Aciclovir is an antiviral drug that is used in the treatment of Chickenpox (Varicella) or shingles (herpes zoster). It may also be used for suppressing genital herpes infections or other conditions as determined by your doctor.
How it is taken
The best way to take is as recommended by your doctor. You may also check dosage instructions on the product label. The tablet is to be taken by mouth and drinking additional fluids while taking the drug is recommended.
Therapy with the drug must be started at the earliest symptom or right at the onset of shingles or genital herpes (pain, burning, blisters). Treatment must be continued for the full course even if you experience relief after a while.
In suppressive therapy, the drug must be taken at the same time each day.
Drug Class & Mechanism
Aciclovir is an antiviral that is used to prevent viral replication. It does not eliminate the virus or prevent transmission of the virus to others.
If you miss a dose of, then you may take it as soon as you remember and adjust the remaining doses accordingly. However, if it is nearly time for the next dose then you may skip this dose and continue with the regular dosage. Do not take a double dose to make up for the missed dose.
Store it at room temperature (between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) in an air tight container protecting it from direct exposure to light, heat and moisture. Keep away from pets and children.
Do not take Aciclovir if you are allergic to any ingredient in the drug.
Certain drugs can interact with Aciclovir and hence, mention clearly to your doctor or pharmacist all medicines, dietary supplements and herbal prescriptions that you are taking, especially any of the following.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you are, then stop using Aciclovir. It is unknown whether Aciclovir is secreted in breast milk. Avoid breast feeding while using the drug.
Discuss with your doctor any prior medical condition that you may have including kidney disorders.
Cetain medicines like aminoglycoside antibiotics [eg, gentamicin], amphotericin B, cyclosporine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] [eg, ibuprofen], tacrolimus, vancomycin) can harm the kidney. Refrain from using these drugs while taking Aciclovir.
Possible Side Effects
The common side effects include diarrhea, general body discomfort, headache and nausea/vomiting. Seek medical attention if these symptoms become bothersome.
In extreme cases, there can be a severe allergic reaction showing symptoms like rash, hives, itching, tightness in the chest, difficulty in breathing, seizures, swelling on the face, mouth and lips, aggressive behavior, blood in the urine, confusion, decreased consciousness, decreased urination, hallucinations, lower back pain, mental or mood changes, red, swollen, blistered and severe stomach pain.
Seek medical attention immediately if these side effects occur.