Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 17

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: Acyclovir
Date: 10/26/2007
I am taking Acyclovir now as I had the shingles a year ago and I keep having them pop out. The Dr. that gave them to me the first time would not give me a refill without returning. My cancer Dr. just gave me a prescription for another 800 mi. 35 cap. 5 a day with 5 refills. Should I take them during the night are just 5 times a day, about ever 3 hrs. That is the way I am taking them.


AskDocWeb: Take them as prescribed by your physician, the directions are on the prescription bottle but if you have any questions call your pharmacist or doctor.

Subj: Aspirin in acyclovir?
Date: 10/31/2007
Is there any aspirin in acyclovir or anything that would upset an ulcer?


AskDocWeb: Although there is no aspirin in acyclovir, it has been reported to cause gastrointestinal distress and nausea.

Subj: First Zoster outbreak
Date: 11/6/2007
About 15 days ago I started to have my first Zoster outbreak, I’m taking 400mgs of Acyclovir, How long should I continue taking it if I don’t have any more signs of the Infection7 Days back?


AskDocWeb: The number of days you take Acyclovir depends on your condition. Typically it ranging from 5 to 10 days but it should be printed on your prescription container.

Subj: Face is really dry
Date: 11/9/2007
I have taken acyclovir in the past just to treat outbreaks, but now I am taking 400mgx2 a day for preventative, since my outbreaks were becoming more frequent. But I have been noticing that my face is really dry, and I have dry patches, which I have noticed in the past when taking it just for outbreaks, but didn’t think anything of it until now. Is there anything I can do? I have been putting face lotion on very frequently, but nothing seems to help. I really want to continue to take it, but my face looks horrible. Help!


AskDocWeb: A good moisturizer may help but you need to talk to your doctor about this.

Subj: Shingles
Date: 11/13/2007
My wife has been diagnosed with shingles on her left groin area. She has been taking acyclovir and prednisone for approximately 4 days now. She has been experiencing knee pain, chest pain, and back pain. She went to the local town clinic for a re-evaluation but could not be seen until tomorrow, but the doctor asked what she was complaining about and he was aware of the diagnose and medications she was taking. The doctor told the secretary the tell my wife to stop taking the prednisone with the acyclovir because it can be harmful and to come back tomorrow to be seen. What should she do because I am very concerned about her health and complications, this has been the first time she has been very sick like this.


AskDocWeb: It is important to prevent the development of any secondary bacterial infection. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor recommends applying wet compresses (Burow’s solution or just cool tap water) for 15 to 30 minutes at a time, 5 to 10 times a day can give some relief and keep the area clean. This also breaks vesicles and removes serum and crust.

Subj: I am recovering
Date: 11/23/2007
My doctor prescribed Aciclovir for shingles. It broke out on my trunk but my eyes became sensitive to light and I had large floaters in my right eye. I had a job to focus. I then developed all the signs of a mini stroke with impaired memory and slowness of gait. I had periods of intense tiredness. Apart from my right eye, I am recovering.


Subj: Post cataract surgery
Date: 11/24/2007
I have had shingles twice and had good results with Acyclovir. I have had a chronic herpes simplex keratitis condition in my eye for over 20 years. I have now developed a cataract, which must be removed. The cataract is due to use of steroid drops to control and prevent recurrence of the eye flare up. Acylorvir has been prescribed for pre and post cataract surgery to prevent flare up related to the cataract removal. Is this a common prescription? How long might I have to take the acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: Yes, this is a common precaution to avoid the possibility of a flare up during surgery and recovery.

Subj: HSV-2 antibodies
Date: 11/28/2007
Can taking Acyclovir for fever blisters (HSV-1) affect an blood test for HSV-2 antibodies if at the time of your blood test you had taken Acyclovir 1-2 weeks prior?


AskDocWeb: No, Acyclovir does not affect antibodies, only the replication of the virus.

Subj: Valtrex to Acyclovir
Date: 12/5/2007
I have taken valtrex for breakouts and due to the inflated cost of that brand, I switched to Acyclovir. Is this pretty much the same medicine? Before I took it only when I had break outs (1-2 times a year) and now I am taking it daily for prevention.


AskDocWeb: Yes, they both work the same.

Subj: Acyclovir and optic nerves
Date: 12/10/2007
When my son was born he had a rash that the doctors thought was herpes, but it ended up to be overproduction of sweat glands. My question is could acyclovir cause eye sight problems in babies? My son now has underdeveloped optic nerves, and someone had told me it could have been caused by the acyclovir they gave him at the hospital. Thanks.


AskDocWeb: Acyclovir is used to prevent developmental problems but we have not heard of it causing any. Here is a list of some of the drugs that are reported to cause optic nerve damage:

  • AK-Dex
  • AK-Pred
  • Alrex
  • Decadron
  • Dexamethasone
  • Econopred
  • Econopred Plus
  • Etabonate
  • Flarex
  • Fluor-Op
  • Fluorometholone
  • FML
  • FML Forte
  • FML-S
  • Framycetin
  • HMS
  • Lotemax
  • Maxidex
  • Otodex
  • Pred Forte
  • Pred Mild
  • Prednisolone
  • Rimexolone
  • Sofra-Tulle
  • Tobispray
  • Vexol

According to the PDR (2008), The “safety and effectiveness of oral formulations of acyclovir in pediatric patients younger than 2 years of age have not been established.”

Subj: Acyclovir safe for children?
Date: 12/18/2007
My son is 13 years old and when he breaks out with a cold sore/fever blister they spread across his lips and take forever to heal. Is Acyclovir safe for children to take? He has no other health issues.


AskDocWeb: There have been a limited number of studies have been done using acyclovir in children. So far they have resulted in the same effects as for adults. Talk to your doctor about this use of Acyclovir.

Date: 12/20/2007
I get cold sores– usually a single large one on my top lip in the fall, one on my bottom lip in the spring (weird, right?). In the past I used zovirax to ZERO effect. This time I woke up on a Wednesday and realized one was coming on (a tiny bump)– by the time I got to the walk-in clinic that afternoon (about 6 hours later) it was showing those little fluid sacs. However, I started taking the acyclovir (5 a day) and a secondary cold sore that had started to appear shrank away to nothing. The existing one was not that bad. I spent the whole weekend with friends and was slightly self-conscious, but it wasn’t that noticeable with a little bit of make-up (I find using blush powder on your lips to be better than lipstick). It was entirely healed (just barely a red mark) ONE WEEK LATER. I have full confidence that when I feel one coming on — or better yet notice the warning signs (the day before I was grouchy, lethargic and feverish), that I could probably stop it. So my treatment was 5-a-day acyclovir (cheaper than the cream), plus OTC Abreva cream — and I ate a lot of yogurt, took Lysine and tried to avoid sugar and arginine-rich foods. I also got plenty of sleep and did not pop or pick at the sore– believe me, through trial and error I know it’s better not to.

Side effects: I did experience the headaches, but coffee helped more than advil. I also had a very strange sensation in my nerves of the lower back– and couldn’t touch my toes because of it. It was strange and hard to get used to for a couple days, but totally worth it. I FEEL SO RELIEVED THANKS TO THIS MEDICINE. When I got a cold sore from a boyfriend I was outraged and depressed — I felt dirty and ugly. This is the first time I have felt like I don’t have to be a leper for the rest of my life. Be grateful for the treatment, but be careful: Don’t pass on the sentence to someone else!

Pretty Girl

AskDocWeb: Please note that there are some health concerns with using Lysine.

Subj: Cut them in half?
Date: 12/21/2007
When I have used Valtrex occasionally to prevent a tingle from turning into an outbreak, it has worked fine. I have had no real ill effects. When I once tried taking 500 mg daily as suppression therapy, after three weeks I got really agitated and stopped. I recently had my first big outbreak in the two years since getting genital herpes and it has lasted three weeks. I have therefore been taking valtrex daily the whole time. I would like to pursue suppression therapy again, but know that I will get very agitated again. Has anyone cut them in half and taken 250 mg per day? I want to try that. I want a constant amount in my system, but 500 mg daily is too much for me.


AskDocWeb: That is something you will need to discuss with your physician, do not change your dosage yourself.

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