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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: Suppressive therapy
Date: 4/23/2006
I have genital herpes and am on suppressive therapy of 400mg of acyclovir twice a day for a year now. I have had no outbreaks and feel great, but do I have to worry about any long term effects such as liver damage or kidney damage and do I need to stay on this regiment for the rest of my life?

AskDocWeb: If you take Acyclovir as a suppressive therapy then yes, you do have to remain on it for the rest of your life, or until they find a cure. The alternative is to take it only when outbreaks occur. You should decide which method to use only after talking with your doctor.

Subj: Blurred vision and muscle aches
Date: 4/24/2006
My first outbreak was in Dec 2005, I have had a monthly break out since, but use Acyclovir at each onset. I have noticed several side affects, being blurred vision at times, muscle/body aches, and the morning head ache. I am not on suppression therapy, but I am considering asking my doctor about it, if these outbreaks continue. However, the monthly outbreaks are nothing like the first. Are these side effects because of the medicine or the outbreak itself. What are all of the side effects of Acyclovir?

AskDocWeb: Blurred vision and muscle aches should not be ignored, please seek your physicians advise on these symptoms.

Subj: Eye surgery
Date: 5/15/2006
I had a herpes ulcer in my eye 17 years ago that was treated and left no damage. I am about to have lasik treatment for my eyesight. I agree to take acyclovir for a year! Seems drastic to me...I have been on it for 4 days now (before the op.) and already have a headache and diarrhea... would you say this treatment is over cautionary? Thanks,

AskDocWeb: No, not at all. Your doctor wants to avoid any possibility of an outbreak that would cause complications. About 15% of users experience headaches and a very small percentage diarrhea.

Subj: Spotting
Date: 5/16/2006
I took Acyclovir to help heal a cold sore. After I stopped taking it I experienced spotting for about 2-3 days. Does stopping the usage of Acyclovir cause spotting?

AskDocWeb: No it shouldn't cause spotting. More likely it way the stress of the situation.

Subj: Acyclovir for ocular herpes suppression
Date: 5/16/2006
I have had recurrent ocular herpes in one of my eyes for a dozen or so years. I have been taking 400 mg of Acyclovir twice a day for years and years: ever since the FDA approved it for ocular herpes suppression. It has been a Godsend for minimizing and virtually eliminating outbreaks of the virus in my eye. My cornea has cleared substantially after so many years without all that toxic activity and needing all the toxic virus-fighting drops! It's been a vast improvement. However, I've been fighting depression for years. Any chance there could be a relationship between the medication and depression?

AskDocWeb: Yes, from 1-5% of users (depending on dosage) experience depression. Have a talk with your doctor about this and he can help you.

Subj: No side effects
Date: 6/1/2006
I have been using acyclovir 400mgs one time a day for 1 year to prevent recurrent breakouts of cold sores. I was breaking out with several around my mouth at least every 2 months. Taking acyclovir has reduced breakouts, I have had only 1. I have experienced no side effects while using acyclovir to date.

Subj: Herpes virus in eye
Date: 6/6/2006
I have shingles or something with the herpes virus in my eye. I had it a year ago and now it is back. My Dr. prescribed me acyclovir 400mg a day. My eye continued to get worse so he put me on 800mg 4 x a day. It has been about 15 days and it does not seem to be getting better. Should I take more mg a day? How long can you take the high doses of acyclovir? I just want this stuff to go away!!! HELP! Thanks,

AskDocWeb: Go with what your doctor says to do. Do not take more than the dosage he says. We recommend that you see a specialist, an ophthalmologist for further recommendations.

Subj: Acyclovir side effects
Date: 6/6/2006
I have had shingles twice about 2 years ago, and now, take 2 400mg pills a day. I now have side effects, mood changes, slow thinking, sleepiness, major trouble breathing, hair loss, fatigue, joint pain, low blood count. If I do 1 pill a day do you thing that will improve things and about how long will that take? I do not want to get the shingles again or I would stop the pill completely.

AskDocWeb: These symptoms need to be reported to your doctor as soon as possible. They should not be happening with Acyclovir.

Subj: Liver damage
Date: 6/21/2006
Can taking Acyclovir cause liver damage or harm the liver in any way?

AskDocWeb: We have found nothing to indicate that this product causes liver damage.

Subj: Is this dangerous?
Date: 6/21/2006
I've been using Acyclovir for about two years now for cold sores I often get on my lip--I get them about every 3-4 months. I often (not on purpose) miss doses or take the medicine late...I'm very irresponsible with how I deal with my doses. I'm supposed to take it every 4 hours for 5 days, but sometimes I just stop if my cold sore is gone. I've done this for most of the time I've been on Acyclovir. Is this dangerous?

AskDocWeb: No it isn't dangerous, but you run the risk of the sore redeveloping. The reason you take your medication as directed is to make sure the virus is gone.

Subj: Erythema multiforme?
Date: 6/22/2006
Is it common for people to take acyclovir for erythema multiforme? My Dr. prescribed me that and I'm not so sure it's working. Also, I heard that acyclovir loses its effect after 3-4 hours. I have been taking 1000mg twice a day [morning and night]. Is this even doing anything?

AskDocWeb: It is if you have herpes-associated EM (HAEM). Erythema multiforme (EM) is an acute skin disorder characterized by a distinctive eruption, the hallmark of which is the iris or target lesion. The severity of eruptions range from mild to severe. The herpes-associated EM (HAEM) appears to be caused by an immune reaction associated with the herpes simplex virus (HSV) antigen.

Subj: Pains in stomach
Date: 7/2/2006
I was initially put on zovarex 400mg 2 times daily, 7 days later another doctor felt I should be on Tiva 5 times daily. I was on two different acyclovir for nearly 12 days when finally dermatologist disagree and stated she that it wasn't herpes in my mouth. During taking this meds I was on lysine, aspring 81mg coated, vytorin 20/30mg, penicillin 400 mg daily. One day I had few drinks took the med and went to bed the very next day I felt pains in stomach, along with headaches and stiffness in my legs. How long does it takes for this medication to totally be out of your body. Because 4 weeks later I am still getting legs stiffness around thighs and lower legs. And I haven't been taking any drugs at all for 4 weeks now.

Subj: Kidney infractions
Date: 7/6/2006
I have been taking Acyclovir for 5 years. I started with an episodic treatment and I am now up to 800mg BID. I have had 2 kidney infractions in the last year and a half. I have never had a kidney infection before this. Is it possible the Acyclovir is causing my kidneys to decrease function?

AskDocWeb: Acyclovir can cause renal dysfunction. Please discuss this with a specialist instead of your doctor.

Date: 7/10/2006
I have been taking Acyclovir 400mg bid for years due to genital herpes. It is very effective in suppressing outbreaks. Since I have been on this I have had several 5-7 day vacations with long exposures to sunlight (Mexico). Each time I have ended up with severe full body skin rash that required steroids to treat. Have you heard of this before/could it be from Acyclovr??

AskDocWeb: Since it only happens when you go to Mexico, it's more likely that you are allergic to something in the environment there.

Subj: Leg pain
Date: 7/21/2006
I am 72 and was diagnosed with shingles on Tuesday (4 days ago) I am having so much leg pain I can't walk, my in arms and legs ache. Any insight? I have been taking acyclovir 800 mg - 5x day; Lyrica Cv 75 mg 2x day; and acetominophen/cod #3 Thanks

AskDocWeb: Unfortunately about 5% of people who use Acyclovir experience this. Do share this side effect with your doctor.

Subj: Overwhelming itching
Date: 7/25/2006
I recently had a first outbreak of hsv-2 and was prescribed acyclovir. The outbreak cleared within a week, but now and for the last several days I've experienced difficulty urinating accompanied by an overwhelming itching sensation on my genitals, around my rectum and on my buttocks. Upon inspection, the skin looks red but there are no lesions or obvious signs of rash or outbreak. There are a few small red bumps across my buttocks that look like pimples, and initially I thought it might be a recurrence, but I'm not sure. Could this be a side effect of the acyclovir?

AskDocWeb: It sounds like you may have another condition so get it checked out. Those are not side effects of Acyclovir.

Subj: Feet swelling
Date: 8/1/2006
I have been on Acyclovir for Shingles since Friday, July 28, 06. (5 days) Today my feet are swollen enough that I feel it necessary to stay off them and prop them up. My urine output seems normal so far. Is it possible for this medication to cause swollen feet? Should I contact my doctor about it? So far I have no other problems. Thank you.

AskDocWeb: By all means, contact your doctor about any side effect that is disabling like this. We haven't heard of swollen feet resulting from use of Acyclovir and it isn't listed as a side effect but that's not to say it couldn't happen.

Subj: Acyclovir and pregnancy
Date: 8/2/2006
Is it safe to use acyclovir while pregnant? I am currently 18 weeks pregnant and have a cold sore on the edge of my mouth. I purchased some Zovirax cream which contains 5% acyclovir from the local pharmacy. I am unsure if it is safe enough to continue using?

AskDocWeb: Acyclovir is known to pass to an infant through nursing but (Thanks to PETA) there's no controlled studies that state what the risk is to the baby. Best to talk to your doctor before continuing.

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