessary in that case.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

Information last revised November 2013. Copyright(c) 2013 First Databank, Inc.

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Identification

color
No data.
shape
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This medicine is a white, round, film-coated tablet imprinted with "FAMVIR" and "125".
FAMCICLOVIR 125 MG TABLET
FAMCICLOVIR 125 MG TABLET

Identification

color
white
shape
round
imprint
54 127
This medicine is a white, round, film-coated tablet imprinted with "54 127".
FAMVIR 250 MG TABLET
FAMVIR 250 MG TABLET

Identification

color
No data.
shape
No data.
imprint
No data.
This medicine is a white, round, film-coated tablet imprinted with "FAMVIR" and "250".
FAMCICLOVIR 250 MG TABLET
FAMCICLOVIR 250 MG TABLET

Identification

color
white
shape
round
imprint
54 315
This medicine is a white, round, film-coated tablet imprinted with "54 315".
FAMVIR 500 MG TABLET
FAMVIR 500 MG TABLET

Identification

color
No data.
shape
No data.
imprint
No data.
This medicine is a white, oval, film-coated tablet imprinted with "FAMVIR" and "500".
FAMCICLOVIR 500 MG TABLET
FAMCICLOVIR 500 MG TABLET

Identification

color
white
shape
oval
imprint
54 225
This medicine is a white, oval, film-coated tablet imprinted with "54 225".

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Selected from data included with permission and copyrighted by First Databank, Inc. This copyrighted material has been downloaded from a licensed data provider and is not for distribution, expect as may be authorized by the applicable terms of use.

CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment 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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