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All about: Famciclovir

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Generic Name: Famciclovir (fam-SYE-kloe-vir)
Brand Name: Famvir

Famciclovir is used for:

Treating herpes zoster infection (shingles). It is also used to treat recurring herpes skin infections in patients who also have HIV infection. Famciclovir is used in patients who have a weakened immune system to treat recurring cold sores and to treat or suppress recurring genital herpes. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Famciclovir is an antiviral. It works by blocking reproduction of the virus.

Do NOT use Famciclovir if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Famciclovir or to penciclovir
  • you have galactose intolerance, severe lactase deficiency, or glucose-galactose absorption problems

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Famciclovir :

Some medical conditions may interact with Famciclovir . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have kidney problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Famciclovir . However, no specific interactions with Famciclovir are known at this time.

Ask your health care provider if Famciclovir may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Famciclovir :

Use Famciclovir as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take Famciclovir by mouth with or without food. If stomach upset occurs, take with food to reduce stomach irritation.
  • If you are treating genital herpes or cold sores, start using Famciclovir at the first sign of an outbreak or cold sore as directed by your doctor.
  • If you are treating shingles, cold sores, genital herpes, or herpes skin infection, take Famciclovir for the full course of treatment. Keep taking it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • If you are using Famciclovir to suppress genital herpes, continue to take Famciclovir even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of Famciclovir , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use this medicine.

Important safety information:

  • Famciclovir may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or blurred vision. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Famciclovir with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Genital herpes patients - Famciclovir is not a cure for genital herpes. It will not prevent the infection from spreading the virus to others. To decrease the chance of infecting your partner, do not have sexual intercourse when sores are present. It may also be possible to spread the virus even if you do not currently have signs or symptoms of herpes. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Use Famciclovir with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially delirium, disorientation, and confusion.
  • Famciclovir should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 18 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Famciclovir while you are pregnant. It is not known if Famciclovir is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use Famciclovir , check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Famciclovir :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; gas; headache; tiredness; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); change in the amount of urine produced; confusion; delirium; disorientation; hallucinations; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Famciclovir :

Store Famciclovir at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Famciclovir out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Famciclovir is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Famciclovir . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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