Valacyclovir: Package Insert and Label Information

VALACYCLOVIR- valacyclovir hydrochloride tablet
Direct Rx

INDICATIONS AND USAGE SECTION

1.1 Adult Patients

Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis): Valacyclovir Tablets, USP are indicated for treatment of cold sores (herpes labialis). The efficacy of valacyclovir hydrochloride initiated after the development of clinical signs of a cold sore (e.g., papule, vesicle, or ulcer) has not been established.

Genital Herpes: Initial Episode: Valacyclovir Tablets, USP are indicated for treatment of the initial episode of genital herpes in immunocompetent adults. The efficacy of treatment with valacyclovir hydrochloride when initiated more than 72 hours after the onset of signs and symptoms has not been established.

Recurrent Episodes: Valacyclovir Tablets, USP are indicated for treatment of recurrent episodes of genital herpes in immunocompetent adults. The efficacy of treatment with valacyclovir hydrochloride when initiated more than 24 hours after the onset of signs and symptoms has not been established.

Suppressive Therapy: Valacyclovir Tablets, USP are indicated for chronic suppressive therapy of recurrent episodes of genital herpes in immunocompetent and in HIV‑infected adults. The efficacy and safety of valacyclovir hydrochloride for the suppression of genital herpes beyond 1 year in immunocompetent patients and beyond 6 months in HIV‑infected patients have not been established.

Reduction of Transmission: Valacyclovir Tablets, USP are indicated for the reduction of transmission of genital herpes in immunocompetent adults. The efficacy of valacyclovir hydrochloride for the reduction of transmission of genital herpes beyond 8 months in discordant couples has not been established. The efficacy of valacyclovir hydrochloride for the reduction of transmission of genital herpes in individuals with multiple partners and non‑heterosexual couples has not been established. Safer sex practices should be used with suppressive therapy (see current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines).

Herpes Zoster:Valacyclovir Tablets, USP are indicated for the treatment of herpes zoster (shingles) in immunocompetent adults. The efficacy of valacyclovir hydrochloride when initiated more than 72 hours after the onset of rash and the efficacy and safety of valacyclovir hydrochloride for treatment of disseminated herpes zoster have not been established.

1.2 Pediatric Patients

Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis): Valacyclovir Tablets, USP are indicated for the treatment of cold sores (herpes labialis) in pediatric patients ≥12 years of age. The efficacy of valacyclovir hydrochloride initiated after the development of clinical signs of a cold sore (e.g., papule, vesicle, or ulcer) has not been established.

Chickenpox:Valacyclovir Tablets, USP are indicated for the treatment of chickenpox in immunocompetent pediatric patients 2 to <18 years of age. Based on efficacy data from clinical studies with oral acyclovir, treatment with valacyclovir tablets, USP should be initiated within 24 hours after the onset of rash [see Clinical Studies (14.4)].

1.3 Limitations of Use

The efficacy and safety of valacyclovir tablets, USP have not been established in:

Immunocompromised patients other than for the suppression of genital herpes in HIV‑infected patients with a CD4+ cell count ≥100 cells/mm3.

Patients <12 years of age with cold sores (herpes labialis).

Patients <2 years of age or ≥18 years of age with chickenpox.

Patients <18 years of age with genital herpes.

Patients <18 years of age with herpes zoster.

Neonates and infants as suppressive therapy following neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection.

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION USAGE

DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION

Valacyclovir tablets, USP may be given without regard to meals.

Valacyclovir oral suspension (25 mg/mLor 50 mg/mL) may be prepared extemporaneously from valacyclovir tablets, USP 500 mg for use in pediatric patients for whoma solid dosage form is not appropriate [see Dosage and Administration (2.3)].

2.1 Adult Dosing Recommendations

Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis): The recommended dosage of valacyclovir hydrochloride for treatment of cold sores is 2 grams twice daily for 1 day taken 12 hours apart. Therapy should be initiated at the earliest symptom of a cold sore (e.g., tingling, itching, or burning).

Genital Herpes: Initial Episode: The recommended dosage of valacyclovir hydrochloride for treatment of initial genital herpes is 1 gram twice daily for 10 days. Therapy was most effective when administered within 48 hours of the onset of signs and symptoms.

Recurrent Episodes: The recommended dosage of valacyclovir hydrochloride for treatment of recurrent genital herpes is 500 mg twice daily for 3 days. Initiate treatment at the first sign or symptom of an episode.

Suppressive Therapy: The recommended dosage of valacyclovir hydrochloride for chronic suppressive therapy of recurrent genital herpes is 1 gram once daily in patients with normal immune function. In patients with a history of 9 or fewer recurrences per year, an alternative dose is 500 mg once daily.In HIV‑infected patients with a CD4+ cell count >100 cells/mm3, the recommended dosage of valacyclovir hydrochloride for chronic suppressive therapy of recurrent genital herpes is 500 mg twice daily.

Reduction of Transmission: The recommended dosage of valacyclovir hydrochloride for reduction of transmission of genital herpes in patients with a history of 9 or fewer recurrences per year is 500 mg once daily for the source partner.

Herpes Zoster: The recommended dosage of valacyclovir hydrochloride for treatment of herpes zoster is 1 gram 3 times daily for 7 days. Therapy should be initiated at the earliest sign or symptom of herpes zoster and is most effective when started within 48 hours of the onset of rash.

2.2 Pediatric Dosing Recommendations

Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis): The recommended dosage of valacyclovir hydrochloride for the treatment of cold sores in pediatric patients ≥12 years of age is 2 grams twice daily for 1 day taken 12 hours apart. Therapy should be initiated at the earliest symptom of a cold sore (e.g., tingling, itching, or burning).

Chickenpox:The recommended dosage of valacyclovir hydrochloride for treatment of chickenpox in immunocompetent pediatric patients 2 to <18 years of age is 20 mg/kg administered 3 times daily for 5 days. The total dose should not exceed 1 gram 3 times daily. Therapy should be initiated at the earliest sign or symptom[see Use in Specific Populations(8.4),Clinical Pharmacology (12.3), Clinical Studies (14.4)].

2.3 Extemporaneous Preparation of Oral Suspension

Ingredients and Preparation per USP-NF: valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg, cherry flavor, and Suspension Structured Vehicle USP-NF (SSV). Valacyclovir oral suspension (25 mg/mL or 50 mg/mL) should be prepared in lots of 100 mL.

Prepare Suspension at Time of Dispensing as Follows:

Prepare SSV accordingto the USP-NF.

Using a pestle and mortar, grind the required number of valacyclovir tablets, USP 500 mg until a fine powder is produced (5 valacyclovir tablets, USP for 25 mg/mL suspension; 10 valacyclovir tablets, USP for 50 mg/mL suspension).

Gradually add approximately 5 mL aliquots of SSV to the mortar and triturate the powder until a paste has been produced. Ensure that the powder has been adequately wetted.

Continue to add approximately 5 mL aliquots of SSV to the mortar, mixing thoroughly between additions, until a concentrated suspension is produced, to a minimum total quantity of 20 mL SSV and a maximum total quantity of 40 mL SSV for both the 25 mg/mL and 50mg/mL suspensions.

Transfer the mixture to a suitable 100 mL measuring flask.

Transfer the cherry flavor* to the mortar and dissolve in approximately 5 mL of SSV. Once dissolved, add to the measuring flask.

Rinse the mortar at least 3 times with approximately 5 mL aliquots of SSV, transferring the rinsing to the measuring flask between additions.

Make the suspension to volume (100 mL) with SSV and shake thoroughly to mix.

Transfer the suspension to an amber glass medicine bottle with a child-resistant closure.

The prepared suspension should be labeled with the following information “Shake well before using. Store suspension between 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) in a refrigerator. Discard after 28 days.”

*The amount of cherry flavor added is as instructed by the suppliers of the cherry flavor.

2.4 Patients With Renal Impairment

Dosage recommendations for adult patients with reduced renal function are provided in Table 1 [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5, 8.6), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. Data are not available for the use of valacyclovir hydrochloride in pediatric patients with a creatinine clearance <50 mL/min/1.73 m2.

Table 1.Valacyclovir Hydrochloride Dosage Recommendations for Adults With Renal Impairment

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Hemodialysis: Patients requiring hemodialysis should receive the recommended dose of valacyclovir hydrochloride after hemodialysis. During hemodialysis, the half‑life of acyclovir after administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride is approximately 4 hours. About one third of acyclovir in the body is removed by dialysis during a 4‑hour hemodialysis session.

Peritoneal Dialysis: There is no information specific to administration of valacyclovir hydrochloride in patients receiving peritoneal dialysis. The effect of chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) and continuous arteriovenous hemofiltration/dialysis (CAVHD) on acyclovir pharmacokinetics has been studied. The removal of acyclovir after CAPD and CAVHD is less pronounced than with hemodialysis, and the pharmacokinetic parameters closely resemble those observed in patients with end‑stage renal disease (ESRD) not receiving hemodialysis. Therefore, supplemental doses of valacyclovir hydrochloride should not be required following CAPD or CAVHD.

DOSAGE FORMS AND STRENGTHS

Valacyclovir Tablets,USP:
500 mg: blue colored, capsule shaped, film coated tablets debossed with “C324 500” on one side and plain on the other side.
1 gram: blue colored, capsule shaped, film coated tablets with partial score bar on both sides and debossed with “C325 1000” on one side and plain on the other side.

CONTRAINDICATIONS SECTION

Valacyclovir hydrochloride is contraindicated in patients who have had a demonstrated clinically significant hypersensitivity reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) to valacyclovir, acyclovir, or any component of the formulation [see Adverse Reactions (6.3)].

WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS SECTION

5.1 Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura/Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (TTP/HUS)

TTP/HUS, in some cases resulting in death, has occurred in patients with advanced HIV disease and also in allogeneic bone marrow transplant and renal transplant recipients participating in clinical trials of valacyclovir hydrochloride at doses of 8 grams per day. Treatment with valacyclovir hydrochloride should be stopped immediately if clinical signs, symptoms, and laboratory abnormalities consistent with TTP/HUS occur.

5.2 Acute Renal Failure

Cases of acute renal failure have been reported in:
Elderly patients with or without reduced renal function. Caution should be exercised when administering valacyclovir hydrochloride to geriatric patients, and dosage reduction is recommended for those with impaired renal function [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.5)].
Patients with underlying renal disease who received higher than recommended doses of valacyclovir hydrochloride for their level of renal function. Dosage reduction is recommended when administering valacyclovir hydrochloride to patients with renal impairment [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Use in Specific Populations (8.6)].
Patients receiving other nephrotoxic drugs. Caution should be exercised when administering valacyclovir hydrochloride to patients receiving potentially nephrotoxic drugs.
Patients without adequate hydration. Precipitation of acyclovir in renal tubules may occur when the solubility (2.5 mg/mL) is exceeded in the intratubular fluid. Adequate hydration should be maintained for all patients.

In the event of acute renal failure and anuria, the patient may benefit from hemodialysis until renal function is restored [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Adverse Reactions (6.3)].

5.3 Central Nervous System Effects

Central nervous system adverse reactions, including agitation, hallucinations, confusion, delirium, seizures, and encephalopathy, have been reported in both adult and pediatric patients with or without reduced renal function and in patients with underlying renal disease who received higher than recommended doses of valacyclovir hydrochloride for their level of renal function. Elderly patients are more likely to have central nervous system adverse reactions. Valacyclovir hydrochloride should be discontinued if central nervous system adverse reactions occur [see Adverse Reactions (6.3), Use in Specific Populations (8.5, 8.6)].

ADVERSE REACTIONS SECTION

The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the labeling:
Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura/Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].
Acute Renal Failure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)]. Central Nervous System Effects [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

The most common adverse reactions reported in at least 1 indication by >10% of adult patients treated with valacyclovir hydrochloride and observed more frequently with valacyclovir hydrochloride compared to placebo are headache, nausea, and abdominal pain. The only adverse reaction reported in >10% of pediatric patients <18 years of age was headache.

6.1 Clinical Trials Experience in Adult Patients

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared with rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis): In clinical studies for the treatment of cold sores, the adverse reactions reported by patients receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 2 grams twice daily (n = 609) or placebo (n = 609) for 1 day, respectively, included headache (14%, 10%) and dizziness (2%, 1%). The frequencies of abnormal ALT (>2 x ULN) were 1.8% for patients receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride compared with 0.8% for placebo. Other laboratory abnormalities (hemoglobin, white blood cells, alkaline phosphatase, and serum creatinine) occurred with similar frequencies in the 2 groups.

Genital Herpes: Initial Episode: In a clinical study for the treatment of initial episodes of genital herpes, the adverse reactions reported by ≥5% of patients receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram twice daily for 10 days (n = 318) or oral acyclovir 200 mg 5 times daily for 10 days (n = 318), respectively, included headache (13%, 10%) and nausea (6%, 6%). For the incidence of laboratory abnormalities see Table 2.

Recurrent Episodes: In 3 clinical studies for the episodic treatment of recurrent genital herpes, the adverse reactions reported by ≥5% of patients receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg twice daily for 3 days (n = 402), valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg twice daily for 5 days (n = 1,136) or placebo (n = 259), respectively, included headache (16%, 11%, 14%) and nausea (5%, 4%, 5%). For the incidence of laboratory abnormalities see Table 2.

Suppressive Therapy: Suppression of Recurrent Genital Herpes in Immunocompetent Adults: In a clinical study for the suppression of recurrent genital herpes infections, the adverse reactions reported by patients receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram once daily (n = 269), valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg once daily (n = 266), or placebo (n = 134), respectively, included headache (35%, 38%, 34%), nausea (11%, 11%, 8%), abdominal pain (11%, 9%, 6%), dysmenorrhea (8%, 5%, 4%), depression (7%, 5%, 5%), arthralgia (6%, 5%, 4%), vomiting (3%, 3%, 2%), and dizziness (4%, 2%, 1%). For the incidence of laboratory abnormalities see Table 2.

Suppression of Recurrent Genital Herpes in HIV-Infected Patients: In HIV-infected patients, frequently reported adverse reactions for valacyclovir hydrochloride (500 mg twice daily; n = 194, median days on therapy = 172) and placebo (n = 99, median days on therapy = 59), respectively, included headache (13%, 8%), fatigue (8%, 5%), and rash (8%, 1%). Post-randomization laboratory abnormalities that were reported more frequently in valacyclovir hydrochloride subjects versus placebo included elevated alkaline phosphatase (4%, 2%), elevated ALT (14%, 10%), elevated AST (16%, 11%), decreased neutrophil counts (18%, 10%), and decreased platelet counts (3%, 0%), respectively.

Reduction of Transmission: In a clinical study for the reduction of transmission of genital herpes, the adverse reactions reported by patients receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg once daily (n = 743) or placebo once daily (n = 741), respectively, included headache (29%, 26%), nasopharyngitis (16%, 15%), and upper respiratory tract infection (9%, 10%).

Herpes Zoster: In 2 clinical studies for the treatment of herpes zoster, the adverse reactions reported by patients receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram 3 times daily for 7 to 14 days (n = 967) or placebo (n = 195), respectively, included nausea (15%, 8%), headache (14%, 12%), vomiting (6%, 3%), dizziness (3%, 2%), and abdominal pain (3%, 2%). For the incidence of laboratory abnormalities see Table 2.

Table 2. Incidence (%) of Laboratory Abnormalities in Herpes Zoster and Genital Herpes Study Populations

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*Data were not collected prospectively.
LLN = Lower limit of normal. ULN = Upper limit of normal.

6.2 Clinical Trials Experience in Pediatric Patients

The safety profile of valacyclovir hydrochloride has been studied in 177 pediatric patients 1 month to <18 years of age. Sixty-five of these pediatric patients, 12 to <18 years of age, received oral caplets for 1 to 2 days for treatment of cold sores. The remaining 112 pediatric patients, 1 month to <12 years of age, participated in 3 pharmacokinetic and safety studies and received valacyclovir oral suspension. Fifty-one of these 112 pediatric patients received oral suspension for 3 to 6 days. The frequency, intensity, and nature of clinical adverse reactions and laboratory abnormalities were similar to those seen in adults.

Pediatric Patients 12 to <18 Years of Age (Cold Sores): In clinical studies for the treatment of cold sores, the adverse reactions reported by adolescent patients receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 2 grams twice daily for 1 day, or valacyclovir hydrochloride 2 grams twice daily for 1 day followed by 1 gram twice daily for 1 day (n = 65, across both dosing groups), or placebo (n = 30), respectively, included headache (17%, 3%) and nausea (8%, 0%).

Pediatric Patients 1 Month to <12 Years of Age: Adverse events reported in more than 1 subject across the 3 pharmacokinetic and safety studies in children 1 month to <12 years of age were diarrhea (5%), pyrexia (4%), dehydration (2%), herpes simplex (2%), and rhinorrhea (2%). No clinically meaningful changes in laboratory values were observed.

6.3 Postmarketing Experience

In addition to adverse events reported from clinical trials, the following events have been identified during postmarketing use of valacyclovir hydrochloride. Because they are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. These events have been chosen for inclusion due to a combination of their seriousness, frequency of reporting, or potential causal connection to valacyclovir hydrochloride.

General: Facial edema, hypertension, tachycardia.

Allergic: Acute hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, angioedema, dyspnea, pruritus, rash, and urticaria [see Contraindications (4)]

CNS Symptoms: Aggressive behavior; agitation; ataxia; coma; confusion; decreased consciousness; dysarthria; encephalopathy; mania; and psychosis, including auditory and visual hallucinations, seizures, tremors [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), (8.6)].

Eye: Visual abnormalities.

Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea.

Hepatobiliary Tract and Pancreas: Liver enzyme abnormalities, hepatitis.

Renal: Renal failure, renal pain (may be associated with renal failure) [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2), Use in Specific Populations (8.5), (8.6)].

Hematologic:Thrombocytopenia, aplastic anemia, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, TTP/HUS [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

Skin: Erythema multiforme, rashes including photosensitivity, alopecia.

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