Famciclovir is an antiviral medication which is used to treat genital herpes, shingles, and shingles around the eyes. There is no current cure for genital herpes because you can’t get rid of the herpes virus, but you can treat the symptoms.
You can order genital herpes treatment from Zava through a short online assessment. Approved treatments all come with free delivery and can be sent to your door, or to a local post office for collection.
4 tablet(s) / 1000 mg - £79.95
8 tablet(s) / 1000 mg - £149.95
12 tablet(s) / 1000 mg - £199.95
How to order Famciclovir online
To place an order:
- Complete a medical questionnaire: answer a few simple questions about your health and place your order
- Doctor review: one of our UK-registered doctors with confirm if your order if right for you
- Fast, discreet delivery: if approved, your order can be sent to you, or to a local post office to collect
Who can or can’t use Famciclovir
You can’t use Famciclovir if:
- you’re under 18
- you take some other medications, in particular Raloxifene or Probenecid, or any other medications that can affect your kidneys
- you’re allergic to famciclovir or penciclovir
- you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
- you need to drive or and use heavy machines
Side effects of Famciclovir
Very common (may affect more than 1 in 10 people)
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people):
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- Stomach pain
- Abnormal liver function test results
Uncommon (may affect up to 1 to 100 people):
- Confusion (usually in older people)
- Drowsiness (usually in older people)
- Hives (skin rash with red, raised, itchy bumps)
Rare (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people):
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there)
Serious side effects, please visit a doctor or emergency department if any of the following occur:
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes, this could be a sign of jaundice
- Bruising, either unexplained on the skin or nosebleeds, this could be a sign of altered clotting factors in the blood
- Swelling, around the eyes, face or throat
- Severe blistering, of the skin around the lips, eyes, mouth, nose or genitals, this could be a sign of a serious allergic skin reaction
- Inflammation of the blood vessels which show as red or purple discolouration of the skin that do not fade
- Seizures or fits
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing. Rash, itching, hives, wheezing or coughing, lightheadedness, dizziness, changes in levels of consciousness
- Drop in blood pressure, with or without generalised itching, skin reddening, facial/throat swelling, blue discoloration of the lips, tongue or skin (signs of severe allergic reaction)
Full details of side effects can be found in the patient leaflet
Famciclovir is an antiviral medicine which is used to treat:
- Genital herpes caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSVI) or type 2 (HSVII).
- Shingles which is a viral infection caused by varicella zoster (the same virus that causes the chicken pox).
- Shingles in the area around the eye or ophthalmic zoster
There is no current cure for genital herpes as the herpes virus can never be removed completely. This doesn’t mean that you’ll always have symptoms, the virus can be hidden and inactive for long periods of time, and only causes outbreaks when it becomes active. Medications help by stopping the virus when it is causing an outbreak, and they can also be used to suppress the virus so that it becomes inactive.
Famciclovir is one of three drugs that can be used to treat genital herpes. The active ingredient, famciclovir, is a prescription only medication which stops the virus from spreading, so that the body can heal faster. Famciclovir, the active ingredient in the medication, stops the virus from multiplying or spreading. This makes it become inactive, which helps get rid of a herpes outbreak and more outbreaks in the future.
Famvir is the branded name of an antiviral medication with the active substance famciclovir. It can be referred to as “Famvir 250”, “Famvir 500” or “Famvir tablets” which are all produced under the brand name ‘Famvir UK’ by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd. Famciclovir is also available without a brand name, i.e. as a generic medicine.
In Famvir 250 mg film-coated tablets The active substance is famciclovir. The other ingredients are lactose, anhydrous, sodium starch glycolate (Type A), hydroxypropyl cellulose and magnesium stearate. The tablet coating is made of hypromellose, titanium dioxide (E171), Macrogol 4000 and Macrogol 6000.
You can test to see if you have genital herpes using our home test kit.
Famciclovir is effective in treating the symptoms that come with a herpes infection, when taken as your doctor recommends. Famciclovir stops the herpes virus growing and spreading, which allows your body's own immune system to fight off the outbreak, reducing your symptoms.
Reviews of Famciclovir on drugs.com show and average of 8.4/10 and a variety of user reviews, many of which are very positive.
Famciclovir has had all the necessary trials before being approved for treatment in the UK. Before any medication can be used to treat people in the UK they first undergo clinical trials. The medicines are sent to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for detailed assessment where they are given or refused a licence. The MHRA also has to comply with strict timeframes and performance targets for the licensing of medications.
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI), which can be passed on through vaginal, anal and oral sex. If you’ve had unprotected sex and/or you’ve got symptoms of genital herpes, then you could get treatment.
Symptoms of genital herpes include:
- Small blisters that burst to leave red, open sores around your genitals, anus, thighs or buttocks
- Tingling sensation, burning ,or itching around your genital area
- Pain when urinating
- In women, abnormal vaginal discharge
An infected person often transmits the virus when skin blisters and ulcers are visible, but the herpes virus can also be spread when there are no symptoms or skin sores at all. Therefore herpes virus can be transmitted by people who don’t know they’re infected.
Sometimes symptoms can clear up on their own but can come back, so it’s possible for blisters to take months or years to appear.
Famciclovir is helpful in treating those infected with the herpes virus, and is really important for making sure you don’t pass genital herpes to others. You should always protect against transmitting STIs by using contraception like condoms. We recommend you don't have sex if you have genital sores or blisters.
The exact dosage you need depends on the type of viral infection you have, if it’s your first infection, and the current state of your immune system.
For the best results it’s recommended you start your medication as soon as possible after the first signs and symptoms have appeared. If you have, or have had, kidney problems, your doctor may decide to give you a lower dose of famciclovir.
If you have a normal immune system, to treat repeat outbreaks, the recommended dose is two tablets of 500mg twice a day, just for one day.
If you have a reduced immune system, the doses can differ and you may need to take a longer course. You should discuss this with your doctor.
Instructions for using Famciclovir:
- Famciclovir is taken orally (by mouth): swallow it whole with water if needed
- You can take it with or without food
- If you are having trouble swallowing the tablet please get in touch with your doctor
If you take more famciclovir than prescribed: if you have taken more tablets than you have been instructed to take, or if somebody else accidentally takes your medicine, go to your doctor or hospital for help right away. Show them your pack of tablets. Taking too much famciclovir may affect the kidneys and in people who already have kidney problems it can lead to kidney failure, in rare cases.
If you forget to take famciclovir: if you forget to take famciclovir, you should take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose as scheduled. However, don’t take two doses with 1 hour of each other, even if this means skipping the missed dose. Do not take a double dose to make for missing a dose.
Can you drink on treatment? Alcohol has not been found to react with famciclovir. But, it's best to avoid alcohol during treatment.
Length of treatment varies depending on the course of treatment recommended by the doctor. The exact dosage and length of treatment you need is related to the type of viral infection you have, if it’s your first infection, and the current state of your immune system.
It’s important to take all your treatment even when your symptoms die down otherwise symptoms are likely to return. You should always follow your doctor’s advice in regards to the treatment duration. If you’re experiencing side effects, or would like to stop or change your treatment, please talk to your doctor before doing so.
The medication works by making your symptoms last for a shorter time. So you might still have some symptoms after you finish your course, but these should clear up in a shorter time. If your symptoms are getting worse or you’re getting new blisters or sores after the treatment you should speak to you doctor to see if you need any more treatment.
- Aciclovir is an antiviral medication, known under the brand name Zovirax. It’s used to treat genital herpes cold sores, chickenpox and shingles
- Famciclovir is an antiviral medication, known under the brand name Famvir. It contains the active substance famciclovir and it used to treat herpes, oral herpes and shingles
- Valaciclovir is an antiviral medication, known under the brand name Valtrex. It is used to treat genital herpes, cold sores, chickenpox and shingles
How they all compare: Aciclovir, Famciclovir and Valaciclovir are different types of antiviral medications. All are recommended as primary treatment options for genital herpes simplex infection.
How to choose between them: any of these treatments can be used to treat genital herpes. There’s no evidence any of them is more effective than the others, but some people may find that one works better for them.
One main difference is in how the treatments are taken. Famciclovir only needs to be taken for one day: you take two tablets at once, and then two tablets 12 hours later. Aciclovir is taken three times a day for three to five days, and Valaciclovir is taken twice a day for three to five days.
BMJ Best Practice (2019). Herpes simplex infection - symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. [online] Available at: https://bestpractice.bmj.com/topics/en-gb/53/treatment-algorithm [accessed 18th February 2019].
Clinical Knowledge Summaries. (2017). Herpes simplex - genital. NICE. [online] Available at: https://cks.nice.org.uk/herpes-simplex-genital#!scenario [accessed 19 February 2019].
Generics UK T/A Mylan (2018). Famciclovir 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg film-coated tablets. [online] Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.9448.pdf [accessed 15th February 2019].
MHRA (2008). Medicines & medical devices regulation “What you need to know”. [online] Available at: http://www.mhra.gov.uk/home/groups/comms-ic/documents/websiteresources/con2031677.pdf [accessed 17th February 2019].
NHS (2019). Genital herpes. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/genital-herpes/ [accessed 15th February 2019].