Famvir 500mg Tablets
Your medicine is available using the above name but will be referred to as Famvir throughout this leaflet.
Famvir is also available in 125 mg and 250 mg strength.
Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start taking this medicine because it contains important information for you.
- Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
- If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
- Famvir has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.
- If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.
1. What Famvir is and what it is used for
2. What you need to know before you take Famvir
3. How to take Famvir
4. Possible side effects
5. How to store Famvir
6. Contents of the pack and other information
Famvir is an antiviral medicine. It stops the infecting virus from reproducing. Since the virus reproduces very early in the infection, you will benefit most from treatment if you take Famvir as soon as the first symptoms appear.
Famvir is used to treat two types of viral infections in adults:
- Shingles (herpes zoster), which is a viral infection caused by a virus called varicella zoster (the same virus that causes chickenpox). Famvir stops the virus from spreading in the body so that healing can occur faster.
- Famvir is also used for the treatment of shingles in the area around the eye or of the eye itself (ophthalmic zoster).
- Genital herpes. Genital herpes is a viral infection caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2. It is normally spread by sexual contact. It causes blisters and burning or itching around the genitals, which may be painful. Famvir is used to treat genital herpes infections in adults.
People who have frequent episodes of genital herpes can also take Famvir to help to prevent the attacks.
- If you are allergic to famciclovir, to any of the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in section 6), or to penciclovir (the active metabolite of famciclovir and an ingredient of some other medicines).
Ask your doctor for advice, if you think you may be allergic.
Talk to your doctor before taking Famvir
- If you have kidney problems (or have had them before). Your doctor may decide to give you a lower dose of Famvir.
- If you have problems with your body's immune system.
- If you have liver problems.
If any of these applies to you, tell your doctor before you take Famvir.
Children and adolescents (below the age of 18 years)
Famvir is not recommended for use in children and adolescents.
If you are taking Famvir to treat or to suppress genital herpes, or you have had genital herpes in the past, you should still practise safe sex, including the use of condoms. This is important to prevent you passing the infection on to others. You should not have sex if you have genital sores or blisters.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have recently taken or might take any other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.
It is especially important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following medicines:
- Raloxifen (used to prevent and treat osteoporosis).
- Probenecid (used to treat high blood levels of uric acid associated with gout and to increase blood levels of penicillin-type antibiotics), or any other medicine that can affect your kidneys.
You can take Famvir with or without food.
If you are pregnant or breast feeding, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor for advice before taking this medicine. Famvir is not to be used during pregnancy unless clearly necessary. Your doctor will discuss with you the potential risks of taking Famvir during pregnancy.
Famvir is not to be used during breast-feeding unless clearly necessary. Your doctor will discuss with you the possible risks of taking Famvir during breast-feeding.
Famvir can cause dizziness, drowsiness or confusion. Do not drive or use machines if you have any of these symptoms while taking Famvir.
If you have been told by your doctor that you have an intolerance to some sugars, e.g. lactose, contact your doctor before taking this medicine (Famvir 125 mg and 250 mg tablets only).
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
- The daily dose and length of treatment will depend on the type of viral infection you have - see below. Your doctor will prescribe the correct dose for you.
- For the best results start the medicine as soon as possible after the first signs and symptoms appear.
- Do not have sexual contact with anyone if you have symptoms of genital herpes - even if you have started treatment with Famvir. This is because you could pass the herpes infection to your partner.
- If you have or have had kidney problems, your doctor may decide to give you a lower dose of Famvir.
If you have a normal immune system, the recommended dose is
- 500 mg, three times a day, for seven days
If you have a reduced immune system, the recommended dose is
- 500 mg three times a day, for ten days.
The dose depends on the state of your immune system, and the stage of your infection.
If you have a normal immune system, the doses are as follows:
For the first outbreak, the recommended dose is:
- 250 mg three times a day, for five days.
To treat further outbreaks, the recommended dose is:
- 125 mg twice a day, for five days.
To prevent future outbreaks, the recommended dose is:
- 250 mg twice a day.
Your doctor will tell you how long you need to continue taking your tablets.
If you have a reduced immune system, the doses are as follows:
To treat the current outbreak, the recommended dose is:
- 500 mg twice a day, for seven days.
To prevent future outbreaks, the dose is
- 500 mg twice a day.
Your doctor will tell you how long you need to continue taking your tablets.
If you have taken more tablets than you have been told to take, or if someone else accidentally takes your medicine, go to your doctor or hospital for advice immediately. Show them your pack of tablets.
Taking too much Famvir may affect the kidneys. In people who already have kidney problems it may, rarely, lead to kidney failure if their dose is not correctly lowered.
If you forget to take a dose of Famvir, you should take it as soon as you remember. Then take your next dose as scheduled. However, do not take two doses within a time interval of less than 1 hour, in that case you should skip the missed dose. Furthermore, do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
If you have any further questions on the use of this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
Serious side effects of Famvir are:
Most of these side effects are rare or uncommon (they affect between 1 to 100 in every 10,000 patients)
- Severe blistering of the skin or mucous membranes of the lips, eyes, mouth, nasal passages or genitals (these could be signs of a serious allergic skin reaction).
- Unexplained bruising, reddish or purplish patches on the skin or nosebleeds (these could be signs of a decrease in the number of blood platelets).
- Swelling below the surface of the skin (e.g. facial swelling, swelling around eye, eyelid swelling, throat swelling).
- Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes (signs of jaundice).
- Purple skin patches, itching, burning (signs of inflamed blood vessels).
Novartis Farmaceutica S.A., Ronda Santa Maria, 158- Barbera Del Valles-Barcelona, Spain.
Novartis Farma S.p.A., Via Provinciale Schito, 131-80058 Torre Annunziata (NA), Italy.
Procured from within the EU by Product Licence holder
Star Pharmaceuticals Ltd, 5 Sandridge Close, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 1XD.
Repackaged by Servipharm Ltd.
Leaflet revision issue date (Ref) 01.05.15 Famvir is trademark of Novartis AG.
Contact a doctor or go to the emergency department at your nearest hospital straight away if you get any of these effects.
Very common side effects (these side effects affect more than 1 in 10 people)
Common side effects (these side effects affect up to 1 in 10 people)
- Feeling sick (nausea)
- Abdominal pain
- Liver function test giving abnormal results
Uncommon side effects (these side effects affect up to 1 in 100 people)
- Drowsiness (usually in older people)
- Itchy rash (urticaria)
Rare side effects (these side effects affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not really there)
- Palpitations (signs of abnormal heart beat)
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Scheme at: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.
Keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children.
Do not store above 30°C. Store in the original package.
Do not take the tablets after their expiry date which is printed on the outside of the pack.
If the medicines become discoloured or show any other signs of deterioration, consult your pharmacist who will tell you what to do. Medicines should not be disposed of via wastewater or household waste. Ask you pharmacist how to dispose of medicine no longer required. These measures will help to protect the environment.
The active ingredient in your tablets is called famciclovir.
Each film-coated tablet contains 500mg famciclovir.
The tablets also contain hydroxypropyl cellulose, sodium starch glycollate, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, macrogol 4000, macrogol 6000 and titanium dioxide (E171).
Famvir tablets are white, oval, biconvex film-coated tablets, marked ‘FV500' on one side and plain on other side.
Available in packs of 14, 21,28 and 56 tablets.