Valtrex and Depression

by on July 2, 2012

Valtrex (Valacyclovir) is a prescription medication used to treat several viral infections due to herpes virus. Like any other medications, Valtrex can potentially cause several side effects. One of the more common side effects is depression.

What Studies Say?

Before drugs are approved, they are carefully evaluated for possible side effects through several clinical studies. The participants are given these medications and then are compared to a group of people who have not taken the medicine.

The results are documented to see what side effects are apparent, how often they occur, and how they compare to those who did not take the medication. Reported side effects are then classified either as “common side effects” (those that occurred in more than 1 percent of participants) or “rare side effects” (those that occurred in less than 1 percent of participants).

According to these clinical studies, depression was reported by up to 7 percent of participants taking the drug for suppression of recurrent genital herpes. This side effect was also reported by about 1 percent of people taking Valtrex for treatment of genital herpes.

However, it is not clear how Valtrex can or whether it can actually cause depression. This condition is very common in society today. In fact, it is said that about 9.5 percent of adult American population suffers from depression.

Symptoms of Depression

People taking Valtrex, especially for prolonged period of time, should be monitored for any signs of depression. Some of the possible symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleep changes
  • Anger or irritability
  • Loss of energy
  • Self-loathing
  • Reckless behavior
  • Problems concentrating or thinking
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Unexplained aches and pains

Take note, however, that some medical conditions may exhibit similar symptoms.

If you or someone you know is taking Valtrex and exhibits a combination of these symptoms, be sure to report consult your healthcare provider. To counter depression, your healthcare provider may recommend activities that will help uplift your mood such as participating in regular exercise or engaging in some hobbies that are of interest to you.

Be sure to inform your healthcare provider if you have a history of clinical depression before taking Valtrex. Your healthcare provider can give you appropriate recommendations about the use of this medication.