The reference site for Aciclovir

Aciclovir, also known as acyclovir, is an antiviral medication. It is primarily used for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infections, chickenpox, and shingles.

WHAT IS Aciclovir?

Aciclovir (ACV), also known as acyclovir, is an antiviral medication. It is primarily used for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infections, chickenpox, and shingles. Other uses include prevention of cytomegalovirus infections following transplant and severe complications of Epstein-Barr virus infection. It can be taken by mouth, applied as a cream, or injected.

 

Brand Name(s): Zovirax; Avirax
CAS nº: 59277-89-3
(a SYE klo veer)

Product Info

The sections below will provide you with more specific information and guidelines related to aciclovir and its correct use. Please read them carefully.

FDA Information

Aciclovir received its first FDA approval for the treatment of genital herpes in 1985, and since then has beeen approved to help fight herpes, shingles and other similar viral infections. A prescription is required for this medicine.

This medicine was produced in the early 1950s to treat herpes infections by two American biochemists, George Hitchings (1905-) and Gertrude B. Elion (1918-). For their discovery, Hitchings and Elion shared the 1988 Nobel Prize for medicine with the British pharmacologist Sir James Whyte Black (1924-).
Please visit the official site of the FDA for further information.

Why is this medication prescribed?

Aciclovir (INN) or acyclovir (USAN, former BAN) is a guanine analogue antiviral drug used most commonly to treat outbreaks of herpes simplex on the skin (mouth, lips, genitals, anus), outbreaks of shingles (herpes zoster), and chickenpox. Furthermore, it is also used to help prevent outbreaks of herpes and shingles in patients with frequent outbreaks.

The viruses that cause these infections are similar, and they live in the body quietly until an outbreak is triggered. Aciclovir is not a cure for the infections, but treatment of an outbreak can speed up healing of the sores, decrease pain, and lower the risk of complications from the virus (e.g. whole body infection, brain infection, persistent pain after sore healing).

Other uses for this medicine

Additionally, aciclovir is sometimes used to treat eczema herpeticum (a skin infection caused by the herpes virus), to treat and prevent herpes infections of the skin, eyes, nose, and mouth in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and to treat oral hairy leukoplakia (condition that causes hairy white or gray-colored patches on the tongue or inside of the cheek).

Nevertheless, it is important that you talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your particular condition.

Dosage and using this medicine

Aciclovir comes in various forms: as a tablet (200 mg and 400 mg), topical cream (5%), intravenous injection (25 mg/mL) and ophthalmic ointment (3%).
Cream preparations are used primarily for labial herpes simplex.
The intravenous injection is used when high concentrations of aciclovir are required.
The ophthalmic ointment preparation is only used for herpes simplex keratitis.

Use this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not use the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Treatment with aciclovir should be started as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms (such as tingling, burning, blisters).

Drink plenty of water while you are taking aciclovir to keep your kidneys working properly. Aciclovir is excreted mainly by the kidney and dosages need to be reduced in patients with kidney dysfunction.

Aciclovir tablets may be taken with or without food.

As stated above, this medication may be given as an injection through a needle placed into a vein. Your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider will give you this injection. The medicine must be given slowly through an IV infusion, and can take at least 1 hour to complete.

You may be given instructions on how to use your injections at home. Do not use this medicine at home if you do not fully understand how to give the injection and properly dispose of needles and other items used in giving the medicine.

Use each needle and syringe only once. With your medicine you will receive a puncture-proof container for used needles and syringes. If you do not receive a container, ask your pharmacist for one. Please remember to keep this container out of the reach of children and pets. Your pharmacist can tell you how to properly dispose of the container.

Use this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Please note that aciclovir will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Lesions caused by herpes viruses should be kept as clean and dry as possible. Wearing loose clothing may help to prevent irritation of the lesions.

What special precautions should I follow?

BEFORE TAKING ACICLOVIR:
Do not use this medicine if you are allergic to aciclovir or valacyclovir (Valtrex®).

Moreover, inform your doctor if you are allergic to any other medications, or if you have any of the following: kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis); liver disease; a brain or nervous system disorder such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, or tardive dyskinesia; breathing problems; or an electrolyte imbalance (such as high or low calium, sodium, or potassium blood levels). If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use aciclovir, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Tell your doctor if you are also taking probenecid (Benemid®). If you are using probenecid, you may not be able to use aciclovir, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs that can affect aciclovir. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without first consulting your doctor.

This medication falls into the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Moreover, herpes virus can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during your pregnancy so that you do not have a genital lesion when your baby is born.

Please note that aciclovir passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even while you are being treated with aciclovir. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people, and also try to avoid touching an infected area and then touching your eyes. Wash your hands frequently to prevent passing the infection to others.

Aciclovir will not prevent the spread of genital herpes. Avoid sexual intercourse or use a latex condom to prevent spreading the virus to others.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

Use the medication as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and use the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time.
Please do not use extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:
hives
difficulty breathing
swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

Stop using aciclovir (acyclovir) and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

urinating less than usual or not at all

fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms

a red, blistering, peeling skin rash

jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

swelling, pain, tenderness, or skin changes where the injection was given

pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding

confusion, tremors, agitation, tiredness, hallucinations, seizure

weakness

Continue using aciclovir and talk with your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects:

nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, loss of appetite

muscle pain, numbness or tingling

lack of coordination

sleep problems (insomnia)

headache, feeling light-headed

swelling in your hands or feet

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

 

In case of an emergency/overdose

In the case of an overdose, call your local poison control center on 1-800-222-1222. However, if the victim has collapsed or is not breathing,  then please call the local emergency services on 911.
Symptoms of an aciclovir overdose may include:
agitation

seizure (convulsions)

hallucinations

urinating less than usual or not at all

Product Images

PICTURES OF ACICLOVIR PILLS

Below you will find images and specific information on the principal types of aciclovir that exist, including their respective brand name(s), strength, inscription codes and manufacturers.
The information below includes general information and guidelines for patients taking this medication and should never be used to substitute professional medical advice that can be provided by a qualified physician or family doctor.

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 200 MG
Imprint: ZENITH 4266 | 200
Manufacturer: IVAX PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 200 MG
Imprint: R 605
Manufacturer: PUREPAC PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 200 MG
Imprint: RX 652
Manufacturer: RANBAXY

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 200 MG
Imprint: N 940
Manufacturer: TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: ZOVIRAX®
Strength(s): 200 MG
Imprint: ZOVIRAX 200
Manufacturer: PD – RX

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 400 MG
Imprint: M 253
Manufacturer: MYLAN

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 400 MG
Imprint: R | 606
Manufacturer: PUREPAC PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 400 MG
Imprint: 4267 | 400
Manufacturer: IVAX PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 400 MG
Imprint: N 943 | 400
Manufacturer: TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 800 MG
Imprint: 4268 | 800
Manufacturer: IVAX PHARMACEUTICALS

 

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 800 MG
Imprint: MYLAN | 302
Manufacturer: MYLAN

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 800 MG
Imprint: RX 505
Manufacturer: RANBAXY PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 800 MG
Imprint: N 947 | 800
Manufacturer: TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: ZOVIRAX®
Strength(s): 800 MG
Imprint: ZOVIRAX 800
Manufacturer: PD – RX

Name: ACICLOVIR
Strength(s): 200 MG – 5 ML
Imprint: ACYCLOVIR ORAL SUSPENSION
Manufacturer: ALPHARMA

Name: ZOVIRAX® Suspension
Strength(s): 200 MG – 5 ML
Imprint: ZOVIRAX ORAL SUSPENSION
Manufacturer: GLAXOSMITHKLINE

Name: ACYCLOVIR Injection
Strength(s): 500 MG
Imprint: ACYCLOVIR 500 MG
Manufacturer: ABRAXIS PHARMACEUTICALS

Name: ACYCLOVIR Injection
Strength(s): 1000 MG
Imprint: ACYCLOVIR 1000
Manufacturer: BEDFORD LABS.

Name: ZOVIRAX® Ointment
Strength(s): 5 %
Imprint: ZOVIRAX OINTMENT
Manufacturer: GLAXOSMITHKLINE

Contact us