Valacyclovir and Alcohol

What Is Valtrex (valacyclovir)? Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Valtrex? Valacyclovir and Alcohol Interaction. Side Effects of Valtrex and Alcohol. hat Are the Risks of Drinking on Valtrex?

What Is Valtrex (Valacyclovir)?

Valacyclovir (Valtrex) is used to treat infections caused by certain viruses. In adults, it treats shingles (caused by herpes zoster) and cold sores around the mouth. Valacyclovir is also used to treat outbreaks of genital herpes. This medication is used in people with frequent outbreaks to reduce the number of future episodes. Valacyclovir is an antiviral drug. It stops the growth of certain viruses. Interestingly, it is impossible to tell what effect valacyclovir and alcohol will have on an individual due to their unique genetic makeup and tolerance.

How Does Valacyclovir Works? The drug works by slowing down the growth of herpes, making it easier for the body to control the infection. Valacyclovir itself is a prodrug (meaning it converts into another substance in the body), that converts into acyclovir after it passes through the liver.

Valacyclovir works through a complex chemical process that interferes with the mechanism the herpes virus uses to reproduce, preventing it from multiplying and reducing the rate at which the infection spreads. In short, valacyclovir stops the herpes virus from spreading to healthy cells, reducing the effects of the virus.

valacyclovir and alcohol
Alcohol and valacyclovir affects dopamine levels in the brain, causing the body both mental and physical distress. 

Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Valtrex?

Is it safe to mix Valacyclovir and alcohol? Unfortunately, no. Your body’s reaction to the medication varies greatly depending on a few things—valacyclovir dosage, your body’s immune system, the stage and severity of your outbreak, and what kind of herpes outbreak you’re experiencing, to name a few—but as a general rule, it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol while you’re taking valacyclovir, especially if you’re using it to treat symptoms and speed up the healing process during herpes or shingles outbreak.

Suppose you take valacyclovir as part of a daily suppressive herpes therapy treatment. In that case, it’s best to talk to your doctor about the safety of consuming alcohol during therapy before drinking wine, beer, or other alcoholic beverages if you want to know more about valacyclovir dosage and what you can expect while on the medication, check out our Valacyclovir Dosage guide.

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Valacyclovir and Alcohol Interaction

Alcohol tends to make the side effects of most medications worse. This tendency is true with valacyclovir, as well. There is some indication that drinking alcohol might affect those individuals on valacyclovir. There are side effects with this drug, and alcohol can enhance them. It is possible that drinking alcohol while taking valacyclovir might worsen side effects like depression, irritability, and fatigue. Some also experience reduced mental alertness and flu-like symptoms with this drug.

Unfortunately, valacyclovir side effects can be difficult to manage independently and are only exacerbated by extensive alcohol consumption. Valacyclovir’s side effects include vomiting, nausea, dizziness, headaches, diarrhea, and stomach pain, which can worsen if intoxicated. Of these side effects, dizziness and drowsiness are of particular concern. Doctors recommend not consuming alcohol while taking valacyclovir, as the combination of valacyclovir and alcohol can potentially lead to an excessive, dangerous level of dizziness or drowsiness.

valacyclovir and alcohol
Valtrex is used to treat viral infections, including herpes zoster (shingles), herpes simplex (cold sores or genital herpes), chickenpox and cytomegalovirus. It is also used to treat Bell palsy.

Side effects of Valtrex and Alcohol

Side effects of mixing alcohol and valacyclovir can include

  • Dizziness
  • Sluggishness
  • Drowsiness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Palpitations
  • Respiratory Depression
  • Cardiac Arrest
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Death

Interestingly, it is impossible to tell what effect valacyclovir and alcohol will have on an individual due to their unique genetic makeup and tolerance. It is never advisable to mix valacyclovir and alcohol due to the chances of mild, moderate, and severe side effects. If you are having an adverse reaction from mixing valacyclovir and Alcohol, you must head to your local emergency room.

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valacyclovir and alcohol
 Additionally, people under the influence of valacyclovir and alcohol may have difficulty forming new memories.

What Are The Risks of Drinking on Valtrex?

The use of significantly more valacyclovir with alcohol will lead to sedation and lethargy, as well as the synergistic effects resulting from a mixture of the two medications.

People who take both alcohol and valacyclovir may experience effects such as:

  • reduced motor reflexes from alcohol and valacyclovir
  • dizziness from alcohol and valacyclovir
  • nausea and vomiting of the valacyclovir

Some people may also experience more euphoria, depression, irritability or all three. A combination of alcohol and valacyclovir leads to significantly more lethargy which can easily tip over into a coma, respiratory depression, seizures and death. Be cautious about continuing on with your daily life as a functioning alcoholic, as it can disguise some of the more serious health impacts.

Taking Valtrex for Shingles

Does alcohol decrease your immune system? If you’re taking Valtrex to treat shingles, you may want to consider avoiding alcohol altogether. This is because alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system. Valtrex helps your immune system fight shingles, so you are making the drug’s job harder by drinking.

Taking Valtrex After Alcohol

Because there are no drug interactions between Valtrex and alcohol, taking your Valtrex dose after drinking is generally safe. Even if you have been drinking, taking your Valtrex dose on time is essential unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Delaying your Valtrex dose may cause your infection to worsen, which can make it harder to clear up. 

Drinking After Taking Valtrex

Due to possible additive side effects and a negative impact on your immune system, it is best to wait until your infection clears up before drinking. That said, there are no interactions between alcohol and Valtrex, so drinking after taking a dose of the medication is generally safe. 

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valacyclovir and alcohol
If you have a problem with Valacyclovir & Alcohol, it is best to seek Valacyclovir & Alcohol treatment.

Can You Overdose on Alcohol & Valtrex?


You can overdose on both alcohol and Valtrex. However, drinking will not directly cause a Valtrex overdose or vice versa. It is possible, although rare, to take too much Valtrex. Overdoses of up to 20 grams have been linked to the development of temporary neurological issues, including mental status changes, seizures, and hallucinations.

Alcohol poisoning is unfortunately common with excessive alcohol intake. On average, six Americans die every day from alcohol toxicity. Addiction treatment can help you live a healthier, alcohol-free life if you’re struggling with your drinking habits. 

Overdose on valacyclovir and alcohol is alarmingly common and can often be fatal. In the case of an Overdose on valacyclovir or if you are worried after mixing valacyclovir and alcohol, call a first responder or proceed to the nearest Emergency Room immediately.

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Alcoholism Treatment

First and foremost, if you think a loved one is abusing Valacyclovir and alcohol, you should research the drug and its associated addiction to understand better what your loved one needs.  Next, you must plan an intervention to provide your loved ones with options to battle the effects of Valacyclovir and alcohol abuse in a safe and supportive environment. During this intervention, offer compassion and support instead of judgment. Lastly, show your support throughout the entire treatment process.

In addition, prolonged drug use can have severe physical and psychological effects on you, so it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Inpatient drug rehab offers intensive care that can help you promptly get through the early stages of alcohol withdrawal

Valacyclovir and Alcohol Detox Treatment

Valacyclovir and alcohol detox is the process of weaning someone off of a dependency to a substance. It allows members of rehab centers like We Level Up NJ to recover safely and comfortably. While an uncomfortable withdrawal from alcohol is unavoidable, it doesn’t have to be unbearable.

Medical detox is often considered the first stage of treatment. It will help you navigate the complicated Valacyclovir and alcohol withdrawal from alcohol and Valacyclovir but doesn’t address patterns of thought and behavior contributing to drug use. Various treatment approaches and settings can help provide the ongoing support necessary to maintain long-term sobriety after you complete the Valacyclovir and alcohol detox.

Cravings are very common during Valacyclovir and alcohol detox and can be challenging to overcome. This often leads to relapse. Constant medical care provided during inpatient treatment helps prevent relapse. Clinicians can give the necessary medication and medical expertise to lessen cravings and Valacyclovir and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Inpatient Alcohol and Valacyclovir Rehab

There isn’t one treatment approach or style that will suit everyone. Treatment should speak to the needs of the individual. Inpatient rehab and addiction treatment aren’t just about drug use. the goal is to help the patient stop using alcohol and other substances, but alcohol rehab should also focus on the whole person’s needs.

Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior. When someone or their family is considering different treatment facilities, they should account for the complexity of addiction and the needs of the individual. The objective of attending an inpatient rehab center for addiction treatment is to stop using the drug and re-learn how to live a productive life without it.

Following a full medical detox, most people benefit from inpatient rehab. Inpatient drug rehab can last anywhere from 28 days to several months. Patients stay overnight in the rehab facility and participate in intensive treatment programs and therapy. Once someone completes rehab, their addiction treatment team will create an aftercare plan, which may include continuing therapy and participation in a 12-step program like Narcotics Anonymous.


Many rehab programs will also have early morning classes or programs. Group sessions occur during inpatient rehab, as do individual therapy sessions. Family therapy may be part of inpatient rehab when it’s feasible. Alternative forms of therapy may be introduced during inpatient rehab, like a holistic therapy program, yoga for addiction recovery, or an addiction treatment massage therapy.

Several different modalities of psychotherapy have been used in the treatment of mental health disorders along with addiction, including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – is an effective treatment that involves changing both the patterns of negative thoughts and the behavioral routines which are affecting the daily life of the depressed person for various forms of depression.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy – is a comprehensive mental health and substance abuse treatment program whose ultimate goal is to aid patients in their efforts to build a life worth living. The main goal of DBT is to help a person develop what is referred to as a “clear mind.” 
  • Solution-focused therapy is an approach interested in solutions that can be quickly implemented with a simple first step leading to further positive consequences.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Drug abuse and mental health disorders often co-occur. In many cases, traumatic experiences can result in a mental health disorders and substance abuse. Dual diagnosis rehabilitation treats both of these issues together. The best approach for the treatment of dual diagnosis is an integrated system. This strategy treats both the substance abuse problem and the mental disorder simultaneously. Regardless of which diagnosis (mental health or substance abuse problem) came first, long-term recovery will depend mainly on the treatment for both diseases done by the same team or provider.

Medication Assisted Treatments (MAT)

Medication-Assisted Treatments (MAT) for substance use and mental health disorders are commonly used in conjunction with one another. This includes the use of medications and other medical procedures. During your rehab, the staff from your treatment facility will help you identify what caused your addiction and teach you skills that will help you change your behavior patterns and challenge the negative thoughts that led to your addiction. Sometimes, the pressures and problems in your life lead you to rely on substances to help you forget about them momentarily.

Please, do not try to detox on your own. The detox process can be painful and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up provide proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our opioid addiction treatment program medically. So, reclaim your life, and call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Alcohol Rehab Near Me

Alcohol and Valacyclovir addiction is a condition that can cause major health problems, such as an overdose. We Level Up NJ rehab treatment & detox center can provide you, or someone you love, the tools to recover from this with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition and give you clarity about issues like Valacyclovir and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.

valacyclovir and alcohol
If you find yourself addicted to combining and taking these two substances, it is important to get help. 
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