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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.

Cold sore
I have taken Acyclovir 400 mg twice a day for greater than 5 years. I just had a cold sore appear on my lip a couple of days ago. How could that happen?

AskDocWeb: Hopefully you understand that Acyclovir is not a cure. The virus remains dormant in the body and may be reactivated by a number of triggers. These include:
  • An injury to the affected area
  • Deep sadness or intense upset - stress
  • Dental procedures that stretch the lip
  • Foods rich in Arginine (peanut butter)
  • Intense sunlight
  • Menstruation
  • Mental stress
  • Weakened immune system
Keep in mind that the cold sore virus is very contagious and is easily transmissible as a result of close contact.

Recommended treatment
I am taking Aciclovir 800 mg for Shingles. I am going to have 2 days supply left over from my 7 day i received a 2 day starter pack from the hospital. Should i take the extra 2 days supply or is 7 days the reccommended treatment time. Would it do any harm to take the extra doses?

AskDocWeb: This forum is limited to discussing side effects. Questions about treatment for your personal situation should be addressed to your doctor.

Are there alternative herpes treatments?
My daughter, 15, has had herpes outbreaks on her face since she was 2. In teen years she has had to take acyclovir daily to prevent outbreaks. She recently has Been suffering from lack of appetite and it had affected her health. I fear that this medicine is causing this, hut if she's stops taking it she has horrible Outbreaks. Is there another way to treat this?

AskDocWeb: There are several alternative treatments for herpes that are currently in the study stages right now. These treatments have shown encouraging results but more research is required to determine effectiveness. At least they will cause no ill effects and the perceived benefits could help in managing herpes. Most of these potential alternative treatments for herpes are diet related solutions.

Foods high in the amino acid lysine suppress the outbreaks so incorporating these in the diet is a great preventative measure. High lysine foods include many fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken, brewer's yeast, whole grain products and many other foods usually associated with a healthy balanced diet.

A substance in broccoli (indole-3-carbinaol) found in is successful in limiting herpes reproduction.

Cranberries also have been found to suppress herpes 2 outbreaks in clinical trials, so juice and capsules can be included in the diet for positive effects.

Enzyme therapy shows some potential for boosting the immune system. The naturally occurring enzymes in food are destroyed when it is cooked over 118 degrees F so eating a diet of raw foods and vegetable juices can be beneficial to treatment.

We came across one study that showed that an ointment containing propolis, a waxy substance that honeybees make, seemed to help genital herpes sores heal. The ointment was applied to herpes sores four times a day. After 10 days, 24 of the 30 people using propolis ointment said their sores were healed compared with 14 of the 30 people using acyclovir ointment and 12 of the 30 using a placebo.

Researchers have also found that the herb Prunella vulgaris, and an edible mushroom, Rozites caperata (the "gypsy mushroom"), contain chemicals that fight both the oral herpes virus (HSV-1) and the genital herpes virus (HSV-2). Please note that these alternative treatments have not been approved for treating herpes by the FDA.

Many people think that herbal treatments are healthy and safe just because they are natural. Herbs can cause very serious and powerful side effects when combined with other treatment agents, each other or in the wrong quantity. Always consult with your doctor before undertaking a new treatment plan or following any recommendations you find on the Internet.

Avoiding the triggers for outbreaks is something you can add to any treatment. Foods to avoid are the ones high in the amino acid arginine. These include chocolate, coffee, peanuts, sodas and anything fatty or sweetened with refined products.

There are also stress relieving alternative treatments that impact lifestyle and are geared towards a better mind/body connection. Herpes outbreaks occur much less often in individuals practicing yoga, meditation, people having acupuncture treatments, and those getting regular soothing massages. These can have a very beneficial effect on the body and can have a huge positive effect on the discomforts of herpes.

Chronic fatigue and unrelenting flu symptoms
I have been on 800mgs 5xs a day for a chronic HHv-6 infection that causes chronic fatigue and unrelenting flu symptoms for me. I have been on this dose for a week and it is causing gas that is making me miserable. I've tried adding probiotics and simithicone with not much relief. Any other suggestions?

AskDocWeb: Finding a treatment for that virus is difficult as there are no drugs approved specifically for treating HHV-6 infection. Some of the drugs that have shown some success are valganciclovir, ganciclovir, cidofovir, and foscarnet. Another drug, Artesunate, was originally used against malaria but it has also been showing effectiveness on HHV-6. You may want to ask your doctor if he or she has considered using these drugs.

HHV-6 may be the most neuroinvasive member of the herpes virus family. The specific triggers for reactivation are not yet well understood. Some researchers have suggested that injury, physical or emotional stress, and hormonal imbalances could be involved. Improving your health in these areas may bring some relief.

Acylex 800mg
My doctor prescribe me to take acylex 800mg five times a day for treatment of shingles, does this tablet increases immune system? and taking acylex 800mg five times a day is appropriate for shingles cure ?

AskDocWeb: Acylex is one of the brand names of Acyclovir. Acyclovir has no effect on the immune system. Instead, it works on the virus that causes shingles to eliminate or at least significantly reduce the symptoms.

Acyclovir 400 for cold sores
I had a cold sore and was given Acyclovir 400 for treatment. It went away and I continued with the pills juist in case of another outbreak. I have noticed a redness and burning sensation on my inner lips and was wandering whether this is a result of the medication. Also, my lips have been excessively dry all the time I have been taking the pills. This has been going on for 5 weeks. Should I stop the medication?

AskDocWeb: The burning sensation is one of the signs of activation of the virus. It is not a side effect of Acyclovir. Likewise dry mouth may also occur in those who have the virus that causes cold sores (HSV-1). Since your treatment plan may have factors unique to your situation, always discuss possible changes with your doctor before stopping a prescription medication.

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This consumer advocate website is protected by copyright 2008-2012 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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