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About Acyclovir

If you've used Acyclovir, please help others by sharing your experience with side effects. 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: Severe eczema and herpes simplex
Date: 1/22/2011
my 2yr old son has severe eczema and herpes simplex the doctor wants him on acyclover for the next 6 months i kept him on it for a couple weeks but it made his skin worse it seemed like there was a new breakout every couple days i took him off and was wondering if this was normal

AskDocWeb: It may not be normal but that is one possible way the condition can develop. If you have objections to the treatment, check with your doctor before discontinuing the drug. Adjustments to treatment are common and are much more preferable than just stopping the treatment altogether.

Subj: Outbreak on your back?
Date: 1/24/2011
I have a lesion on my lower back and was prescribed this medication for herpes diagnosis. Is it possible to get a outbreak on your back? I've also been getting headaches since, taking this medication.

AskDocWeb: Although it is unusual it is certainly possible to get an outbreak on the back. One way that could happen is by touching the sores, getting the virus was under your fingernails, and when you scratched your back.

Subj: Shingles pain
Date: 1/29/2011
Had shingles in my upper right leg. Lesions/outbreak has all healed, but still have severe stabbing/shooting pain in my leg. Have taken Steioids (6,5,4,3,2,1) twice and 35 pills of acyclovir -800 mg. But still have pain. Leg is extremely sore when I touch it. Also use powerful jets in the jacuzzi every other day. What can I do to make the pain go away? Would appreciate your help very much. {Initial outbreak was abt a month ago.

AskDocWeb: The pain of shingles and can be severe and prescription medications are frequently needed. Treatment generally begins with a low-dose tricyclic antidepressant, and if that is not enough, may also include narcotic medications and an anti-seizure medication.

Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are commonly used to treat shingles pain but the dosage is typically much lower than that used for treating depression. TCAs used to treat pain include amitriptyline, desipramine, and nortriptyline. Unfortunately the pain-relief may not be seen for three or more weeks.

Other medications used to relieve pain include anti-seizure medications such as gabapentin (Neurontin®) and pregabalin (Lyrica®); Capsaicin derived from chili peppers, Lidocaine (Xylocaine) gel and steroid injections.

Subj: Acyclovir for shingles pain?
Date: 1/30/2011
I take medicine for spinal stenosis a fentnyaln 50 mg., oxycodon, methotraxate for RA, high blood pressure accupril, caduet, atenolol, every 3 months a epidural. Can acyclovir help my shingles pain? I can't take cipro group pills or demerol allergic.

AskDocWeb: Acyclovir does help reduce the pain of shingles but many people need more than that. See the post above for other medications that may help.

Subj: Numerous side effects
Date: 2/1/2011
I have been taking Acyclovir 400mg twice daily for almost 1 year. It does get rid of the outbreaks, but unfortunately I have noticed numerous side effects. I felt really anxious and like I was going to have a panic attack. I experienced severe depression. I would get really irritated about miniscule things loved ones would do. I have no sex drive on it. I have experienced constant Erectile Dysfunction. It does not get as hard as it used to. Only about half as hard. Also, Pre-ejaculation is a huge problem now and it never was before. I used to last at least 10-15 minutes no problem and now I last 1 soon as it gets in then it automatically ejaculates. I feel like I can not even be myself. I do not know if all of it is because of the medication or the disease...

AskDocWeb: The list of side effects for Acyclovir do not include anxiety, depression, or sexual problems.

Subj: Daily suppression dose?
Date: 2/3/2011
Hi, I've been taking acyclovir at 400mg once a day for hsv2 suppression. I've been doing this mainly to save money and lessen my side effects. Is this a bad idea? Should I be taking it twice daily like it says if once is working? Is 400mg to little of a daily suppression dose. Thank you,

AskDocWeb: The exact daily dosage needed for suppression is not the same for everyone. Only your doctor can determine what the appropriate dose of Acyclovir is for you. Trying to determine the correct dosage without the help of your doctor is a bad idea.

Subj: Blood clot
Date: 2/6/2011
Am taking aciclovir for herpes and also taking aspirin because I had a vein in my leg reopened due to smoking. I now get sometimes a blood clot trying to pass through me when I try to pass urine. Is this natural? Thanks,

AskDocWeb: Hi Colin. Blood in the urine could be from an infection, kidney stone, bladder tumor or other serious condition that requires medical attention. This type of problem is typically evaluated by a urologist through a number of tests; urine culture, ultrasound of the kidneys, ureters and bladder, and cystoscopy. Please do not wait to see a doctor as this could be very serious.

Subj: I stopped taking Acyclovir
Date: 2/7/2011
I have had genital herpes for 30 yrs. and was prescribed Acyclovir. What used to be an infrequent annoyance has increased since menopause and I have several outbreaks monthly. Although the outbreaks are not pleasant, they are minor and I stopped taking the medication daily because I did not like the way I felt. My question is, by suffering through the outbreaks without treatment, am I allowing cell damage or some unforseen problems to escalate?

AskDocWeb: There are several significant dangers to consider. The first is that without treatment, there is likely to be an increase in both the number of outbreaks and their severity, which increases the chances of passing this virus on to someone else. It also increases the chances of spreading the virus to other areas of your body. The herpes virus can have a significant impact on your body's immune system. While your body is fighting off the virus your ability to cope with other diseases is reduced. Although rare, herpes can lead to serious illness such as encephalitis, meningitis, and cervical cancer if left untreated. Even ocular herpes and oral herpes have to be treated promptly or else they may cause problems like loss of vision or spreading into the nasal and respiratory tract.

Subj: Numbness and pain in feet and legs
Date: 2/9/2011
This site is extremely helpful. I wasn't sure if the issues I experience are from the virus or the side affects. I am currently on 400mg of acyclovir 2x a day. When I am taking the medication I feel numbness and pain in my feet and legs. Based on your responses that is a known side affect correct? If I were to drop the dose down to 400mg once a day would that reduce the significance of the side affects?

AskDocWeb: Pain in the legs and feet is a different symptom than numbness in those areas. Joint pain in the legs or feet (arthralgia) is a possible side effect of Acyclovir for about 6 percent of users.

The database we use does not list numbness as a possible side effect of Acyclovir. However, the herpes virus is known to attack the nerves, which can result in a numbness called peripheral neuropathy. Acyclovir is used to treat the herpes infections that cause peripheral neuropathy.

Subj: Drug reaction?
Date: 2/13/2011
I have been taking acyclovir for about a year now due to a compromised immune system due to cancer. Approximately 3 months ago, I broke out into an itchy rash that the dermatologist says is a drug reaction. I have stopped all other drugs except this one. Is it possible to develop a sensitivity to this drug 9 months after starting it?

AskDocWeb: Although rare it is possible to develop an allergic response anytime, even after years of safely taking a drug.

Subj: Most appropriate dosage?
Date: 2/13/2011
I am a twenty year old white male, weighing 135 lbs. I have had oral herpes for as long as I can remember. In recent years it has been especially serious. I recently went to see a doctor about it, and she prescribed me with acyclovir 200mg, 2X daily. On the bottle it recommended 400mg 2X daily. I went with my doctors recommendation for about three weeks, and had no issues, but then developed not one, but two cold sores. So I upped my dosage to the recommended dosage on the bottle. I developed a small outbreak a week later that went away relatively fast (about 4 days), but no serious signs of outbreak since. Although it's only been a week and a half roughly. And since i upped my dosage I have been noticing frequent burning sensations on my lips, some spotting on the outside of my lips (a few white and some red spots here and there), frequent canker sores, and what look like hives on the inner part of my lips. In little bits and pieces of my research on acyclovir's side effects, I did read that some of these symptoms are side effects in which the frequency is not measured. I wonder, what would be my most appropriate dosage?

AskDocWeb: Acyclovir will not prevent all outbreaks but it does reduce the number and severity of them. It is the job of your doctor to determine the most appropriate dosage.

Subj: I am itchy all over
Date: 2/21/2011
I have been taking Acyclovir 800 mg bid. I've taken it before about 6 months ago for shingles. This time after the third day I am itchy all over my body. It seems like redness all over could it be an allergic reaction to the medicine? I didn't have this problem the last time and just thought maybe to take benadryl but didn't know if it was ok to take with it.

AskDocWeb: An allergic reaction to Acyclovir may include any or all of the following: hives, itching, swelling, difficulty breathing or difficulty swallowing. The symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from bothersome to life threatening so seek emergency medical attention.

Subj: Urinating less than usual and erectile dysfunction
Date: 2/24/2011
I have been using Acyclovir 400mg tablet, 5 times a day for the past four months as a treament for stubborn hsKeratitis. I had a cornea transplant three years ago and have been taking one tablet a day up to four months ago when the HS got really nasty. I'm going to be 50 this year and put some credence in that but it seems as though I have absolutely no sex drive. I must say before the 5 a day regimine began, our sex life was pretty darn active. Does Acyclovir cause and erectile disfunction? I have also noted a vast difference in urine stream etc.

AskDocWeb: Erectile dysfunction is not listed among the possible side effects of Acyclovir. Urinating less than usual is one of the signs of an overdose so talk to your doctor about that as soon as possible.

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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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