(for veterinary information only)
BRAND NAME: FAMVIR
We have had antibacterial antibiotics since World War II but antiviral medications have been more elusive. Only in recent years have meaningful medications been developed. Famciclovir is a human medication developed to treat herpesvirus infections in humans. It turns out to have activity against herpesvirus in cats. Famciclovir works by interfering with DNA replication in the herpesvirus. This prevents the virus from multiplying but famciclovir cannot actually kill the virus nor can it eliminate a herpes infection.
HOW THIS MEDICATION IS USED
Animal use of this medication is new and doses are still being worked out. We do not presently know about long term safety use but courses lasting 2-3 weeks seem practical.
Humans report upset stomach and headache as the most common side effects. We do not know if this holds for cats. Some cats have shown appetite loss.
CONCERNS AND CAUTIONS
Famciclovir should be given on an empty stomach for best absorption but can be given with food if there is an issue with upset stomach.
Dosages should be reduced in patients with reduced kidney function.
Page posted: 6/11/2018