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Table of Contents > Drug > Acyclovir (Systemic) Print

Acyclovir (Systemic)

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • U.S. Brand Names: Zovirax®
    • Canadian Brand Names: Apo-Acyclovir®;Gen-Acyclovir;Mylan-Acyclovir;Novo-Acyclovir;Nu-Acyclovir;ratio-Acyclovir;Teva-Acyclovir;Zovirax®
    • Pharmacologic Category: Antiviral Agent

    Uses
    • It is used to stop or treat herpes infections.
    • It is used to treat chickenpox.
    • Acyclovir works to harm the virus and fight the infection.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Oral:
    • Use as you have been told, even if you are feeling better.
    • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
    • Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
    • There is a liquid (suspension) if you cannot swallow pills. Shake well before use.
    • Those who have feeding tubes can also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after this drug is given.
    • If you are taking this drug for an infection that came back, start this drug as soon as you can.
    • If you are taking this drug for herpes zoster, start it as soon as you can; no later than 3 days after the rash shows up.
    • If you are taking this drug for chickenpox, start it as soon as you can, no later than 24 hours after the rash shows up.
    • Injection:
    • It is given as a shot into a vein.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take two doses or extra doses.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect capsules and tablets from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.
    • Follow how to store the injection closely. Talk with the doctor.

    Safety



    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to acyclovir, valacyclovir, or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

    Precautions

    • If you have kidney disease, talk with your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Headache.
    • Feeling dizzy. Rise slowly over a few minutes when sitting or lying down. Be careful climbing.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up. Many small meals, good mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Loose stools.

    Monitoring

    • Change in the health problem being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?
    • Follow up with the doctor.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Very loose stools.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. You may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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