Valacyclovir (Valtrex) vs Famciclovir (Famvir)
Famciclovir has superior bioavailability (about 75%) compared to both acyclovir and valacyclovir.
Valacyclovir is comparable to famciclovir in speeding the resolution of zoster-associated pain and postherpetic neuralgia. Safety profiles for valacyclovir and famciclovir are similar, with headache and nausea the most common adverse events 7.
Recent Japanese study10 found that famciclovir provides significantly earlier reduction of acute pain in herpes zoster than valacyclovir.
Valacyclovir appears to be somewhat better than famciclovir for suppression of genital herpes and associated shedding. 6.
- 6. Wald A, Selke S, Warren T, Aoki FY, Sacks S, Diaz-Mitoma F, Corey L. Comparative efficacy of famciclovir and valacyclovir for suppression of recurrent genital herpes and viral shedding. Sex Transm Dis. 2006 Sep;33(9):529-33. PubMed
- 7. Tyring SK, Beutner KR, Tucker BA, Anderson WC, Crooks RJ. Antiviral therapy for herpes zoster: randomized, controlled clinical trial of valacyclovir and famciclovir therapy in immunocompetent patients 50 years and older. Arch Fam Med. 2000 Sep-Oct;9(9):863-9. PubMed
- 10. Ono F, Yasumoto S, Furumura M, Hamada T, et al. Comparison between famciclovir and valacyclovir for acute pain in adult Japanese immunocompetent patients with herpes zoster. J Dermatol. 2012 Nov;39(11) PubMed
Published: March 31, 2008
Last updated: February 25, 2017