Valacyclovir, delivered to your door

Generic Valtrex

Take control of outbreaks with FDA‑approved Valacyclovir, the generic form of the brand Valtrex®. Get $18 off your first order on a quarterly plan, if approved.

  • US-licensed healthcare providers

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  • Free, unlimited follow-ups

About genital herpes

It's more common than you think.

Genital herpes, caused by viruses HSV-1 or HSV-2, causes painful ulcers on and around the genitals in both men and women. Herpes is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI).


Only 20% of people with genital herpes know they have it.

Yes. FDA-approved medication is available to treat and suppress outbreaks as well as reduce the risk of transmission. A Ro-affiliated provider will answer your questions about treatment and create a personalized treatment plan for you.

Genital herpes

What to expect

Man relaxing in the grass with sunglasses looking fly.
Man relaxing in the grass with sunglasses looking fly.

Valacyclovir will get to work as soon as the medication is in your system, but the time it takes to see noticeable results varies from person to person.

Treatment updates: If you still don’t see results, your provider may be able to recommend a different treatment plan.

Help with side effects: If you experience side effects, message your provider and they’ll help determine if a different medication or dose is better for you.

How to get genital herpes treatment through Ro


Tell us about your health

Answer some questions about your medical history and symptoms in the online provider evaluation, which typically takes 20 minutes to complete. 

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A licensed healthcare provider will review your information and find the best treatment plan for you.

If prescribed, your medication will ship in discreet packaging.

Text: We're here for you from beginning to end. You may need to adjust your medication to get optimal results. That's why members always get free, unlimited follow-ups with their provider.

How valacyclovir helps

FAQs about treating cold sores (oral herpes)

Treatment of initial genital outbreak

To treat an initial episode of genital herpes, the FDA recommends taking valacyclovir 1 gram (1000 mg) twice a day for 10 days starting at the first sign or symptom of lesions, preferably within 48 hours of onset. The CDC recommends this same dose for 7 to 10 days; “treatment may be extended if healing is not complete after 10 days.” For HIV-infected patients, they recommend 1 gram (1000 mg) every 12 hours for 5 to 14 days.

Treatment of recurrent genital herpes, including HIV-infected patients

The FDA recommends using 500 mg of valacyclovir twice daily for 3 days starting at the first sign or symptom of lesions—preferably within 24 hours of onset. The CDC also recommends valacyclovir 500 mg twice daily for 3 days, but adds an alternative regimen of valacyclovir 1 g (1000 mg) one time a day for 5 days. Valacyclovir 1 g taken every 12 hours for 5 to 14 days is recommended by the HIV guidelines.

Treatment with suppressive therapy

People with fewer than 10 outbreaks per year should take valacyclovir 500 mg once daily. Valacyclovir 1,000 mg once daily is recommended for people with 10 or more outbreaks per year.

To prevent transmission to a partner

The infected partner should take valacyclovir 500 mg once a day to decrease the risk of transmission to the uninfected partner. The data are strong but refer to patients with 9 or fewer outbreaks each year.

Common side effects of valacyclovir include headache, nausea, and stomach pain. More serious side effects can occur and are more likely if you have a weakened immune system or are elderly.

For more comprehensive information on side effects that can occur with valacyclovir, see full Important safety information here.

Valacyclovir comes in two doses, 500 mg and 1000 mg tablets. Although there are only two doses, there are several ways to use the medicine for different indications. Remember that these doses may need to be changed for people with specific conditions, such as kidney problems. If you’re prescribed valacyclovir, take it according to your prescriber’s instructions.

For genital herpes:

To Treat Or Abort An Outbreak When There Are Early Symptoms (Prodrome) Some patients use valacyclovir to stop an outbreak. Whether oral or genital, people can take medication when their specific prodrome (pre-outbreak symptoms) tells them an outbreak is on the horizon. The medication often stops an outbreak; when it does not, it can shorten and make an outbreak milder than it might have been otherwise.

To Prevent Outbreaks When There Are No Symptoms But Outbreaks Are More Likely Patients also learn the life circumstances or behaviors that lead to more outbreaks. For some, a lack of sleep, increased alcohol intake, another illness, stress, too much sunlight, irritation, or anything that can affect one’s immunity can spur an outbreak. They know when they are more likely to have an outbreak due to their circumstances. They can avoid their triggers, but they also might want to take medication preventatively, knowing when they are more vulnerable.

To Suppress Outbreaks For An Extended Period You can take valacyclovir to reduce your chance of having an outbreak. The classic example would be during your honeymoon, going on vacation, starting a new job, or when you’re in a new relationship, or at any time you want to keep the chance of having an attack as low as possible.

To Prevent Transmission to An Uninfected Partner One of the most important advances in herpes treatment came with the knowledge that transmission from an infected person to their uninfected partner could be reduced. Valacyclovir not only reduces the number of outbreaks a person experiences, but it reduces asymptomatic viral shedding (or how many copies of the virus your body releases). That results in fewer uninfected partners catching herpes. If a condom is worn and the medication used, the chances are reduced by at least half compared to using a condom alone. Fewer outbreaks and fewer episodes of shedding mean fewer people transmitting the virus.

Acyclovir was the first antiviral drug for the treatment of herpes infections. Acyclovir was initially FDA-approved to treat herpes simplex infections in 1985 as the brand name drug Zovirax® and was found to be very effective for treating herpes infections. The main problem with acyclovir is that only 10%–20% of it is absorbed from the digestive tract. Higher doses aren’t as effectively absorbed as lower doses. This made it very difficult to maintain a high enough level of the drug in the blood to be effective, requiring patients to take up to five doses per day.

Valacyclovir is considered a prodrug of acyclovir, which means that it is converted into acyclovir in the body. Since valacyclovir is absorbed much better than acyclovir (54% for valacyclovir vs. 10%–20% for acyclovir), it can be administered less frequently while providing equal or better results compared to acyclovir. Valacyclovir is administered 1 to 3 times daily, depending on what it’s used for, whereas acyclovir is used 2 to 5 times daily, depending on the indication. Doctors and patients prefer Valacyclovir because it is easier to dose and may be more effective.


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