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Acyclovir + Headaches

I am just wondering if anyone else gets headaches + dizziness when taking acyclovir or valacyclovir? I take these only on episodic occurrences, and when I do, I get the worst headaches I have ever had. So bad, that sometimes, I can't even think straight. Has anyone else experienced this or is it just me?

Comments

  • Hey Stephanie,

    I haven't experienced headaches with acyclovir, but I wonder if taking advil or tylenol with it would help prevent the headache?
  • It will sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't. =/
  • edited March 2013
    I experienced fatigue and some lightheadedness on it, and acyclovir didn't really help me anyway. I was only taking it because my company changed its insurance plan and valtrex was no longer covered :( Now, I have changed my dietary habits and have a healthier life style, so I am actually needing medication less anyhow.
  • I am trying to find a way to have less OB. What did you change your diet to if you don't mind me asking? I have heard that a change in a diet could make them worse or better.
  • Hey Stephanie,

    I found this food chart that lists lysine (good) and arginine (bad) levels in food.

    http://herpes-coldsores.com/lysine-food-chart.htm

    Basically, us h'ers should be eating foods that contain more Lysine than Arginine, which enables the herpes virus to multiply. I also take the amino acid L-Lysine supplement every day, and up the dose if I feel like an ob might be coming on.

    Hope the chart helps :)
    Brighteyes
  • HI,

    i dont get headaches but i tried last week first time valtrax and let me feel sick, i feel like i need to vomit all time.They say headached and nausea are the most common side effects....i willstop to take them.
  • edited March 2013
    The food chart is helpful. Personally, I have just noticed eating a "clean" diet mainly consisting of veggies and veggie proteins has helped me. I guess I am mostly just very health conscious. I am mildly allergic to dairy and generally avoid dairy products, while many people recommend dairy and the chart seems to suggest that dairy includes a lot of lysine so theoretically it should be good. I drink less alcohol, eat less junk foods/processed foods, and eat a lot of veggies and I make my own veggie and fruit juices. I try to include a lot of foods with omega 3 fatty acids, and I take lots of omega supplements.
    Of course, it's hard to tell whether some of my improvements are due to diet, or due to my body adjusting to HSV after having it for two years now. I get less OBs now, but I still get pretty frequent prodrome symptoms.
  • I'm with Atlantic. When I first got herpes, I was gung-ho about avoiding ALL foods with any arginine in them and devouring ALL food high in lysine. Then I realized I was just going too overboard. I realized that by me following this diet so strictly, herpes was seemingly holding me hostage, not allowing me to have the foods that I genuinely felt my body wanted (Peanut butter? Chocolate? Really?) I decided I would just eat an overall much healthier diet in general. And it's probably a mixture of eating this healthy diet, but also higher levels of antibodies over time and all this positive thinking and livin' that's holding back outbreaks (I get 1-2 outbreaks per year). Whatever the reason is, it couldn't hurt to live a more healthy lifestyle overall. I'd much rather that than limit my diet based on lysine and arginine. I like to look at this in a more holistic way.
  • Oh I never said I wasn't eating chocolate!! Lol my God, I'm still human (a human who freaking LOVES chocolate!). I'm also just trying to eat healthier, exercise more and change my thought patterns to make this life change a good one. Give up chocolate...pfffffttt...you guys crack me up ;) haha
  • ;) Preach it, sista! I'm focused on being happy in general. And certain foods contribute to that happiness. Bring 'em on. I want to believe that's healthier for me than stressing over which foods I can and can't eat.
  • edited March 2013
    I'm with you on that one. I can't give up chocolate or peanut butter! I have to have Reese cups at least 3 times a week. ;) although, I eat pretty healthy, I think. There we some foods on the chart, that I was eating that I didn't know was high in arginine. However, I will more than likely eat those, just more in moderation. Thanks for all the help. Being able to talk to people is what really helps me. I'm glad I found this website. I was lonely before. :/
  • I've heard of headaches from a couple people I know with Herpes (I feel like the braver I am to use that word the less I'm facilitating the stigma attached to it) - acyclovir makes me TIRED. Like 13 hours of sleep and I need to drag myself out of bed, but I too only take it episodically, so that's the other side it's possible your body feels a bit overloaded by the meds when you only take it sometimes. Like vitamins, your body just may need time to adjust.

    Maybe talk to your doc about splitting your pills in half and taking halfs more often that still amount to the same dosing? I keep a food journal as well just to be accountable and be able to connect the dots, sometimes it's hard to remember what you ate during your last OB etc. Some people have trigger foods.

    The following supplements are recommended too from my research (but again talk to your doc about your situation):

    -zinc
    -prenatal (men and women can take these)
    -lysene (amino acid)
    -vitamin C

    These are all immune boosters and therefore are natural antiviral suppressants. I also recommend just adding more fruits and veggies to your diet. Lysene is found in a lot of dairy, but I don't fare well with dairy so the pills help and it's just one and done.

    Last, eat organic if you can. There are so many crazy pesticides that are used that you will never be able to know are even on/in your food that the clean eating switch is best. drink more water, eat more veggies and fruits and exercise daily - even a 20 minute walk is helpful for the mind and body, and therefore the immune system. These are all positive derivatives from a negative circumstance and if you focus on them you'll likely start feeling better.
  • I have been taking Acyclovir for about two yrs now and haven't had any headache problems. It is only a protective measure for my boyfriend that I take it. I only had one OB and that was when I was diagnosed. I have also changed my diet to a more healthy one. I love my veggies so it wasn't hard for me. There are also over-the-counter supplements you can look into if the meds make you feel sick. I think they are called Lysine tablets. Best of luck to you. I hope I have helped.
  • Haven't had any problems with headaches and I've been on acyclovir since July of last year, no outbreaks since but did have one scare. :/ Maybe it's not tied to it, especially since it's episodic like you said. I do also take a multivitamin, Lysine tablets and olive leaf extract so I don't know if the immune system boost due to those counteract any type of side effect from acyclovir.
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