Acyclovir is the most widely prescribed antiviral drug in the world. It is used to treat Shingles (herpes Zoster), Genital herpes, and Fever blisters and Cold sores associated with Herpes simplex. It does not prevent or cure herpes, but it helps to relieve the pain and speed the healing of sores and prevent the outbreak of Genital herpes. In some cases, Acyclovir can also be used to treat oral Hairy leukoplakia and has been shown to stop the growth of the Varicella Zoster virus, Epstein Barr Virus, and Cytomegalovirus.
Acyclovir comes as a tablet, a capsule, and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It can be taken with or without food for 5 to10 days, starting as soon as possible after symptoms begin. To prevent Genital herpes, Acyclovir is usually taken two to five times a day for up to a year. It should be taken around the same time each day. Aciclovir is also available as a cold-sore cream for the lips and face. It should be applied at the first sign of infection, and should be rubbed on the affected area every four hours for five days.
Side effects are generally mild and not common. They may include nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, confusion, muscle aches and itchy skin. In rare cases, there can be more serious side effects, such as Hives, rash or blisters, itching, difficulty breathing or swallowing, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, hoarseness, fast heartbeat, weakness, pale skin, difficulty sleeping, fever, blood in the urine, stomach pain or cramps, bloody diarrhea, or decreased urination. If you experience one or more of the more serious side effects, notify your doctor immediately.
Notes of Precaution
* The Aciclovir cream should not be used in the mouth or mucous membranes.
* Acyclovir should be stored at room temperature.
* Notify your physician if you have kidney disease before using Acyclovir.