What is Aciclovir?
Aciclovir is a medicine which contains Acyclovir active ingredient and is used to treat Herpes Simplex Virus( type-1 and type-2). Aciclovir is a generic version of widely-known Zovirax medicine. It performs the same functions:
- Fights viral infections
- Helps to deal with recurrent outbreaks
- Speeds up the recovery
Aciclovir often used as a preventative measure on the early stages of virus reactivation. Using Aciclovir helps to reduce the number of recurrent cases.
Herpes is a commonly spread virus that causes painful blisters. Unfortunately, there is no such medicine that can cure herpes completely. If you have the virus in your blood, it will remain in your system for the rest of your live. Symptoms of the virus can come and go with decreasing frequency. Recurrent cases occur if the immune system is not strong enough to keep the virus inactive.
Genital Herpes Treatment
Genital Herpes (GH) is an infection that leads to painful blisters on genitals and around it. The cause of the infection is HSV – herpes simplex virus. Herpes virus impacts mucous membranes; it can either the moist lining of the mouth, or genitals. GH is transmitted through sexual contact. That is why it is classified as STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection). Herpes virus is highly contagious and so may be spread by direct contact with the affected area.
There are two types of Herpes Simplex Virus – HSV-1 and HSV-2. Aciclovir is efficient in treating both of them.
What is important to know about Aciclovir?
It is a well-known fact that Aciclovir is safe to take for a long period of time. Sometimes a person can feel fatigue, especially if taking higher dosages of the medicine to treat shingles. This is a very rare side effect that shouldn’t occur in the process of Genital Herpes treatment. Other important facts:
- Aciclovir is compatible with alcohol. However, it is not recommended to drink great amount of alcohol during any treatment process.
- While taking this medicine you will be able to drive vehicles, as Aciclovir does not affect person’s motor skills.
- Aciclovir is a prescription drug and is not available over-the-counter.
- You should store it in a dry environment with a temperature not higher than 30 °C.
A tablet of Aciclovir contains 400 mg of acyclovir medicine that kills or stops the growth of viruses. It is usually an uncoated white to off-white tablet with dosage number on the side. A person should always follow the instructions of the doctor or pharmacist when taking the medicine.
How to take Aciclovir?
Start taking Aciclovir a soon as you notice the first symptoms of herpes. A person should take this medicine by mouth. Swallow the tablet whole with a little water. The tablet can be taken with or without food.
- The usual dose for genital herpes treatment is 400 mg tablet taken 3 times a day. However, check with the doctor if you are not sure.
- The space between doses should be 4 hours.
- It is recommended to take Aciclovir 400 mg tablets for 5 days or longer.
The doctor will adjust Aciclovir 400 mg tablet according to your condition. It is important to drink plenty of water while using this medicine to avoid stress on the kidneys. If you missed the time to take the tablet, take one as soon as you can. Never take a double dose of the medicine to make up for a missed dose.
Aciclovir is not usually harmful, unless a person takes too many tablets over several days. If you think you took too much Aciclovir 400 mg tablets, talk to your doctor or a pharmacist.
As any other medicine, Aciclovir 400 mg can cause side effects. This can be a result of overdose or not following the doctor’s instructions.
The most serious side effect is an allergic reaction that may affect up to 1 in 1000 people. If you are an allergic to Aciclovir 400 mg tablets, stop taking them immediately and contact your doctor. The signs of an allergic reaction include:
- rash, itching or hives on your skin
- swelling of your face, lips, tongue or other parts of your body
- shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing
Other side effects include:
Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
- feeling dizzy or being sick
- stomach pains
Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
- itchy, hive-like rash
- hair loss
Rare (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
- effects on some blood and urine tests
- increases in the enzymes that work in the liver
If you have any of these side effects or experience any inconveniences connected to taking the medicine, please contact your doctor or a pharmacist.
A more detailed list of side effects can be found in the patient information.
- Aciclovir 400 mg Tablets Patient Leaflet. 03.2017 Available at https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/files/pil.4335.pdf Last visited 18.04.2018
- Acyclovir Medication, general Information. Available at https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a681045.html Last visited 18.04.2018
The Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) is the leaflet included in the pack with a medicine. It is written for patients and gives information about taking or using a medicine. It is possible that the leaflet in your medicine pack may differ from the PDF-version from this website because it may have been updated since your medicine was packaged or the medicine is from another brand.