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About Acyclovir

If you've used Acyclovir, please help others by adding your feedback. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

Subj: Link between herpes, hypothyroidism, white blood cells, and fibromyalgia
Date: 1/2/2011
I was prescribed acyclovir about 2 years ago for herpes associated pain that made me quite ill, symptoms were leg; hip; back pain; depression as I thought I had something really seriously wrong and probably because I never connected all the symptoms with herpes until the blisters appeared and as I never always had an outbreak of blisters, the connection wasn't always there.

I took the acyclovir for nearly 2 years until my doctor thought I should have a break. Since stopping I have experienced extreme pins and needles in arms/hands and leg/feet. Pain and stiffness in feet and ankles and a general feeling pain of stiffness all over my body. Occasionally when I still get a tingling sensation on my buttock where the blisters appear and take acyclovir for a day or two and most of my pain stops.

I have been tested for everything, blood tests for thyroid, vitamin deficiency, full blood count, neurologist examination etc. every test has been normal except I have a low white blood cell count. I have now waiting for results for subclinical hypothyroidism T3/ T4 as I have all the symptoms. Is there a link with herpes, hypothyroidism, low white blood cells, and possibly fibromyalgia that my doctor thinks could also be the problem. I wasn't experiencing the pain when taking the acylovir, so is this my body weaning itself of the drug. I would be interested if others have experienced similar problems.

AskDocWeb: When we hear that someone's fibromyalgia symptoms disappeared while taking a drug and reappeared when the drug was discontinued, it does make one wonder. This has been reported to occur with both Acyclovir and Valtrex. However, researchers have yet to make a connection. One of the problems with finding a treatment for fibromyalgia is that no single causative agent has been found. While researchers have identified some common risk factors for fibromyalgia, there are still many people with the disease who have none of those identified traits.

There is some evidence that a growth hormone deficiency may be involved in some fibromyalgia cases. A study in Oregon looked at fibromyalgia patients that were exercised to voluntary exhaustion on a treadmill. This is a standard test for growth hormone secretion. Unlike healthy controls, the fibromyalgia patients were unable to mount a growth hormone response to exercise despite reaching an anaerobic threshold, which indicates an adequate exercise workload. However, when fibromyalgia patients were given pyridostigmine 1 hour before exercising, they were able to mount a reasonable growth hormone response. Because pyridostigmine is known to reduce somatostatin tone in the hypothalamus, this result suggests that a growth hormone deficiency in fibromyalgia cases may be a reversible problem that has a physiologic basis, i.e. increased hypothalamic somatostatin tone. (Source: press release from Eduardo S. Paiva, Atul Deodhar, Kim D. Jones, Robert Bennett; Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland)

Subj: Clyndamycin
Date: 1/4/2011
i had a bad food allergy which worsened over a few days and I developed a Staph infection. Acyclovir was prescribed along with clyndamycin. Do both of those counteract each other? Both of them are giving me some of the side effects.

AskDocWeb: Clindamycin is in a class of medications called lincomycin antibiotics. It works by slowing or stopping the growth of bacteria but has no affect on viral infections. Acyclovir is an antiviral medication that works on viral infections but has no affect on bacterial infections. These two drugs work on different kinds of infection and can work together quite well. No drug interactions between Acyclovir and Clindamycin have been identified.

Subj: Big time eczema with immuno isssue
Date: 1/8/2011
I am big time eczema which has got steadily worse thru life so much so that I am now on ciclosporin immuno suppressant which has really helped me have a life again without constant unbearable itching which of course leads to more skin issues. I am now clear in an immune controlled way and take the immunos every 12 weeks for 7 days but do have herpes simplex isssues and time I zoster since each time I go on the immunos I have problems. The last time being a poss shingles outbreak but this was seemingly cos of the immunos - so my question: Do you know if there is a big issue me taking either acyclover or varicyclover with the immunos - it is not really an option cos I do need the immunos from time to time in order to sleep work shower dress and no itch is only an indicator of the hell that a really big itch is in your every day functioning life. It is so much worse that say sunburn all over - now of course I must consider side effects and if the combination of the two is so grim that I should live with a herpes outbreak and deal with it after. Also do I get this more on immunos cos I am lowering my immune system, that's my theory -the immune system is so so clever and yet so cruel...

AskDocWeb: Using Acyclovir or Valacyclovir in those with a compromised immune system have produced infrequent side effects; upset stomach, headache, nausea, and hair loss from prolonged use. Acyclovir is considered the drug of choice for treatment of mucosal or cutaneous HSV infections caused by HSV 1 and 2 in immunocompromised patients.

Subj: Best time of day?
Date: 1/9/2011
I take 400mg of Acyclovir daily. What is the best time of day to take it?

AskDocWeb: There doesn't seem to a "best time of day" to take Acyclovir.

Subj: Menstruation in the middle of a cycle
Date: 1/13/2011
I recently switched from Valtrex to Acyclovir. Acyclovir is on the Walgreens low cost plan. I got 90 800 mg tablets for $10.99. A huge savings! I break them in half and take half in the morning half at night for supression. I am also taking Yaz for birth control and now am having a full menstruation right in the middle of a pack of pills. The timing coincides. Is the Acyclovir lessing the effectiveness of my BCP or related to the break thru bleeding? Or is this just stress which I am having a lot of right now? Thanks,

AskDocWeb: Irregular menstrual cycles are not listed as a side effect of Acyclovir however, others have reported menstrual problems and changes in their period while taking Acyclovir.

Some antibiotics are known to affect the effectiveness of birth control pills but none of the antiviral drugs do that. The antibiotic most researched for its ability to decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills is rifampin, which is prescribed for infections such as tuberculosis, leprosy, inactive meningitis, and methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Other antibiotics that may effect birth control pills include amoxicillin, ampicillin, cotrimoxazole, nitrofurantoin, griseofulvin, metronidazole, minocycline, penicillin, phenobarbitol, sulfonamide, and tetracycline.

Subj: Suppression therapy
Date: 1/14/2011
I've had oral herpes since I was a kid and I stopped getting them for quite sometime. at least 4-5 years. Now, I'm getting them 2-3 three times a year. They are severe and leave little marks that stay for 3-4 months at a time. Its embarrassing. Anyway. I went to the dermatologist recently and he wrote me 800mg twice a day of acyclovir and I took it as soon as I felt the itches/burning feeling on my lip, its been about 5 days, the herpe is smaller and doesnt look like its going to leave a mark but I was wondering how long suppression therapy takes?

AskDocWeb: Suppression therapy doesn't have a set time limit. It is an ongoing process that may continue as long as it is effective. Suppression therapy is effective in suppressing or preventing 80% to 90% of outbreaks.

Subj: Shellfish
Date: 1/18/2011

AskDocWeb: Well you are not alone. Almost seven million Americans are allergic to shellfish and one in six Americans have herpes. None of those allergic to shellfish have reported a problem with taking any of the antiviral drugs.

Subj: Feel like bugs are crawling on me
Date: 1/20/2011
I have coldsores all over my face. I'm taking acyclovir 800mg po bid. I have been feeling like bugs are crawling on me. Is this a side effect?

AskDocWeb: No, that is not listed as one of the possible side effects of Acyclovir. The feeling that bugs are on or under the skin is medically referred to as paresthesia. It may help to know that others are feeling the same things so don't feel alone. This maddening problem has many people feeling like they are going crazy. That sensation has been described in several ways:
  • ants crawling all over the body
  • bugs on or under the skin
  • burning
  • crawling skin feeling
  • creepy crawly skin
  • heebie jeebies
  • itches
  • like having fleas
  • like tiny biting insects
  • pins and needles
  • prickling
  • rolling creepy-crawlies
  • tingles
  • tingling
When perceived as itchiness, it may trigger the scratch reflex and because of that, some people are at risk of causing skin damage through excessive scratching. Yielding to the temptation to scratch can cause infection and make the condition worse.

In rare cases individuals who fixate on the sensation may develop a delusional parasitosis called formication, where they become convinced the sensation is being caused by actual insects. Formication, has negative connotations because it is defined as a tactile hallucination. The hallucinated sensation that insects or snakes are crawling over the skin is a common side effect of extensive use of cocaine or amphetamines.

The causes of parasitosis include onset of menopause (hormone withdrawal), diabetic neuropathy, hormonal changes, skin cancer, syphilis, and herpes zoster.

Some of the things that others have found helpful include anti-histamines, hormone replacement therapy, phytoestrogen supplements, anti-itch creams, and even soy flour pancakes.

(Grin) On the other hand it could be bed bugs so change the whole bed just in case.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2008-2011 Askdocweb, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This is a layman's report on Acyclovir and is not intended to replace discussions with a health care provider. Do not use the information on this forum as a substitute for your doctor's advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any drug and follow your doctor's directions. Source material: Food and Drug Administration, Medline, Physician's Desk Reference, and the largest community of people in the world, those who are concerned about side effects and healthcare.
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