What is Aciclovir?
Aciclovir is used in decreasing the pain and speeding up the healing of blisters or sores in people with varicella or chickenpox, herpes zoster or shingles, and first-time or repeat outbreaks of genital herpes. It is also used to prevent an outbreak of genital herpes in people who have been infected with the virus.
Aciclovir is a class of antiviral medications called synthetic nucleoside analogues.
How does Aciclovir work?
Aciclovir, an antiviral medication, works by stopping the spread of the herpes virus in the body. It does not cure genital herpes or stop its spread to other people.
What are the benefits of taking Aciclovir?
Aciclovir does not cure the herpes virus. It is beneficial in decreasing the pain and speeding up the blisters or sores in people with chickenpox, shingles, or outbreaks of genital herpes.
How do I use Aciclovir?
Aciclovir comes in the forms of a tablet, a capsule, and a suspension to take by mouth. Aciclovir may be taken with or without food twice or up to five times a day for 5 to 10 days, beginning as soon as possible after your symptoms begin. When used to prevent genital herpes outbreaks, it is usually taken two to five times a day for up to 12 months.
Take Aciclovir at about the same time each day. Follow the directions of your doctor or what is provided for in the prescription label. You can ask your doctor to explain to you anything about the use of medication that you do not understand.
Take this medicine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often or for a longer time than what your doctor prescribed.
If you are using the suspension, shake the bottle well to mix the medication evenly.
Your symptoms will be expected to improve during your therapy with Aciclovir. Call your doctor if your symptoms do now show any signs of improvement or if they get worse.
Finish the prescribed treatment course of this medicine even if you start to feel better. Stopping the taking of Aciclovir too soon or skip doses may result in the incomplete treatment of your infection or it may become difficult to treat.
The usual dose of Aciclovir is to take it by mouth two to five times a day for 5 to 10 days. When used to prevent outbreaks of genital herpes, Aciclovir should be taken twice to five times a day for up to 12 months.
Side effects & precautions
Medicines and their possible side effects affect individual users differently. Not everyone who uses Aciclovir will experience the possible side effects.
Tell your doctor if the following side effects are severe or do not go away:
- upset stomach
- pain, especially in the joints
- hair loss
- changes in vision
Some side effects of Aciclovir could be serious. Call your doctor immediately if you experience the following:
- rash or blisters
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- fast heartbeat
- pale skin
- difficulty sleeping
- fever, sore throat, chills, cough, and other signs of infection
- unusual bruising or bleeding
- blood in the urine
- stomach pain or cramps
- increased urination
- bloody diarrhoea
- hallucinations (seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist)
- aggressive behaviour
- difficulty speaking
- numbness, burning or tingling in the arms or legs
- temporary inability to move parts of your body
- shaking of a part of your body that you cannot control
- loss of consciousness
If you experience other side effects which you believe are associated with your use of Aciclovir, immediately contact your doctor.
Before using Aciclovir, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it, valacyclovir, or any of the ingredients of Aciclovir.
Tell your doctor if you have the possibility of being hydrated from a recent activity or illness or if you ever had a problem with your immune system, or if you have HIV, AIDS, or you have kidney disease.
If you are taking this medication to treat genital herpes, know that genital herpes can be spread through sexual contact even if you don’t have the symptoms of it. Discuss with your doctor how to stop the spread of genital herpes to your partner.
Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant or planning to get pregnant before you start taking this medication. He will discuss with you the benefits and risks of Aciclovir to pregnancy.
Check first with your doctor before you start breastfeeding while you are taking Aciclovir. He will tell you the possible risks to your nursing infant.
Share with your doctor the list of all medications you are currently taking or have recently taken before you start using Aciclovir. Similarly, check first with your doctor before you start taking a new medication while you are using Aciclovir.
Interactions of medicines may result in their diminished effectiveness or worsen the side effects. Request your doctor to check your list of medications for possible interactions with Aciclovir.