Active Ingredients: Acyclovir

One of the most effective treatments for Herpes is Zovirax, with the active ingredient acyclovir. This medicine will treat outbreaks of genital and oral herpes, as well as chicken pox and shingles. Although a cure for herpes has yet to be discovered, Zovirax eases symptoms by encouraging the sores to dry out and to disappear more quickly. Zovirax can also be used to prevent an anticipated outbreak.

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What are acyclovir tablets or capsules?
ACYCLOVIR (Zovirax®) treats certain types of viral infections, specifically herpes infections. Acyclovir will not cure herpes infections; it will help the sores heal faster and help to relieve the pain or discomfort. Sometimes acyclovir is given to help prevent the infection from coming back. Acyclovir also treats shingles and chickenpox infections. Generic acyclovir tablets and capsules are available.

What should my health care professional know before I take acyclovir?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
•neurological disease
•kidney disease
•seizures (convulsions)
•an unusual or allergic reaction to acyclovir, ganciclovir, valacyclovir, valganciclovir, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
•pregnant or trying to get pregnant

How should I take this medicine?
Take acyclovir tablets or capsules by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow whole with a full glass of water. You can take acyclovir with or without food. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Finish the full course prescribed by your prescriber or health care professional even if you think your condition is better. Do not stop taking except on your prescriber's advice.

Contact your pediatrician or health care professional regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What drug(s) may interact with acyclovir?
•zidovudine, AZT

Tell your prescriber or health care professional about all other medicines you are taking, including non-prescription medicines, nutritional supplements, or herbal products. Also tell your prescriber or health care professional if you are a frequent user of drinks with caffeine or alcohol, if you smoke, or if you use illegal drugs. These may affect the way your medicine works. Check with your health care professional before stopping or starting any of your medicines.

What side effects may I notice from taking acyclovir?
The side effects you may notice from acyclovir depend upon the dose you are taking and the infection being treated; not all side effects occur in every patient.
Side effects that you should report to your prescriber or health care professional as soon as possible:
•confusion or hallucinations (i.e., seeing things that are not there)
•increased thirst
•redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
•reduced amount of urine passed
•skin rash or hives
•stomach pain
•unusual weakness or tiredness

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your prescriber or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):
•increased sensitivity to the sun
•loss of appetite
•nausea, vomiting

What should I watch for while taking acyclovir?
Tell your prescriber or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve after 1 week.

Make sure to drink plenty of water or fluids while taking acyclovir to help prevent side effects.

Even though you are taking acyclovir, you can still pass herpes or chickenpox to another person.

Acyclovir works best when taken very early in the course of an infection. Begin treatment at the first signs of infection (such as tingling, itching, or pain in the affected area).

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease. Taking acyclovir will not stop your sexual partner from getting the infection. Do not have sex if you have an active herpes infection; you can use a condom during sex, but this is not foolproof.

Where can I keep my medicine?
Keep out of the reach of children in a container that small children cannot open.

Store at room temperature between 15° and 25°C (59° and 77°F). Protect from light and moisture. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.