Acyclovir

Written by

Update Date 14/08/2020 . 7 mins read
Share now

Uses

What is Acyclovir used for?

Acyclovir is commonly used for treating infections caused by herpes viruses, such as genital herpes, cold sores, shingles, and chickenpox. Acyclovir will not treat other viral infections such as the flu or a common cold.

Acyclovir may also be used for purposes, ask your doctor for more information.

How should I take Acyclovir?

Drink plenty of water while you are taking acyclovir to keep your kidneys working properly.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely treated.

How do I store Acyclovir?

Acyclovir is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store acyclovir in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of acyclovir that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush acyclovir down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Acyclovir?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to acyclovir.
  • You are allergic to milk proteins.

Treatment with acyclovir should be started as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms (such as tingling, burning, blisters).

Lesions caused by herpes viruses should be kept as clean and dry as possible. Wearing loose clothing may help to prevent irritation of the lesions.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight. Acyclovir doses are based on weight (especially in children and teenagers), and any changes may affect the dose.

Herpes can be passed to your baby during childbirth if you have a genital lesion when your baby is born. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during pregnancy. Take your medicine as directed to best control your infection.

Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even while you are being treated. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Avoid touching an infected area and then touching your eyes. Wash your hands frequently to prevent passing the infection to others.

Taking this medicine will not prevent you from passing genital herpes to your sexual partner. Avoid sexual intercourse while you have active lesions or the first symptoms of an outbreak. Genital herpes may still be contagious through “viral shedding” from your skin, even if you have no symptoms.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

A post-marketing acyclovir pregnancy registry has documented pregnancy outcomes in women exposed to any formulation of acyclovir. The registry findings have not shown an increase in the number of birth defects amongst acyclovir-exposed subjects compared with the general population, and any birth defects showed no uniqueness or consistent pattern to suggest a common cause. The use of acyclovir should be considered only when the potential benefits outweigh the possibility of unknown risks.

Acyclovir is a pregnancy risk category B drug, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Acyclovir passes into breast milk and may affect a nursing infant. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Side effectsMouth pain

What side effects can occur from Acyclovir?

Common acyclovir side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Malaise
  • Headache
  • Mouth pain (while using an acyclovir buccal tablet)

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to acyclovir such as hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin
  • Signs of a kidney problem such as little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination
  • Swelling in your feet or ankles
  • Feeling tired or short of breath

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Acyclovir?

Acyclovir may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Acyclovir?

Acyclovir may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Acyclovir?

Acyclovir may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

To make sure acyclovir is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Kidney disease
  • A weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine)

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using acyclovir.

What is the dose of Acyclovir for an adult?

Genital herpes

Initial treatment is 200 mg orally every 4 hours while awake (5 times daily) for 10 days or 400 mg orally every 8 hours for 7-10 days.

Intermittent treatment for recurrence is 200 mg orally every 4 hours while awake (5 times daily) for 5 days; initiate at the earliest sign or symptom of recurrence.

Chronic suppression for recurrence is 400 mg orally every 12 hours for up to 12 months; alternatively, 200 mg 3-5 times daily.

Herpes Simplex Virus Encephalitis

The recommended dose is 10-15 mg/kg IV every 8 hours for 10 days; up to 14-21 days reported.

In obese patients, calculate the dose using body mass.

Mucocutaneous Herpes Simplex Virus Infection

Treatment in immunocompromised patients

IV: The recommended dose is 5 mg/kg every 8 hours for 7 days; dosing up to 14 days reported.

In obese patients, calculate the dose using body mass.

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Acute treatment: The recommended dose is 800 mg by mouth every 4 hours while awake (5 times daily) for 7-10 days.

Immunocompromised patients

  • The recommended dose is 10 mg/kg IV every 8 hours for 7 days.
  • In obese patients, use IBW.
  • CrCl 25-50 ml/min: Full recommended IV dose is every 12 hours.
  • CrCl 10-25 ml/min: Full recommended IV dose is once daily.
  • CrCl 0-10 ml/min: 50% of recommended IV dose is once daily.

Varicella-Zoster (Chickenpox)

>40 kg (immunocompetent): The recommended dose is 800 mg orally every 6 hours for 5 days.

Immunocompromised patients: The recommended dose is 10-15 mg/kg IV every 6 hours for 7-10 days.

In obese patients, calculate the dose using body mass.

What is the dose of Acyclovir for a child?

Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infection

The recommended dose is 30 mg/kg/day IV divided every 8 hours for 14-21 days; alternatively, 20 mg/kg IV every 8 hours for 14-21 days.

In obese patients, calculate the dose using body mass.

Herpes Simplex Virus Encephalitis

3 months-12 years: The recommended dose is 20 mg/kg IV every 8 hours for 10 days; up to 14-21 days reported.

>12 years: The recommended dose is 10-15 mg/kg IV every 8 hours for 14-21 days.

In obese patients, calculate the dose using body mass.

Mucocutaneous Herpes Simplex Virus Infection

Treatment in immunocompromised patients

<12 years: The recommended dose is 10 mg/kg IV every 8 hours for 7 days.

>12 years: The recommended dose is 5-10 mg/kg/day IV divided every 8 hours for 5-7 days; up to 14 days reported.

In obese patients, calculate the dose using body mass.

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

<12 years (immunocompromised): The recommended dose is 20 mg/kg IV every 8 hours for 7 days.

>12 years (immunocompetent): The recommended dose is 800 mg PO every 4 hours while awake (5 times daily) for 7-10 days

>12 years (immunocompromised): The recommended dose is 30 mg/kg/day IV divided every 8 hours for 7-10 days

In obese patients, calculate the dose using body mass.

Varicella-Zoster (Chickenpox)

≥2 years and <40 kg: The recommended dose is 20 mg/kg/dose by mouth every 6 hours for 5 days; not to exceed 800 mg/dose.

>40 kg: The recommended dose is 800 mg by mouth every 6 hours for 5 days.

In obese patients, calculate the dose using body mass.

Immunocompromised patients

  • <12 years: The recommended dose is 20 mg/kg/dose IV every 8 hours for 7 days.
  • >12 years: The recommended dose is 10 mg/kg/dose IV every 8 hours for 7 days.

How is Acyclovir available?

Acyclovir is available in the following brands, dosage forms, and strengths:

  • Acycla cream 5% w/w
  • Herpex oral suspension 200 mg/5 mL
  • Herpex tablet 200 mg, 400 mg, 800 mg
  • Virest Cream 5% w/w
  • RiteMED Aciclovir tablet 400 mg, 800 mg
  • Zovirax, powder for injection, 250 mg vial
  • Zovirax tablet 200 mg, 400 mg, 800 mg
  • Zylovir tablet 200 mg, 400 mg, 800 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of acyclovir, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Was this article helpful for you ?
happy unhappy"
Sources

FROM EXPERT Stephanie Nicole Nera

Ashitaba

UsesAshitaba (Angelica keiskei) is an herb that grown and popularly used in Japan. It is part of the same family as carrots, celery, and parsley. The edible and medically important parts of the plant are the roots ...

Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera
Ashitaba
Drugs 16/09/2020

Oral rehydration solution (ORS)

UsesOral rehydration salts are used to treat dehydration caused by diarrhea, fluid loss, burns, and other conditions that cause water and electrolyte deficiency. Oral rehydration salts do not treat the cause of ...

Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera
Oral rehydration solution (ORS)
Drugs 16/09/2020

Cystiphane Food Supplement

UsesCystiphane food supplement is used to build healthy and strong hair and nails. It protects hair roots and follicles while improving the quality and growth rate of hair and nails. This food supplement contains ...

Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera
Cystiphane Food Supplement
Drugs 16/09/2020

Recommended for you

what is genital herpes and how is it treated

How to Spot and Prevent Genital Herpes

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Maridol Ranoa-Bismark
Published on 26/08/2020 . 4 mins read
Varilrix®

Varilrix®

Written by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
Published on 30/07/2020 . 4 mins read
Hapacol

Hapacol

Written by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
Published on 02/05/2020 . 4 mins read
Lysine

Lysine

Written by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
Published on 02/05/2020 . 4 mins read