Acyclovir: 7 Things You Ought To Recognize –

Medically reviewed by means of Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on May 21, 2021.

  • How it works
  • Upsides
  • Downsides
  • Bottom Line
  • Tips
  • Response/effectiveness
  • Interactions

1. How it really works

  • Acyclovir is an antiviral drug that has hobby towards herpes simplex virus sorts 1 (HSV-1), 2 (HSV-2), and varicella-zoster virus (VZV).
  • Acyclovir works in several one of a kind methods to save you these viruses from replicating. Activity against HSV is extra than interest against VZV.
  • Acyclovir belongs to the class of drug treatments referred to as antivirals.

2. Upsides

  • Acyclovir can be used inside the treatment of herpes zoster virus (shingles). Acyclovir does now not completely rid the frame of the herpes zoster virus.
  • Acyclovir can be used to treat initial and recurrent episodes of genital herpes. Acyclovir does now not treatment genital herpes or absolutely rid the frame of the herpes virus.
  • Acyclovir may be used in the treatment of varicella (chickenpox).
  • Inhibits herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1), 2 (HSV-2), and varicella-zoster virus (VZV).
  • Acyclovir is available in numerous unique formulations which includes a pill, pill, suspension, buccal pill, cream, and injection.
  • Generic acyclovir is available.

three. Downsides

If you’re among the ages of 18 and 60, take no different medication or haven’t any other medical conditions, facet consequences you are much more likely to enjoy encompass:

  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and a general sick feeling. Buccal drugs may also purpose mouth pain. Rarely, acyclovir may have an effect on your kidneys or reason a bleeding disease.
  • May no longer be appropriate for a few people, consisting of those with kidney troubles, who are immunosuppressed,taking sure medications, or in individuals who are dehydrated. In people with kidney disorder, a dosage discount is recommended.
  • Acyclovir is generally dosed five times daily (each four hours)
  • May have interaction with several other medicines along with probenecid, other antivirals, medicines for bowel disorder, injectable osteoporosis medications, and analgesics.

Note: In trendy, seniors or youngsters, people with positive scientific conditions (which includes liver or kidney problems, heart disorder, diabetes, seizures) or individuals who take other medications are greater vulnerable to growing a wider variety of side effects. View entire list of facet effects

4. Bottom Line

Acyclovir is an antiviral drug that treats infections resulting from HSV-1, HSV-2, and varicella-zoster viruses consisting of chickenpox, genital herpes, and shingles. It is simplest whilst started inside 48 hours of symptom onset.

5. Tips

  • Acyclovirtreatment is great commenced within 72 hours of symptom onset (ie, rash, blisters, tingling, burning) and simplest if started inside 48 hours of symptom onset.
  • Take acyclovir for the precise time prescribed by way of your medical doctor, even in case your signs and symptoms improve. Although acyclovir treats viruses, it isn’t effective against the flu or the not unusual bloodless.
  • Shake acyclovir oral suspension nicely earlier than using. Use a proper dosing syringe or remedy cup to correctly measure dosage, not a kitchen teaspoon.
  • If you have been prescribed buccal drugs to deal with a chilly sore, region the flat side of the buccal pill towards your upper gum, at the back of your lip, and in front of your canine tooth at the equal facet of your mouth because the bloodless sore. Close your mouth and gently press on the outside of your lip to keep the pill in place for 30 seconds. Allow the pill to slowly dissolve; eating and ingesting may additionally hold as ordinary even as the buccal pill is in place, but keep away from brushing your teeth, chewing gum, or sporting an top denture.
  • If you’re taking acyclovir lengthy-term and your weight adjustments, permit your medical doctor recognise as acyclovir dosages are based on weight.
  • Try to preserve proper hydration when taking acyclovir.
  • If you have a shingles rash or a chilly sore, attempt to maintain it as easy and dry as possible; even though you have to be cautious not to transfer the virus to others, so always use disposable tissues or a separate towel this is washed by way of itself. Wearing loose garb can also help save you inflammation as a result of a shingles rash.
  • Seek urgent scientific recommendation when you have any signs and symptoms of an hypersensitivity (including hives; difficulty respiratory; facial or throat swelling), clean bruising or bleeding or problem urinating, swelling on your feet, or shortness of breath.
  • Herpes infections are extraordinarily contagious and also you must cover your rash and keep away from intimate contact. Also, keep away from touching the rash and then your eyes. Wash palms regularly.
  • If you take acyclovir for genital herpes, it will no longer save you you from passing the infection for your sexual accomplice. Sexual intercourse ought to be prevented while you have got lesions or the primary signs of a scourge. Even when you have no symptoms, the transmission of genital herpes might also nevertheless occur.
  • Talk in your physician or pharmacist before shopping for any medicine over the counter to test that it is well suited with acyclovir, along with nutrients or natural merchandise.
  • Acyclovir may make your skin extra sensitive to the sun and more likely to burn. Wear as a minimum an SPF 30+ sunblock and solar-protective garb when you want to head out of doors.

6. Response and effectiveness

  • May absorb to two hours to attain height plasma concentrations after oral acyclovir management.
  • May take in to 3 days for symptom discount; however, acyclovir have to be taken until the path prescribed is finished. Acyclovir works quality when began within forty eight hours of symptom onset.
  • In herpes zoster (shingles) infections, acyclovir shortened the time it took lesions to scab over and reduced the time wished for the rash to heal and come to be pain-free. Adults older than 50 won the most gain from taking acyclovir.
  • In varicella infections (chickenpox), acyclovir shortened the time to 50% restoration, decreased the number of lesions and vesicles, and reduced fees of fever and tiredness by using day 2.
  • Acyclovir extensively decreased the length of acute contamination and duration of lesion recuperation in humans with genital herpes. In a few, the length of pain and new lesion formation turned into decreased. When given each day for 4 months to ten years, acyclovir reduced the frequency and severity of recurrent genital herpes in extra than ninety five% of humans.

7. Interactions

Medicines that have interaction with acyclovir may additionally both lower its effect, have an effect on how lengthy it really works for, increase side results, or have much less of an impact whilst serious about acyclovir. An interplay among two medicines does now not constantly mean which you have to forestall taking one of the medications; however, now and again it does. Speak in your physician approximately how drug interactions must be controlled.

Common medicinal drugs which could engage with acyclovir include:

  • amphotericin
  • clozapine
  • hepatitis B medications, which include entecavir
  • HIV medications, such as tenofovir and zidovudine
  • gentamicin
  • NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, or naproxen
  • other antivirals, together with valacyclovir
  • probenecid
  • theophylline
  • warfarin, an anticoagulant (blood thinner)
  • vaccinations, together with the varicella virus or zoster vaccine
  • other medications which are metabolized by way of CYP1A2 enzymes, together with theophylline and tizanidine

Alcohol need to be averted at the same time as taking acyclovir because it weakens the immune device and can exacerbate the facet consequences of acyclovir.

Note that this list is not all-inclusive and consists of simplest commonplace medicinal drugs that may engage with acyclovir. You should seek advice from the prescribing facts for acyclovir for a complete listing of interactions.


Acyclovir. Revised 08/2020. Bionpharma Inc.

Further records

Remember, preserve this and all different medicines out of the attain of kids, in no way share your drugs with others, and use acyclovir simplest for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the facts displayed in this page applies for your personal instances.

Copyright 1996-2021 Revision date: May 21, 2021.

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