Valacyclovir can be used as an episodic therapy or suppressive therapy to treat genital herpes. As an episodic therapy, valacyclovir can treat an individual breakout as it occurs, if the treatment is started within one day of noticing symptoms. As suppressive therapy, valacyclovir is taken on a daily basis to help keep breakouts from occurring. This is often recommended for people who experience frequent or severe recurrences or would like to reduce the risk of transmission to a sexual partner. Valacyclovir is not FDA-approved for suppressive therapy of cold sores, it is considered off-label use. A licensed physician will evaluate you and determine if either approach is appropriate for you.