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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: Exposed to HSV1
Date: 2/26/2011
I have been exposed to HSV1 5 days ago. As I was never been exposed before I started taking after 48 hrs Acyclovir 400mg x2/d. I think I have slight gingivitis with a painful itchy throat and swollen tonsils. Is it due to the medication? I wanted to ask if there is any post exposure prophylaxis for HSV and if using Acyclovir 400mg can help. Should I increase the dosage?
Herpes Post exposure Prophylaxis

AskDocWeb: Acyclovir is generally not recommended for the prevention or acquisition of HSV1 infection unless there are other complicating factors. The prophylactic use of Acyclovir has to do with preventing or reducing the recurrences of outbreaks in those who already have the virus. For example, preventing an outbreak during the birthing process reduces the chances of the virus being passed on to the newborn. That is secondary prophylaxis as opposed to primary prophylaxis, which is to prevent the disease rather than treat it. Don't increase the dosage without talking to your doctor first. There have been reports of medication taste and sore throat while taking Acyclovir. However, the list of possible side effects from Acyclovir does not include swollen tonsils.


Subj: Recommended times to take Acyclovir?
Date: 2/27/2011
If I have to take Acyclovir 5 times a day and I get up 8am what is the recommended times I should be taking the medicine?
Jennifer

AskDocWeb: Assigning a specific time to take a medication is typically left up to the individual as schedules very so much. In general, taking a medication 5 times a day might be divided as follows. If the first is taken upon awakening and the last is taken just before bedtime, that leaves three to schedule. If one is taken at midday, that leaves one for midmorning and one for mid-afternoon.


Subj: Lyrica and Acyclovir?
Date: 3/3/2011
I got the shingles and my Doctor perscribed me Acycovir, Can I take that and Lyrica at the same time. Does these two medications work together and is it safe to take them together? Please post it and also e-mail me and let me know. Thank You so much.
Ruthie

AskDocWeb: We didn't find any drug interactions listed between Acyclovir and Lyrica however, ALWAYS consult with your doctor to find out if it is safe for your particular situation. The most serious drug interaction listed for Acyclovir is with Tizanidine (brand names Zanaflex, Sirdalud), a drug that is used as a muscle relaxant. Acyclovir has a moderately severe drug interaction with the following drugs:
  • AccessPak for HIV PEP Basic and Expanded
  • Alimta (pemetrexed)
  • Atripla (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir)
  • Baraclude (entecavir)
  • Cerebyx (fosphenytoin)
  • Demerol (meperidine)
  • Dilantin (phenytoin)
  • Eskalith (lithium)
  • Eskalith-CR (lithium)
  • Gengraf (cyclosporine)
  • Hepsera (adefovir)
  • Ifex (ifosfamide)
  • Ifex/Mesnex (ifosfamide/mesna)
  • Lithobid (lithium)
  • Lithonate (lithium)
  • Lithotabs (lithium)
  • Mepergan (meperidine/promethazine)
  • Mepergan Fortis (meperidine/promethazine)
  • Meperitab (meperidine)
  • Meprozine (meperidine/promethazine)
  • Mesantoin (mephenytoin)
  • Neoral (cyclosporine)
  • Peganone (ethotoin)
  • Phenytek (phenytoin)
  • phenytoin
  • Phenytoin Sodium, Prompt (phenytoin)
  • Prograf (tacrolimus)
  • Regurin (trospium)
  • Sanctura (trospium)
  • Sanctura XR (trospium)
  • Sandimmune (cyclosporine)
  • Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir)
  • Viread (tenofovir)
There are also 23 minor drug interactions listed for Acyclovir.


Subj: Worried about my baby
Date: 3/7/2011
I got chickenpox when I was about 8 or 9 weeks pregnant from having contact with a patient with shingles. I was put on acyclovir 3 times per day finish in about 4 days...with only about ten blisters had no side effects...ultrsound shown baby looks normal. I am gaining weight and I feel fine...at what point can I stop worrying about my baby...I am scared.
Francine

AskDocWeb: The FDA has 5 Pregnancy Categories to show the different levels of risk for drugs used during pregnancy. When Acyclovir first came on the market it was in pregnancy category C but it has since been moved to category B as it was found to be safer than originally thought. Category B means that it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby.


Subj: Low period cycle?
Date: 3/9/2011
I was woundering if the medicine acyclovir may cause a low period cycle.
Isabel

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


Subj: Can I build up a tolerance to Acyclovir?
Date: 3/16/2011
I tend to break out with multiple sores around my mouth at once almost every month or every other month. It is usually food contact related (brought on by citrus or certain foods that hit my mouth)...I also break out with stress or when I get my period. Thus, this happens a lot and really badly (sometimes eight at a time)...acyclovir has been a life saver as it kicks it out of my body right away and off my face. However, I feel as if I take it many times a year (I let the cycle take it's course though) can I build up a tolerance? I would be in a lot of trouble if this happened. Please help me with any information. Thank you!
Lindsay

AskDocWeb: People do not normally build up a tolerance to Acyclovir, that's not how antivirals work. They simply provide a compound that blocks the replication process of the herpes DNA. You can usefully think of it as a highly specialized growth inhibitor that affects only the herpes virus. Acyclovir is recognized as the safest anti herpes agent to be explored in clinical studies to date.


Subj: Allergic reaction or side effects?
Date: 3/18/2011
My 9 yr old daughter had high temps and a itch down in the genital region as it took 5 days for Drs to help she was admitted to hospital. They gave oraly Acyclovir only the one dose as i stopped it due to what i saw, and immediatley my daughter in a triangle like state from middle of forhead down to her chin, changed colour. She had high temperatures a mild rash, nausia, the smell of anything made her feel ill, and trouble breathing, its taken 3 weeks to come good. Are these all side effects? Thank u for your valuable time.
Lee

AskDocWeb: Acyclovir has not been reported to cause any change in body temperature or affect breathing unless there is an allergic reaction. However, nausea, skin rash, and affects on smell are all possible side effects of Acyclovir.


Subj: Considering stopping Acyclovir
Date: 3/24/2011
I am considering stopping the daily dose, and begin again to take only as needed, because it is causing me back pain and i have no outbreak for almost one year. Is that fine to do that?
elaine

AskDocWeb: There is a possibility that you could change to an "as needed" basis but you will need to discuss this possibility with your physician. Do not stop taking Acyclovir without first talking to your doctor.


Subj: Acyclovir and weight gain?
Date: 3/25/2011
I have been taking Acyclovir for two years now to prevent the outbreak of Herpes. In this two years I have gained 20 lbs. Is there any relation to this drug and weight gain?
linda

AskDocWeb: There have been a small number of reports of weight gain from Acyclovir but it is not listed as one of the side effects.


Subj: Side effects of taking Acyclovir when you don't need it
Date: 3/26/2011
hi, if I have take acyclovir 8000DT wron changedgly.. as wrongly prescribed by doctor... again i went to a skin specilaist. The skin doctor immediately changed my medicine.... i just wanted to know is there any side effect or problem .. kindly help,
sasmita

AskDocWeb: The side effects of using Acyclovir when you don't have a need for it are the same side effects that people who do need it experience.

Herpes is sometimes misdiagnosed because other medical conditions have similar symptoms and appearance. Here are a few of the possibilities that have been misdiagnosed as Herpes.
  • Bedsores
  • Canker sores
  • Cervicitis
  • Chancroid
  • Chickenpox
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Granuloma inguinale
  • Impetigo
  • Oral thrush
  • Oral Ulcer
  • Shingles
  • Sutton disease 2
  • Thrush
  • Tonsilitis
  • Tularemia
  • Vulvar cancer
  • Vulvar lesions
These alternate possibilities are typically taken into consideration when diagnosing Herpes.


Subj: Treatment for skin burning sensation?
Date: 3/30/2011
I was given Acyclovir for skin burning sensation. I do not have sores or rashs or anything visible. It just feels like I have a bad sunburn but nothing visible. My nerves are a mess and I feel it worse with this med. Have u heard of this med to treat these symtoms?
Ann

AskDocWeb: If your doctor has reason to believe that your burning skin sensation is caused by shingles then yes, treatment with antiviral medications such as Acyclovir may be appropriate. A burning sensation often occurs days before an outbreak and may last for months after the lesions are gone. In some cases, a corticosteroid may also be prescribed to relieve the burning sensations.

Burning skin sensations can be caused by a variety of factors and can occur on any area of the body, including the mouth, chest, and legs. The symptoms of burning skin sensations may include tingling, itching, redness and raised bumps. Other treatments for burning skin sensation depend on the cause.

If the burning sensation occurs primarily in the mouth then it may be caused by anxiety. Treatment may include anti-anxiety medications such as klonopin or ativan. Talk therapy may also be recommended to alleviate the anxiety.

Allergies may also cause a burning skin sensation. For this your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine such as loratidine (Brand names: Agistam, Alavert, Bactimicina Allergy, Claritin) or an over-the-counter lotions such as aloe vera gel and camphor lotion to alleviate symptoms.

If the burning skin sensation is in the legs and feet it may be a result of hypothyroidism. The main treatment for underactive thyroid is thyroid hormone replacement therapy, which then relieves the burning sensation.

Warning: If the burning skin sensations persist for more than 1 or 2 days, contact your doctor. The sensation of burning skin can sometimes be a symptom of a serious underlying illness.

Read more feedback about Acyclovir.

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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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