Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 15

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: Effects of Acyclovir on cornea
Date: 7/9/2007
What about the effects of Acyclovir on the healthy cornea and if it can be used as a prophylaxis in the healthy eye? Thanks,


AskDocWeb: Acyclovir has no effect on the healthy cornea. It is used as a prophylactic treatment to avoid the complications of a shingles/herpetic eye infection after laser treatment or eye surgery. You want to avoid any possibility of an outbreak during recovery.

Subj: Long term use
Date: 7/17/2007
I have been taking acyclovir for 14 years for herpes zoster of the eye. 7 years ago I developed severe depression and have been plagued with it ever since. Recently, one of my doctors discovered that acyclovir under long term use can cause depression. Just a cautionary note for people on long term acyclovir.


Subj: Shingles inside?
Date: 7/18/2007
Hello, I just had surgery due to kidney stones on May 11, 2007 and on the 14th of July I got sick and found out it was the shingles but they are inside, how can they see that? All I have is a stabbing pain in my side and burns.


AskDocWeb: It is probably more of a conclusion based on your condition and symptoms, and the fact that you just had surgery.

Subj: Hair loss
Date: 7/22/2007
If I stop taking acyclovir 400mg twice daily will the hair loss stop? I have herpes type 1 vaginally and was taking as a precaution. I have been taking it for about 4 months.


AskDocWeb: Yes if you are experiencing hair loss, it will stop if you quit taking Acyclovir but only if it was caused by the Acyclovir. Please talk to your doctor before doing anything like that.

Subj: Acyclovir daily for life
Date: 8/1/2007
I have been taking acyclovir for 5 years for vestibular problems. I take it daily for life. I have never had any side effects and it has stopped any further brain nerve damage. Wish I had been on it sooner. I plan to take it daily for life.


Subj: Weight gain?
Date: 8/16/2007
Been using Acyclovir for several months, and I’ve noticed weight gain – about 8-10 pounds. Could it be related to the medication? Nothing else in my routine has changed. Thanks


AskDocWeb: Others have reported that they thought their weight gain was from Acyclovir but it is not listed as one of the side effects.

Subj: Acyclovir effect sperm?
Date: 8/20/2007
Does Acyclovir effect sperm count and or quality in long term users?


AskDocWeb: There are no adverse effects on sperm count, motility or morphology in humans when the recommended oral doses of acyclovir are used. You may have caught a reference to one of the animal studies, that’s where the first hint of a possible problem showed up. It seems that when male rats are given high doses of Acyclovir over time, it decreases their sperm count. That affect has not shown up in humans.

Subj: Acute Retinal Necrosis
Date: 8/26/2007
I was hospitalized for Acute Retinal Necrosis (ARN) 8.14.07 to begin IV Acyclovir. I am home now with oral acyclovir 800mg x5. All blood tests came back negative for HSV and all other possible causes of this aggressive eye infection. We are awaiting eye specimen results. What are some other causes of ARN or, can any of the HSV Virus types live dormant in the eye or occipital nerve yet blood tests come up negative? We could be totally mistreating this? Although it is now “stable”, I’m very concerned and feel like I have to be my own doctor to find out what triggered this.


AskDocWeb: First let’s define the term for those unfamiliar: Acute means that it begins quickly and is sharp or severe. Retinal has to do with the retina, that 10-layered, nervous tissue membrane that receives images and carries sight signals to the optic nerve. Necrosis means the death of local tissues. Most cases of ARN are thought to be caused by Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) and a smaller percentage by Herpes simplex Virus (HSV). These typically occur in otherwise immunocompetent patients. We found no other causes listed for ARN but some things have been mistaken for it or misdiagnosed as ARN. Since all your test results aren’t in yet, you may want to consider these. They are bilateral necrotising retinitis by Toxoplasma gondii, fulminant retinochoroiditis, and toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis.

Subj: What precautions?
Date: 9/4/2007
I’m worried about my outbreak, when it comes to bathing and other people in my house. What precautions should I take?

AskDocWeb: When an outbreak of herpes occurs, it is important to carefully wash the hands and nails after contact with the infected area so as not to transmit the virus to other areas of the body or to other people. It would be smart to shower twice a day and wear clean clothing that is changed regularly. Since the virus can live for up to two hours on cloth and for four hours on plastic, it may be a good idea to keep personal items separate during an active infection. That would help to reduce the possibility of transmission to others in the household. If you use a soft towel instead of a hair dryer (set on cool) on affected areas, don’t let anyone else use that towel before it’s laundered. And do not use that towel on unaffected areas of the body. You should note that it is almost impossible to defend against the transmission of oral HSV-1 since it can be transmitted by very casual contact. It may help to know that people generally have more outbreaks in the first year than they do subsequent years.

There are now eight human herpes viruses:

  • Herpes simplex I (HSV 1)
  • Herpes simplex 2 (HSV 2)
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Varicella-zoster virus (VZV)
  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • Human herpes virus 6 (HHV 6)
  • Human herpes virus 7 (HHV 7)
  • Human herpes virus 8 (HHV 8)

Subj: Numbness, cramps and pain
Date: 9/5/2007
Since 2001-02 I have been on valtrex and acyclovir for suppression and suffer from numb toes, especially in the A.M. Sometimes cramps in toes/feet and pain in ankle too. Are these side effects? Thanks


AskDocWeb: These are not listed as side effects for either product. Please consult with your physician about this problem.

Subj: Is this too slow?
Date: 9/7/2007
I have had genital herpes for almost 2 months now. I didn’t take Acyclovir until the third week of my sore. Therefore, the wound is quite big and deep. After I’ve taken the pills, 400*3, it’s slowly getting better. (Very slow though, I assume that it’s because I started taking acyclovir too late). Up to today, I have taken the pill for a month. The wound is getting a lot better but still not completely heal. Is this too slow? What else should I do. Oh, and in the past 2 days, I started having rashes on my skin. If it’s the side effect, why does it happen just now and not weeks before this? Please help explain to me. Thanks a lot.


AskDocWeb: The larger the lesion the longer it takes to heal. AND, the longer you wait to treat it after symptoms show up the longer it will take to heal. You should have the rash examined by a physician to find out if it is a side effect or what is causing it.

Subj: Abdominal pain with diarrhea
Date: 9/14/2007
I am 25yrs old and have suffered with continual outbreaks of coldsores on my nose since last April. I get other symptoms along with the coldsore. I saw a specialist who recommended aciclovir, which I have taken for the 5 day course 200mg at first and now 400mg. As I am continually having outbreaks the specialist now wants me to take 2 400mg daily everyday to suppress this. After reading the side effects I am worried about taking it long term. Taking it for 5 days at a time has made me feel sick and causes me abdominal pain along with diarrhea.


AskDocWeb: Please report the abdominal pains and diarrhea to your doctor.

Subj: Acyclovir and Valtrex
Date: 9/14/2007
Does acyclovir have the same side effects as taking valtrex?


AskDocWeb: Yes it does.

Subj: Irregular heartbeat
Date: 9/16/2007
My wife Gisela had shingles on her left forehead in May 2004 and took 800 mg. It spread into her left eye and is until today 9/2007 taking 800 mg 2 X a day. Her eye Dr. told her to take it indefinitely, is this ok? After this many years I am afraid she developed all kinds of side effects and was checked out and tested for her heart, lungs, tinnitis, etc. she is 84 and has now irregular heartbeat, I am worried it may be the Acyclovir, any suggestions?


AskDocWeb: Only to consult with a cardiologist, an irregular heartbeat could also be a sign of heart disease and she is, as you said, 84 years old.

Subj: Dry mouth and ringing in ears
Date: 9/17/2007
Hi I have been prescribed Acyclovir 400mg twice daily, which I have been taking for 3 weeks now and have had a dry mouth and ringing in my ears at night. I have found it very helpful in that I have had no more episodes but should I continue on with it with these symptoms and if I do, when I finally stop, will they go away. Would it be okay to reduce the dose and see if this goes away. Thanks for your advice.


AskDocWeb: Please consult with your physician because he is the only one that can legally adjust your dosage.

Subj: Cure for cold sores?
Date: 9/18/2007
I’ve been taking Acyclovir for 9 months now and it works really well. I have had no cold sores (before I started taking it I was getting one or more every two weeks for 5 years). I have had no side effects but my doctor said I should stop taking it now and has told me I am on my last 2 month prescription – I tried cutting down to 1x400mg tablet per day (instead of 2) to make them last longer but within days I got two little cold sores come up. The Dr says that most people can take it for 6 months then stop taking it and never get a cold sore again. Is this right? I really don’t want to stop taking it. Why would the Dr recommend I should stop – can it cause other health problems even after 9 months with no side effects? Thanks,


AskDocWeb: Acyclovir is not a cure, it is a treatment. A cure for cold sores does not yet exist. You might ask your doctor to clarify his statement that implies otherwise.

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