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Dosage and administration

2 DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION Valacyclovir tablets may be given without regard to meals. Valacyclovir oral suspension (25 mg/mL or 50 mg/mL) may be prepared extemporaneously from 500 mg valacyclovir tablets for use in pediatric patients for whom a solid dosage form is not appropriate [see Dosage and Administration (2.3)] . Adult Dosage (2.1) Cold Sores 2 grams every 12 hours for 1 day Genital Herpes Initial episode 1 gram twice daily for 10 days Recurrent episodes 500 mg twice daily for 3 days Suppressive therapy Immunocompetent patients Alternate dose in patients with ≤9 recurrences/yr HIV-infected patients 1 gram once daily 500 mg once daily 500 mg twice daily Reduction of transmission 500 mg once daily Herpes Zoster 1 gram 3 times daily for 7 days Pediatric Dosage (2.2) Cold Sores (≥12 years of age) 2 grams every 12 hours for 1 day Chickenpox (2 to <18 years of age) 20 mg/kg 3 times daily for 5 days; not to exceed 1 gram 3 times daily Valacyclovir oral suspension (25 mg/mL or 50 mg/mL) can be prepared from the 500 mg valacyclovir tablets. ( 2.3) 2.1 Adult Dosing Recommendations Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis): The recommended dosage of valacyclovir tablets 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 tablets 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 tablets 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 tablets 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/mm 3, the recommended dosage of valacyclovir tablets for chronic suppressive therapy of recurrent genital herpes is 500 mg twice daily. Reduction of Transmission: The recommended dosage of valacyclovir tablets 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 tablets 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 tablets 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 tablets 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 tablets 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 according to the USP-NF. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the required number of valacyclovir 500 mg tablets until a fine powder is produced (5 valacyclovir tablets for 25 mg/mL suspension; 10 valacyclovir tablets 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 50 mg/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° to 8°C (36° 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 tablets in pediatric patients with a creatinine clearance <50 mL/min/1.73 m 2. Table 1. Valacyclovir Tablets Dosage Recommendations for Adults With Renal Impairment Indications Normal Dosage Regimen (Creatinine Clearance ≥50 mL/min) Creatinine Clearance (mL/min) 30-49 10-29 <10 Cold sores (Herpes labialis) Do not exceed 1 day of treatment. Two 2 gram doses taken 12 hours apart Two 1 gram doses taken 12 hours apart Two 500 mg doses taken 12 hours apart 500 mg single dose Genital herpes: Initial episode 1 gram every 12 hours no reduction 1 gram every 24 hours 500 mg every 24 hours Genital herpes: Recurrent episode 500 mg every 12 hours no reduction 500 mg every 24 hours 500 mg every 24 hours Genital herpes: Suppressive therapy Immunocompetent patients Alternate dose for immunocompetent patient with ≤9 recurrences/year HIV-infected patients 1 gram every 24 hours 500 mg every 24 hours 500 mg every 12 hours no reduction no reduction no reduction 500 mg every 24 hours 500 mg every 48 hours 500 mg every 24 hours 500 mg every 24 hours 500 mg every 48 hours 500 mg every 24 hours Herpes zoster 1 gram every 8 hours 1 gram every 12 hours 1 gram every 24 hours 500 mg every 24 hours Hemodialysis: Patients requiring hemodialysis should receive the recommended dose of valacyclovir tablets after hemodialysis. During hemodialysis, the half-life of acyclovir after administration of valacyclovir tablets 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 tablets 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 tablets should not be required following CAPD or CAVHD.

Adult Dosage (2.1)
Cold Sores 2 grams every 12 hours for 1 day
Genital Herpes
Initial episode 1 gram twice daily for 10 days
Recurrent episodes 500 mg twice daily for 3 days
Suppressive therapy Immunocompetent patients Alternate dose in patients with ≤9 recurrences/yr HIV-infected patients 1 gram once daily 500 mg once daily 500 mg twice daily
Reduction of transmission 500 mg once daily
Herpes Zoster 1 gram 3 times daily for 7 days
Pediatric Dosage (2.2)
Cold Sores (≥12 years of age) 2 grams every 12 hours for 1 day
Chickenpox (2 to <18 years of age) 20 mg/kg 3 times daily for 5 days; not to exceed 1 gram 3 times daily
and
Table 1. Valacyclovir Tablets Dosage Recommendations for Adults With Renal Impairment
Indications Normal Dosage Regimen (Creatinine Clearance ≥50 mL/min) Creatinine Clearance (mL/min)
30-49 10-29 <10
Cold sores (Herpes labialis) Do not exceed 1 day of treatment. Two 2 gram doses taken 12 hours apart Two 1 gram doses taken 12 hours apart Two 500 mg doses taken 12 hours apart 500 mg single dose
Genital herpes: Initial episode 1 gram every 12 hours no reduction 1 gram every 24 hours 500 mg every 24 hours
Genital herpes: Recurrent episode 500 mg every 12 hours no reduction 500 mg every 24 hours 500 mg every 24 hours
Genital herpes: Suppressive therapy Immunocompetent patients Alternate dose for immunocompetent patient with ≤9 recurrences/year HIV-infected patients 1 gram every 24 hours 500 mg every 24 hours 500 mg every 12 hours no reduction no reduction no reduction 500 mg every 24 hours 500 mg every 48 hours 500 mg every 24 hours 500 mg every 24 hours 500 mg every 48 hours 500 mg every 24 hours
Herpes zoster 1 gram every 8 hours 1 gram every 12 hours 1 gram every 24 hours 500 mg every 24 hours

Pregnancy

8.1 Pregnancy Pregnancy Category B. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of valacyclovir hydrochloride or acyclovir in pregnant women. Based on prospective pregnancy registry data on 749 pregnancies, the overall rate of birth defects in infants exposed to acyclovir in-utero appears similar to the rate for infants in the general population. Valacyclovir hydrochloride should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. A prospective epidemiologic registry of acyclovir use during pregnancy was established in 1984 and completed in April 1999. There were 749 pregnancies followed in women exposed to systemic acyclovir during the first trimester of pregnancy resulting in 756 outcomes. The occurrence rate of birth defects approximates that found in the general population. However, the small size of the registry is insufficient to evaluate the risk for less common defects or to permit reliable or definitive conclusions regarding the safety of acyclovir in pregnant women and their developing fetuses. Animal reproduction studies performed at oral doses that provided up to 10 and 7 times the human plasma levels during the period of major organogenesis in rats and rabbits, respectively, revealed no evidence of teratogenicity.

Drug Interactions

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS No clinically significant drug-drug or drug-food interactions with valacyclovir hydrochloride are known [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)] .

Indications And Usage

1 INDICATIONS AND USAGE Valacyclovir hydrochloride is a nucleoside analogue DNA polymerase inhibitor indicated for: Adult Patients (1.1) Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis) Genital Herpes Treatment in immunocompetent patients (initial or recurrent episode) Suppression in immunocompetent or HIV-infected patients Reduction of transmission Herpes Zoster Pediatric Patients (1.2) Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis) Chickenpox Limitations of Use (1.3) 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. 1.1 Adult Patients Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis): Valacyclovir tablets, USP are indicated for treatment of cold sores (herpes labialis). The efficacy of valacyclovir tablets, USP 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 tablets, USP 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 tablets, USP 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 tablets, USP 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 tablets, USP for the reduction of transmission of genital herpes beyond 8 months in discordant couples has not been established. The efficacy of valacyclovir tablets, USP 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 tablets, USP when initiated more than 72 hours after the onset of rash and the efficacy and safety of valacyclovir tablets, USP 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 tablets, USP 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/mm 3. 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.

Clinical Studies

14 CLINICAL STUDIES 14.1 Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis) Two double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials were conducted in 1,856 healthy adults and adolescents (≥12 years old) with a history of recurrent cold sores. Patients self-initiated therapy at the earliest symptoms and prior to any signs of a cold sore. The majority of patients initiated treatment within 2 hours of onset of symptoms. Patients were randomized to valacyclovir hydrochloride 2 grams twice daily on Day 1 followed by placebo on Day 2, valacyclovir hydrochloride 2 grams twice daily on Day 1 followed by 1 gram twice daily on Day 2, or placebo on Days 1 and 2. The mean duration of cold sore episodes was about 1 day shorter in treated subjects as compared with placebo. The 2 day regimen did not offer additional benefit over the 1-day regimen. No significant difference was observed between subjects receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride or placebo in the prevention of progression of cold sore lesions beyond the papular stage. 14.2 Genital Herpes Infections Initial Episode: Six hundred and forty-three immunocompetent adults with first-episode genital herpes who presented within 72 hours of symptom onset were randomized in a double-blind trial to receive 10 days of valacyclovir hydrochloride 1 gram twice daily (n = 323) or oral acyclovir 200 mg 5 times a day (n = 320). For both treatment groups: the median time to lesion healing was 9 days, the median time to cessation of pain was 5 days, the median time to cessation of viral shedding was 3 days. Recurrent Episodes: Three double-blind trials (2 of them placebo-controlled) in immunocompetent adults with recurrent genital herpes were conducted. Patients self-initiated therapy within 24 hours of the first sign or symptom of a recurrent genital herpes episode. In 1 study, patients were randomized to receive 5 days of treatment with either valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg twice daily (n = 360) or placebo (n = 259). The median time to lesion healing was 4 days in the group receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg versus 6 days in the placebo group, and the median time to cessation of viral shedding in patients with at least 1 positive culture (42% of the overall study population) was 2 days in the group receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg versus 4 days in the placebo group. The median time to cessation of pain was 3 days in the group receiving valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg versus 4 days in the placebo group. Results supporting efficacy were replicated in a second trial. In a third study, patients were randomized to receive valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg twice daily for 5 days (n = 398) or valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg twice daily for 3 days (and matching placebo twice daily for 2 additional days) (n = 402). The median time to lesion healing was about 4½ days in both treatment groups. The median time to cessation of pain was about 3 days in both treatment groups. Suppressive Therapy: Two clinical studies were conducted, one in immunocompetent adults and one in HIV-infected adults. A double-blind, 12-month, placebo- and active-controlled study enrolled immunocompetent adults with a history of 6 or more recurrences per year. Outcomes for the overall study population are shown in Table 5. Table 5. Recurrence Rates in Immunocompetent Adults at 6 and 12 Months Outcome 6 Months 12 Months Valacyclovir Hydrochloride 1 gram once daily (n = 269) Oral acyclovir 400 mg twice daily (n = 267) Placebo (n = 134) Valacyclovir Hydrochloride 1 gram once daily (n = 269) Oral acyclovir 400 mg twice daily (n = 267) Placebo (n = 134) Recurrence free 55% 54% 7% 34% 34% 4% Recurrences 35% 36% 83% 46% 46% 85% Unknown Includes lost to follow-up, discontinuations due to adverse events, and consent withdrawn. 10% 10% 10% 19% 19% 10% Subjects with 9 or fewer recurrences per year showed comparable results with valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg once daily. In a second study, 293 HIV-infected adults on stable antiretroviral therapy with a history of 4 or more recurrences of ano-genital herpes per year were randomized to receive either valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg twice daily (n = 194) or matching placebo (n = 99) for 6 months. The median duration of recurrent genital herpes in enrolled subjects was 8 years, and the median number of recurrences in the year prior to enrollment was 5. Overall, the median prestudy HIV-1 RNA was 2.6 log 10 copies/mL. Among patients who received valacyclovir hydrochloride, the prestudy median CD4+ cell count was 336 cells/mm 3; 11% had <100 cells/mm 3, 16% had 100 to 199 cells/mm 3, 42% had 200 to 499 cells/mm 3, and 31% had ≥500 cells/mm 3. Outcomes for the overall study population are shown in Table 6. Table 6. Recurrence Rates in HIV-Infected Adults at 6 Months Outcome Valacyclovir Hydrochloride 500 mg twice daily (n = 194) Placebo (n = 99) Recurrence free 65% 26% Recurrences 17% 57% Unknown Includes lost to follow-up, discontinuations due to adverse events, and consent withdrawn. 18% 17% Reduction of Transmission of Genital Herpes: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess transmission of genital herpes was conducted in 1,484 monogamous, heterosexual, immunocompetent adult couples. The couples were discordant for HSV-2 infection. The source partner had a history of 9 or fewer genital herpes episodes per year. Both partners were counseled on safer sex practices and were advised to use condoms throughout the study period. Source partners were randomized to treatment with either valacyclovir hydrochloride 500 mg once daily or placebo once daily for 8 months. The primary efficacy endpoint was symptomatic acquisition of HSV-2 in susceptible partners. Overall HSV-2 acquisition was defined as symptomatic HSV-2 acquisition and/or HSV-2 seroconversion in susceptible partners. The efficacy results are summarized in Table 7. Table 7. Percentage of Susceptible Partners Who Acquired HSV-2 Defined by the Primary and Selected Secondary Endpoints Endpoint Valacyclovir Hydrochloride Results show reductions in risk of 75% (symptomatic HSV-2 acquisition), 50% (HSV-2 seroconversion), and 48% (overall HSV-2 acquisition) with valacyclovir hydrochloride versus placebo. Individual results may vary based on consistency of safer sex practices. (n = 743) Placebo (n = 741) Symptomatic HSV-2 acquisition 4 (0.5%) 16 (2.2%) HSV-2 seroconversion 12 (1.6%) 24 (3.2%) Overall HSV-2 acquisition 14 (1.9%) 27 (3.6%) 14.3 Herpes Zoster Two randomized double-blind clinical trials in immunocompetent adults with localized herpes zoster were conducted. Valacyclovir hydrochloride was compared with placebo in patients less than 50 years of age, and with oral acyclovir in patients greater than 50 years of age. All patients were treated within 72 hours of appearance of zoster rash. In patients less than 50 years of age, the median time to cessation of new lesion formation was 2 days for those treated with valacyclovir hydrochloride compared with 3 days for those treated with placebo. In patients greater than 50 years of age, the median time to cessation of new lesions was 3 days in patients treated with either valacyclovir hydrochloride or oral acyclovir. In patients less than 50 years of age, no difference was found with respect to the duration of pain after healing (post-herpetic neuralgia) between the recipients of valacyclovir hydrochloride and placebo. In patients greater than 50 years of age, among the 83% who reported pain after healing (post-herpetic neuralgia), the median duration of pain after healing [95% confidence interval] in days was: 40 [31, 51], 43 [36, 55], and 59 [41, 77] for 7-day valacyclovir hydrochloride, 14-day valacyclovir hydrochloride, and 7-day oral acyclovir, respectively. 14.4 Chickenpox The use of valacyclovir hydrochloride for treatment of chickenpox in pediatric patients 2 to <18 years of age is based on single-dose pharmacokinetic and multiple-dose safety data from an open-label trial with valacyclovir and supported by safety and extrapolated efficacy data from 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials evaluating oral acyclovir in pediatric patients. The single-dose pharmacokinetic and multiple-dose safety study enrolled 27 pediatric patients 1 to <12 years of age with clinically suspected VZV infection. Each subject was dosed with valacyclovir oral suspension, 20 mg/kg 3 times daily for 5 days. Acyclovir systemic exposures in pediatric patients following valacyclovir oral suspension were compared with historical acyclovir systemic exposures in immunocompetent adults receiving the solid oral dosage form of valacyclovir or acyclovir for the treatment of herpes zoster. The mean projected daily acyclovir exposures in pediatric patients across all age-groups (1 to <12 years of age) were lower (C max: ↓13%, AUC: ↓30%) than the mean daily historical exposures in adults receiving valacyclovir 1 gram 3 times daily, but were higher (daily AUC: ↑50%) than the mean daily historical exposures in adults receiving acyclovir 800 mg 5 times daily. The projected daily exposures in pediatric patients were greater (daily AUC approximately 100% greater) than the exposures seen in immunocompetent pediatric patients receiving acyclovir 20 mg/kg 4 times daily for the treatment of chickenpox. Based on the pharmacokinetic and safety data from this study and the safety and extrapolated efficacy data from the acyclovir studies, oral valacyclovir 20 mg/kg 3 times a day for 5 days (not to exceed 1 gram 3 times daily) is recommended for the treatment of chickenpox in pediatric patients 2 to <18 years of age. Because the efficacy and safety of acyclovir for the treatment of chickenpox in children <2 years of age have not been established, efficacy data cannot be extrapolated to support valacyclovir treatment in children <2 years of age with chickenpox. Valacyclovir is also not recommended for the treatment of herpes zoster in children because safety data up to 7 days’ duration are not available [see Use in Specific Populations (8.4)] .

Warnings And Cautions

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS): Has occurred in patients with advanced HIV disease and in allogenic bone marrow transplant and renal transplant patients receiving 8 grams per day of valacyclovir hydrochloride in clinical trials. Discontinue treatment if clinical symptoms and laboratory findings consistent with TTP/HUS occur. (5.1) Acute renal failure: May occur in elderly patients (with or without reduced renal function), patients with underlying renal disease who receive higher than recommended doses of valacyclovir hydrochloride for their level of renal function, patients who receive concomitant nephrotoxic drugs, or inadequately hydrated patients. Use with caution in elderly patients and reduce dosage in patients with renal impairment. (2.4, 5.2) Central nervous system adverse reactions (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, confusion, and encephalopathy): May occur in both adult and pediatric patients (with or without reduced renal function) and in patients with underlying renal disease who receive 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. Use with caution in elderly patients and reduce dosage in patients with renal impairment. (2.4, 5.3) 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)] .

Overdosage

10 OVERDOSAGE Caution should be exercised to prevent inadvertent overdose [see Use in Specific Populations (8.5), (8.6)] . Precipitation of acyclovir in renal tubules may occur when the solubility (2.5 mg/mL) is exceeded in the intratubular fluid. 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 ADVERSE REACTIONS 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. The most common adverse reactions reported in at least one indication by >10% of adult patients treated with valacyclovir hydrochloride and more commonly than in patients treated with placebo are headache, nausea, and abdominal pain. (6.1) The only adverse reaction occurring in >10% of pediatric patients <18 years of age was headache. (6.2) To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc. at 1-866-850-2876 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. 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 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 LLN = Lower limit of normal. ULN = Upper limit of normal. Laboratory Abnormality Herpes Zoster Genital Herpes Treatment Genital Herpes Suppression Valacyclovir Hydrochloride 1 gram 3 times daily (n = 967) Placebo (n = 195) Valacyclovir Hydrochloride 1 gram twice daily (n = 1,194) Valacyclovir Hydrochloride 500 mg twice daily (n = 1,159) Placebo (n = 439) Valacyclovir Hydrochloride 1 gram once daily (n = 269) Valacyclovir Hydrochloride 500 mg once daily (n = 266) Placebo (n =134) Hemoglobin (<0.8 x LLN) 0.8% 0% 0.3% 0.2% 0% 0% 0.8% 0.8% White blood cells (<0.75 x LLN) 1.3% 0.6% 0.7% 0.6% 0.2% 0.7% 0.8% 1.5% Platelet count (<100,000/mm 3) 1% 1.2% 0.3% 0.1% 0.7% 0.4% 1.1% 1.5% AST (SGOT) (>2 x ULN) 1% 0% 1% Data were not collected prospectively. 0.5% 4.1% 3.8% 3% Serum creatinine (>1.5 x ULN) 0.2% 0% 0.7% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 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 tablets 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.

Recent major changes

Warnings and Precautions, Central Nervous System Effects (5.3) 3/2010

Mechanism

12.1 Mechanism of Action Valacyclovir is an antiviral drug [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.4)] .

Contraindications

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS Valacyclovir tablets are 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)] . Hypersensitivity to valacyclovir (e.g., anaphylaxis), acyclovir, or any component of the formulation. (4)

Nursing Mothers

8.3 Nursing Mothers Following oral administration of a 500 mg dose of valacyclovir hydrochloride to 5 nursing mothers, peak acyclovir concentrations (C max) in breast milk ranged from 0.5 to 2.3 times (median 1.4) the corresponding maternal acyclovir serum concentrations. The acyclovir breast milk AUC ranged from 1.4 to 2.6 times (median 2.2) maternal serum AUC. A 500 mg maternal dosage of valacyclovir hydrochloride twice daily would provide a nursing infant with an oral acyclovir dosage of approximately 0.6 mg/kg/day. This would result in less than 2% of the exposure obtained after administration of a standard neonatal dose of 30 mg/kg/day of intravenous acyclovir to the nursing infant. Unchanged valacyclovir was not detected in maternal serum, breast milk, or infant urine. Caution should be exercised when valacyclovir hydrochloride is administered to a nursing woman.