Valaciclovir (INN) or valacyclovir (USAN) is an antiviral drug used in the management of herpes simplex, herpes zoster (shingles), and herpes B. It is a prodrug, being converted in vivo to aciclovir. It is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline under the trade names Valtrex and Zelitrex. Valaciclovir has been available as a generic drug in the U.S. since November 25, 2009. Valaciclovir is prepared starting from the natural proteinogenic amino acid L-valine. Valaciclovir is a prodrug, an esterified version of aciclovir that has greater oral bioavailability (about 55%) than aciclovir (1020%). It is converted by esterases to the active drug aciclovir, as well as the amino acid valine, via hepatic first-pass metabolism. Aciclovir is selectively converted into a monophosphate form by viral thymidine kinase, which is far more effective (3000 times) in phosphorylation than cellular thymidine kinase.