Valacyclovir hydrochloride is indicated for treatment of cold sores in pediatric patients aged greater than or equal to 12 years and for treatment of chickenpox in pediatric patients aged 2 to less than 18 years [see Indications and Usage (1.2), Dosage and Administration (2.2)].
The use of valacyclovir hydrochloride for treatment of cold sores is based on 2 double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials in healthy adults and adolescents (aged greater than or equal to 12 years) with a history of recurrent cold sores [see Clinical Studies (14.1)].
The use of valacyclovir hydrochloride for treatment of chickenpox in pediatric patients aged 2 to less than 18 years is based on single-dose pharmacokinetic and multiple-dose safety data from an open-label trial with valacyclovir and supported by efficacy and safety data from 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials evaluating oral acyclovir in pediatric subjects with chickenpox [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Adverse Reactions (6.2), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3), Clinical Studies (14.4)].
The efficacy and safety of valacyclovir have not been established in pediatric patients:
- aged less than 12 years with cold sores
- aged less than 18 years with genital herpes
- aged less than 18 years with herpes zoster
- aged less than 2 years with chickenpox
- for suppressive therapy following neonatal HSV infection.
- The pharmacokinetic profile and safety of valacyclovir oral suspension in children aged less than 12 years were studied in 3 open-label trials. No efficacy evaluations were conducted in any of the 3 trials.
- Trial 1 was a single-dose pharmacokinetic, multiple-dose safety trial in 27 pediatric subjects aged 1 to less than 12 years with clinically suspected varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection [see Dosage and Administration (2.2), Adverse Reactions (6.2), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3), Clinical Studies (14.4)].
- Trial 2 was a single-dose pharmacokinetic and safety trial in pediatric subjects aged 1 month to less than 6 years who had an active herpes virus infection or who were at risk for herpes virus infection. Fifty-seven subjects were enrolled and received a single dose of 25 mg/kg valacyclovir oral suspension. In infants and children aged 3 months to less than 6 years, this dose provided comparable systemic acyclovir exposures to that from a 1-gram dose of valacyclovir in adults (historical data). In infants aged 1 month to less than 3 months, mean acyclovir exposures resulting from a 25-mg/kg dose were higher (Cmax : ↑30%, AUC: ↑60%) than acyclovir exposures following a 1-gram dose of valacyclovir in adults. Acyclovir is not approved for suppressive therapy in infants and children following neonatal HSV infections; therefore, valacyclovir is not recommended for this indication because efficacy cannot be extrapolated from acyclovir.
- Trial 3 was a single-dose pharmacokinetic, multiple-dose safety trial in 28 pediatric subjects aged 1 to less than 12 years with clinically suspected HSV infection. None of the subjects enrolled in this trial had genital herpes. Each subject was dosed with valacyclovir oral suspension 10 mg/kg twice daily for 3 to 5 days. Acyclovir systemic exposures in pediatric subjects 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 recurrent genital herpes. The mean projected daily acyclovir systemic exposures in pediatric subjects across all age-groups (1 to less than 12 years) were lower (Cmax : ↓20%, AUC: ↓33%) compared with the acyclovir systemic exposures in adults receiving valacyclovir 500 mg twice daily but were higher (daily AUC: ↑16%) than systemic exposures in adults receiving acyclovir 200 mg 5 times daily. Insufficient data are available to support valacyclovir for the treatment of recurrent genital herpes in this age-group because clinical information on recurrent genital herpes in young children is limited; therefore, extrapolating efficacy data from adults to this population is not possible. Moreover, valacyclovir has not been studied in children aged 1 to less than 12 years with recurrent genital herpes.
Of the total number of subjects in clinical trials of valacyclovir hydrochloride, 906 were 65 and over, and 352 were 75 and over. In a clinical trial of herpes zoster, the duration of pain after healing (post-herpetic neuralgia) was longer in subjects 65 and older compared with younger adults. Elderly patients are more likely to have reduced renal function and require dose reduction. Elderly patients are also more likely to have renal or CNS adverse events [see Dosage and Administration (2.4), Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.3), Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)].
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)].
Valacyclovir hydrochloride is the hydrochloride salt of the L -valyl ester of the antiviral drug acyclovir.
Valacyclovir tablets, USP are for oral administration. Each tablet contains valacyclovir hydrochloride equivalent to 500 mg or 1 gram valacyclovir. In addition, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: crospovidone, FD&C Blue No. 2 Lake, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, povidone and titanium dioxide.
The chemical name of valacyclovir hydrochloride is L -valine, 2-[(2-amino-1,6-dihydro-6-oxo-9H -purin-9-yl)methoxy]ethyl ester, monohydrochloride. It has the following structural formula:
Valacyclovir hydrochloride is a white to off-white powder with the molecular formula C13 H20 N6 O4 •HCl and a molecular weight of 360.80. The maximum solubility in water at 25°C is 174 mg/mL. The pka s for valacyclovir hydrochloride are 1.90, 7.47, and 9.43.
Valacyclovir is an antiviral drug active against α-herpes viruses [see Microbiology (12.4)].
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