Choosing Generic Vs Branded Famciclovir - Herpes

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Generic medicines contain the same active ingredient and are equally effective and medically equivalent as the branded products but are available at a lower price. Generic manufacturers have to demonstrate that they are medically identical to the branded product - i.e. they offer the same quality, strength, stability and effectiveness.


Famciclovir (Generic Famvir) - Genital Herpes Treatment

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$14.00
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Famciclovir 500mg

  • 4 (1 outbreak) - $14.00

Famciclovir

What is Famciclovir?

Famciclovir contains the active substance famciclovir and is an antiviral drug. Famciclovir is used to treat repeat outbreaks and to prevent further outbreaks of genital herpes (a herpes virus type 1 or 2 infection that causes from time to time sores around the genitals, anus and mouth) in adults.

Famciclovir is a pro-drug form of penciclovir with improved oral bioavailability. Famciclovir is marketed under the trade name Famvir and is not available as a brand-name drug. Famciclovir is not a cure for genital herpes and it does not prevent you from spreading the virus by sexual contact to other people.

To get the most benefit from treating the infection you should take the Famciclovir tablet as soon as the first symptoms appear, as the virus reproduces very early.

How to take Famciclovir

To treat an outbreak of genital herpes, take two tablets twice a day for one day. You can take the Famciclovir tablet with or without food.

What is the difference between Famvir and Famciclovir?

Famciclovir is the active ingredient in Famvir and is available in a generic, unbranded tablet. Famciclovir and Famvir are medically equivalent but Famciclovir is available at a much lower cost.

Generic medicines are required to meet the same standards of safety, quality and efficacy as the branded medication. Therefore, generic medicines contain the same active ingredient and are equally effective and medically equivalent as the branded products but are available at a lower price. Generic manufacturers have to demonstrate that they are medically identical to the branded product - i.e. they offer the same quality, strength, stability and effectiveness.

Herpes Information

What is Genital Herpes?

Genital herpes is a very common and highly contagious infection usually spread through sex. Most cases of genital herpes are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is more often the cause of cold sores but can also be a cause of genital herpes. There is no cure for herpes.

In America, genital herpes affects 1 out of 6 people ages 14-49. Though, most people with genital herpes have not been diagnosed, are not aware and do not experience any symptoms or very mild ones.

  • Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV).
  • Genital herpes is very similar to the herpes that appear on the hands and face ('cold sores'), but is found on or around the penis, anus or vagina.
  • There are two types of herpes virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both types can cause genital herpes. The first episode of infection (primary) with genital herpes is often quite severe. There are blisters and inflammation at the site of infection and the sufferer may feel generally unwell. It is common to have symptoms of burning when passing urine.
  • After the first episode of infection with HSV the virus enters into a dormant phase in the nerve, which supplies feeling to the area where infection occurred.
  • The dormant virus reactivates from time to time to cause recurrences.
  • Some people get symptoms warning them that a recurrence is about to occur, such as itching, tingling or pain in the genital area; blisters or sores may then develop. These tend to be less severe than the symptoms that occurred at the time of the first episode of infection.
  • From time to time the virus may reactivate without causing any symptoms of infection at all.

Who gets Genital Herpes?

Anyone who has sex can get genital herpes. You can get genital herpes from skin-to-skin contact with the infected area when performing or receiving vaginal, penis, anus and oral sex. The people most at risk are those having unprotected sexual intercourse (i.e. not using condoms), especially those with more than one sexual partner and those who change sexual partners.

How do you get infected with Genital Herpes?

  • Genital herpes is spread by direct contact with the infectious virus, by unprotected vaginal, penis or anus sex. Also, by oral sex, sharing of sex toys or genital contact with someone who gets cold sores.
  • Genital herpes and cold sores are both very infectious when an infected person has blisters or sores.
  • It is possible for an infected person to transmit the virus when they have no symptoms of infection. The risk of this happening is probably reduced by using condoms.

What Are the Symptoms of Genital Herpes?

The first symptoms of genital herpes infection can include spots or red bumps around the genital area that causes blisters, burning or itching around the genitals. The small blisters burst open to leave raw, painful sores which gradually crust over, forming new skin as they heal over, within a few weeks. The blisters and sores may also be accompanied by flu-like symptoms with fever and swollen lymph nodes.

Some people may not notice or have any symptoms, but the HSV infection can still be passed on. Then again, after first becoming infected you might notice symptoms after a few days to a couple of weeks or months to even years.

Any of the following symptoms of a genital HSV infection can occur in a man or a woman:

  • Cracked, raw, or red areas around your genitals without pain, itching, or tingling
  • Itching or tingling around your genitals or your anal region
  • Small blisters that break open and cause painful sores. These may be on or around your genitals (penis or vagina) anus, thighs, or bottom area. More rarely, blisters may occur inside the urethra -- the tube urine passes through on its way out of your body.
  • Pain from urine passing over the sores -- this is especially a problem in women.
  • Headaches
  • Backaches - aches and pains in the lower back and down the legs
  • Flu-like symptoms, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue

How Serious is Genital Herpes

  • Genital herpes can be a more serious condition for people with HIV, who need specialist care.
  • For most people, genital herpes is not a serious threat to their health. Aside from the discomfort, a herpes simplex virus infection is more of a psychological stressor.
  • The majority of people with genital herpes experience mild and infrequent symptoms. Some people may experience more frequent and severe recurrent episodes.
  • Pregnant women, although rare, can pass on the herpes infection to their baby.
  • The risk of transmission is greatest for babies born to a woman with first episode genital herpes around the time of delivery. Neonatal herpes is potentially life threatening, but this is very rare.
  • Women with recurrent herpes prior to pregnancy are at very low risk of transmitting the infection to their babies.

Side Effects

As with all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Famciclovir should only be taken after carefully weighing the potential positives and negatives in conjunction with a qualified healthcare professional. The most common adverse reactions reported by patients treated with Famciclovir were headache and nausea.

The following side effects have also been reported:

Common (may affect less than 1 in 10):

  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Stomach pains
  • Itching
  • Feeling tired

Alternatives

Alternatives

Self-care measures may be helpful for some people:
  • keep the area clean using plain or salt water to prevent blisters becoming infected
  • apply an ice pack wrapped in a flannel to soothe pain
  • apply petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) or painkilling cream (such as 5% lidocaine) to reduce
  • pain when you urinate
  • wash your hands before and after applying cream or jelly
  • urinate while pouring water over your genitals to ease the pain
  • increase fluid intake to produce dilute urine (which is less painful to void).
  • use adequate pain relief (e.g. acetaminophen, aspirin or other pain relievers)
  • avoid vaginal, anal or oral sex until the sores have gone away
  • avoid wearing tight clothing (which may irritate lesions)
  • avoid sharing towels and flannels with household members
  • avoid identified trigger factors (e.g. ultraviolet light, excess alcohol)

Information Leaflet

Patient Information Leaflet

Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.

Authored 02 April 2020 by Dr Clare Morrison, Reviewed 02 April 2020 by Liyya Patel, Siobhan Titre Last updated 02 April 2020