Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 19

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: Liver damage?
Date: 2/6/2008
Can acyclovir cause liver damage?


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

Subj: Correct dosage?
Date: 2/6/2008
I have Genital Herpes. I have about one out break a year. My doctor just put me on a 400 mg tablet 5 times a day. To me, this seems like a high dosage since my case isn’t that bad and I weigh 135 lbs. Is this a correct dosage?


AskDocWeb: It sounds like you need to talk this over with your doctor and make sure that is what he or she intended, mistakes do happen.

Subj: Respirator distress?
Date: 2/10/2008
I have Ramsay Hunt Syndrome now for a year, recently a ENT doc prescribed acyclovir. I stopped taking it due to respirator distress, feeling air hungry from time to time, is this a side effect from the drug? Since I’ve never had this problem before.


AskDocWeb: Respiratory distress is not listed as a side effect for Acyclovir.

Subj: Urination is very weak and slow
Date: 2/16/2008
I am being treated for Shingles, though my pains and aches are on both sides of my torso and has now worked down to my knees as well as numbness in my left foot. I also have no bumps or blisters. I have been on ACYCLOVIR for a day and a half. My urination is very very weak and slow and this scares me greatly. Should normal urine flow return while I’m on ACYCLOVIR? Or should I look for an alternative drug?


AskDocWeb: Symptoms of an overdose include hallucinations, seizures, and kidney damage (decreased urine production). Please contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Subj: Yeast infection?
Date: 2/17/2008
Can I get a yeast infection from acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: No, although it is possible to get a yeast infection while taking Acyclovir, it does not cause them.

Subj: Going under surgery
Date: 2/21/2008
Does Acyclovir contain asprin? I am going under surgery Tues. Feb. 26 and I was told I will be under general anethesia is it ok to take my medication or put zovirax in the affected area? This just happened today.


AskDocWeb: There is no asprin in Acyclovir, on the contrary, Acyclovir is often used to prevent outbreaks during surgery.

Subj: Vaccine against shingles
Date: 2/21/2008
I have occasional outbreaks of genital herpes and take acylovir for it. Since I am in my 50’s I wonder if I can still get the vaccine for shingles prevention if I have genital herpes.

If you are at the age where getting a vaccine against shingles is advisable: Do you have to know for sure if you have had chicken pox or have been vaccinated against chicken pox?


AskDocWeb: If you have not had chicken pox or are unsure, there is a simple blood test that can tell you if you have the antibodies or not. If you don’t have evidence of this you can still take the simple two-step vaccine.

Subj: Migraines completely debilitates me
Date: 2/21/2008
I was just diagnosed with vaginal herpes after I had a wisdom tooth removed and had a breakout. I never knew I ever had it, but I was prescribed Valtrex and started on 1g every 12 hours to control the breakout. I already suffer from migraines off and on, and this completely debilitates me. I cannot function! Why does it cause headaches and is there anything I can do to offset this so I can manage my outbreak?


AskDocWeb: Headaches are one of the side effects that may go away during treatment but since you already had migraines before you started then you may want to talk to your doctor. There are many medications for migraines.

Subj: Knot in vagina
Date: 2/28/2008
My doctor just put me on Acyclovir for suppressive therapy because of frequent outbreaks. I’m experiencing a knot in my vagina that’s a bit painful. Is this normal with genital herpes? I’m very concerned.


AskDocWeb: No it is not, you will have to see your physician.

Subj: Hair Loss, Memory Loss, Alertness Loss
Date: 3/4/2008
I have been taking Acyclovir since August. I am experiencing hair loss (a patch of hair is missing in the back) and severe drowsyness while taking it. After taking my dosage I have acute memory loss and don’t remember much after I have taken the pill. Which is why I only take it at night. I don’t take it the recommended 2 twice a day. I am discontinuing my use of this product the cons out weigh the pros. Hair Loss, Memory Loss, Alertness Loss. Too many losses. Anybody else experiencing this!?


Subj: Shingles all over my body
Date: 3/5/2008
Three and a half years ago I had a catastrophic nerve injury to my right foot which resulted in constant nerve pain called Complex Residual Pain Syndrome. Over a year ago I broke out with shingles and continued to break out with shingles all over my body. I have been taking Acyclovir, 800mg 3xs a day, which have healed each episode of shingles. But, now I am breaking out with large, round, blister sites over much of my body with the same symptoms as shingles such as: stabbing pain, severe itching, and another pain like multi-stinging bees. My doctor has dictated I not stop acyclovir as my immune system is so damaged from my original nerve injury. Do you have any suggestions? I am not sure which pain is worse: shingles? blisters? itching? stinging? or the look I receive from people when I do go out?


Subj: Excess pain
Date: 3/5/2008
The doctors just gave me acyclovir, today for an outbreak, they say I have Herpes. If I start taking it today how long will it take to heal. And why do the sores hurt more that they did before I got the meds. Also, could the excess pain be caused from other medication interactions like, vitamins, or metrogel for bacteria vaginosis?


AskDocWeb: Typically you can expect the crusting over and healing of herpes sores in a few days. Your excess pain isn’t likely to be caused by the other medications you’re taking, it’s the blister healing.

Subj: Increase in heart rate
Date: 3/6/2008
I was prescribed Acyclovir after an outbreak of herpes sores on my mouth. I am prescribed 1 800mg pill 5x a day. I have had an increase in heart rate, hyperness, and an overall euphoria feeling. Is this natural? I am also a college athlete and am returning to practice tomorrow should I be concerned about any more side effects?


AskDocWeb: No, it is not normal, please consult with your physician.

Subj: Sulfur?
Date: 3/7/2008
If I am allergic to sulfur should I take Acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: The drug data for Acyclovir does not specifically mention sulfur allergy but it does state, “Before taking Acyclovir, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs…” The only drugs we found that may cause a problem with Acyclovir are;

  • Carmustine (BiCNU)
  • Cisplatin (Platinol)
  • Combination pain medicine containing acetaminophen and aspirin (Excedrin)
  • Cyclosporine (Sandimmune)
  • Deferoxamine (Desferal)
  • Ganciclovir
  • Gold salts (medicine for arthritis)
  • Inflammation or pain medicine
  • Lithium (Lithane)
  • Methotrexate (Mexate)
  • narcotics
  • Nephrotoxic agents
  • Penicillamine (Cuprimine)
  • Plicamycin (Mithracin)
  • Probenecid
  • Streptozocin (Zanosar)
  • Tiopronin (Thiola)
  • Valacyclovir

The use of these medicines with acyclovir may increase the chance for side effects, especially for those with kidney disease. Other medications may also interact with Acyclovir so always tell your doctor if you are taking other prescription drugs.

Subj: No improvement
Date: 3/8/2008
This is the first time that I have been on acyclovir for herpes one on and around the mouth and nose. I have been on it for about 9 days and have not seen any improvement. I also have been having muscle and joint pains and fatigue. How long does it usually take to see improvement and are the aches and pains a side effect. Thanks,


AskDocWeb: You need to consult with your physician because you should have seen progress by now.

Subj: That’s how you do it.
Date: 3/8/2008
I have used various forms of acyclovir for years, both creams and pills. I put it on my cold sores as soon as I feel the itchy felling on my lip. It has been the best thing for me as it dries up within a day. I have had the cold sores since I was a small child. I got the #2 version because a prior boy friend did not have the consideration or the bravery to tell me that we could not “get together”. I got the #2 version of this disease in the late 60’s and have had no major problems since. My current boy friend (3 years) and I are considerate of each other and just hug when we have out breaks. That’s how you do it. We stay away and I take my medicine until I am sure it has completely cleared up. Generally, it takes only a week. I hope this helps other. I wish I had had a forum such as this when I was a kid.


Subj: Long-term use of immune suppressant
Date: 3/19/2008
Hi, My doctors do not seem to know if I have Shingles or Herpes. But what was mentioned by my Doctor today is the possibility that an immune suppressant that is taken over the long term could cause a problem down the road if another serious virus comes along. Do you have any information about that? Thank you,


AskDocWeb: First we want to make sure you understand that Acyclovir is not an immune suppressant. It suppresses the replication of the herpes virus, not your immune system. Immune suppressants drugs are those that reduce the body’s immune response, which is sometimes useful in the treatment of inflammation, organ transplants, and diseases such as Crohn’s. Examples of immune suppressant include azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine, ciclosporin and methotrexate.

The excessive usage of antibiotics and antivirals is a concern because over time the germs and virus may become immune to them. For example if an antibiotic is 99% effective and kills all but 1% of a germ, that remaining 1% of the germs are likely to be highly resistant to future treatments by the same antibiotic. In most cases the body’s immune system can take care of that remaining 1% of germs. The concern is those rare cases where the body’s immune system can’t cope with the remaining germs or viruses. Another concern is about what may happen in those cases where the patient’s immune system is “not healthy” or compromised.

Subj: Long-term use of Acyclovir
Date: 4/1/2008
I have been taking Acyclovir everyday, 400mg. for over six years. Prior to taking everyday, I used only when outbreaks occurred. About 5 years ago my skin (face, neck and arms) starting becoming red. Today, I am normally very red on my face and scalp, neck, arms and now knees. About 4 years ago, I noticed by hair becoming thinner. Today, I have about 1/4 the hair I had 4 years ago. I have read that hair loss has been reported. What about the red skin? I am considering stopping the daily dose, and begin again to take only as needed.


AskDocWeb: Yes, some patients on long-term use of Acyclovir have reported hair loss, skin rash, dizziness, fatigue, anorexia, leg pain, medication taste and sore throat.

Read more feedback about Acyclovir.

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