Acyclovir is one of the most commonly used antiviral drugs, and is primarily designated for treatment of the herpes virus. Acyclovir effectively diminishes the discomfort and length of herpes outbreaks from those who suffer from recurring episodes, and may also be used reduce the outbreak of genital warts, cold sores, shingles, and chicken pox. Acylovir is the active ingredient found in brand-name medications such as Zovirax, Acivirax and Herpex.
Acyclovir is primarily used to temporarily treat (but not cure) herpes simplex virus. Take Acyclovir at the first sign of herpes related symptoms, such as: tingling, blisters or a burning sensation. Acyclovir reduces the occurrence of outbreaks associated with herpes, genital warts, cold sores, chickenpox, and shingles (herpes zoster). This treatment works to destroy much of the herpes virus, diminishing it's the growth and the potential to spread.
Acyclovir may also be marketed as:
ACV, Zovirax, Xovir, Aciclovir, acycloguanosine, Acivir, Acivirax, Herpex, and Cyclovir.
Always follow your doctor's instructions and the directions on your prescription label when taking Acyclovir. Take each dose of Acyclovir with a full glass or water. This medication may be taken with or without food. Take Acyclovir for the entire time period prescribed, even if symptoms heal before then.
Always read the ingredients on the label before taking this or any other medication to ensure that there are no elements that may elicit an allergic reaction. Stop taking this medication and consult a doctor if you experience symptoms associated with allergies. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following side effects: abnormal changes of urine quantities, lower back pain, blood clots, easy bruising or bleeding, extreme fatigue or disorientation. The following is a list of less serious side effects associated with Acyclovir: nausea, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pains, feeling light-headed, and the sudden swelling of hands or feet. Consult a doctor if symptoms persist or worsen over time.
Note that this is not an all-inclusive list of side effects. Consult a doctor for an extended understanding of the possible risks involved with taking Acyclovir.
Speak to your doctor if you have allergies to Acyclovir or to valacyclovir (Valtrex) before taking this medication. Always consult your doctor of your medical history before embarking on a new medical treatment. Doctors should also be made particularly aware of the following medical conditions before taking Acyclovir: kidney trouble, and conditions of suppressed immune systems (HIV, kidney transplants, bone marrow transplants, etc.). More mature users may be at higher risk of experiencing side effects related to Acyclovir, especially those with a history of kidney problems.
Acyclovir does not cure genital herpes, nor does it protect the user from infecting others with the virus. Herpes infections are contagious. Keep infected area clean, and avoid letting the infected area come into contact with others. Be particularly mindful to practice protected sex when experiencing a herpes outbreak.
Women who are pregnant, looking to become pregnant or are breastfeeding should contact a trusted healthcare professional before taking Acyclovir. Acyclovir has the potential of passing into breast milk, potentially harming a nursing child.
Inform your doctor of all prescription and herbal medications that you are taking before starting to use Acyclovir. Consult your doctor if you are taking probenecid or valacyclovir (Valtrex) before beginning the Acyclovir treatment.
Never exceed the recommended dosage of Acyclovir. Missed doses should be taken as soon as the users remembers, however if it almost time for the next dosage, skip the missed dose and revert back to normal schedule. Do not take more than 2 doses of Acyclovir in one instance.
Store Acyclovir at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Acyclovir out of the reach of children and away from pets.