Use famciclovir to treat and control viral infections like genital herpes.

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1 course

4 tablet(s) / 500 mg - £85.00

2 courses

8 tablet(s) / 500 mg - £155.00

3 courses

12 tablet(s) / 500 mg - £219.00

How does famciclovir work?

Famciclovir works by stopping the virus that causes genital herpes from multiplying. This allows your body’s immune system to fight off the virus, and allows the genital herpes outbreak to heal.

In the body, famciclovir first changes into a different form and becomes penciclovir. Penciclovir enters the body’s cells and becomes activated to block an important enzyme the virus needs to multiply. This reduces the amount of virus in the body, controlling the infection enough for the immune system to handle it.

Before taking famciclovir, tell your doctor if you have any problems with your kidneys or liver. You should also tell your doctor if you have any condition that may affect your immune system like pregnancy, cancer (and chemotherapy), or HIV.

Who cannot take famciclovir?

Famciclovir may not be suitable for everyone and is not recommended for:

  • children or teenage age groups
  • pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • people who are allergic to famciclovir, penciclovir or any of its ingredients

Famciclovir side effects and drug interactions

As with other medicines, you may have some side effects when taking famciclovir.

Some common side effects of famciclovir may include:

  • headaches
  • dizziness (avoid driving when taking famciclovir)
  • itching
  • feeling sick and vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • stomach pain
  • rash

Some uncommon or rare side effects of famciclovir include:

  • heart palpitations
  • hallucinations
  • confusion
  • Drowsiness

Before taking famciclovir, you should tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including over the counter medications and herbal medicines.

Some medicines that may interact with famciclovir are:

  • raloxifene (osteoporosis treatment)
  • probenecid (gout treatment)

The full list of known side effects and cautions you should be aware of when taking famciclovir are in the patient information leaflet supplied with your medicine. Speak to your doctor for advice if you experience any of these side effects.

Medically reviewed by:
Dr Kathryn Basford

Dr Kathryn Basford is a qualified GP who works as a GP in London, as well as with ZAVA. She graduated from the University of Manchester and completed her GP training through Whipps Cross Hospital in London.

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Article created: 16 Sep 2021

Last reviewed: 16 Sep 2021

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