Acyclovir

Generic Name (active ingredient): Acyclovir
Brand Name: Zovirax

Acyclovir is antiviral drug indicated for treatment of infections caused by Herpes Simplex, Varicella zoster and other sensitive to the medication viruses. Acyclovir is available under the brand name Zovirax and many other commercial names.

How does the medication work?
Acyclovir is antiviral medication for oral and topical use. Acyclovir is active against Herpes Simplex 1 and 2, Varicella zoster and Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegaloviruses. Thymidine kinase of the infected cells actively converts acyclovir into mono-, di-, and triphosphate acyclovir. Acyclovir interacts with viral DNA-polymerase and binds to DNA chain that is synthesized for new viruses. As a result defective viral DNA is produced resulting in suppression of new viruses synthesis.

Why is Acyclovir prescribed?
Acyclovir is prescribed for:

  • Shingles
  • Chickenpox
  • Herpes type 1 and 2

Acyclovir is not used for the treatment of bacterial of fungal infections

What should I know before taking Acyclovir?
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Acyclovir or to any other medicines such as:

  • Ganciclovir, Famciclovir

Do not take Acyclovir if any of the below conditions apply to you:

  • Liver diseases such as hepatic failure, liver cirrhosis
  • Kidney diseases such as renal failure, pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis

Before taking Acyclovir, tell your health care provider about any other medicines you take or if you have any of the following disorders:

  • Liver or kidney diseases in anamnesis
  • Fungal and bacterial infections

If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or breastfeed, you should take Acyclovir only under a strict control of your doctor. Acyclovir belongs to a pregnancy category B meaning that is probably safe to use the medicine during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor regarding benefits and possible risk of taking acyclovir during pregnancy.

How to take Acyclovir:
Acyclovir is available in the forms of tablets (for oral administration) and cream or ointment (for topical use). Dosage of Acyclovir is prescribed individually by physician.

Take the entire amount of Acyclovirprescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better before the end of the treatment. If you stop taking medication too early, symptoms may return.
If you missed the scheduled dose, take the medication as soon as you remember, but skip the dose if it is almost the time for the following dose. Do not take two doses at once.

What are the side effects of Acyclovir?
Acyclovir may cause the following side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea

Serious Acyclovir side effects include: agitation, hallucinations, seizures, decreased urine production

If you experience any side effect that last long or becomes bothersome, please inform your doctor as dose adjustment or treatment discontinuation may be required.
If you overdose Acyclovir, seek immediate medical attention. Overdose symptoms include:

Which are Acyclovir overdose symptoms?
Acyclovir overdose symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, sometimes-shortness of breath, kidney dysfunction, seizures, coma.

Which other medicines may affect Acyclovir?
Acyclovir may interact with the following groups of drugs:

  • Anticonvulsants (phenytoin)
  • Uricosuric drugs (probenicid)
  • Antivirals (tenofovir)

For a complete list of possible interactions ask your doctor or pharmacist. Before taking Acyclovir, let your doctor know what other medicines, including OTC, you currently take.

How should I store Acyclovir?
You should store the medication at dry and protected from light place out of reach of children.

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