Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 2

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: Long term use of Acyclovir
Date: 6/9/2004
I also have been diagnosed with the Herpes Virus, I noticed it prior to any sexual activity, however was told that because it was on my knees, below the waist it was HSV1. I have been on suppression thereapy for about 5-6 years of acyclovir 800mg 1 per day. I no longer get break outs unless I don’t take the Acyclovir. My concern is other health issues and if they are in correlation with having the virus even if there are no external breakouts. Can there be internal activity related to HSV. Also if there have been any known long term effect on the body due to acyclovir – which all I have heard of is the Kidney thing. I also noticed before starting suppression thereapy that breakouts were more severe and often when I was highly stressed out.


AskDocWeb: Long-term treatment has the additional potential for rash and diarrhea. Women with genital herpes are at increased risk of developing cervical cancer, not because herpes causes it but because the behavior that resulted in contracting herpes also increases the chances of contracting hpv – the human papillomavirus. An annual Pap smear is recommended for these patients. If you are over 60, adverse reactions and side effects may be more common. Drinking at least two to three quarts of liquid per day can minimize such effects.

The liver and kidneys work together to remove Acyclovir from the body. Patients with disease in these organs may have additional possible complications. Dehydration or kidney disease may increase blood levels of Acyclovir, increasing the chance of side effects. Make sure you are well hydrated while taking Acyclovir, or it may cause problems with the kidneys.

Subj: Palpitating
Date: 6/17/2004
I recently started taking Acyclovir for genital herpes and have noticed some uncomfortable side effects. I have an irregular heart beat and the Acyclovir seems to worsen this condition. Shortly after taking the 800MG tablet I feel flushed and a little light headed. Since I started taking the pills my heart has been palpitating more frequently, especially following the dosages. I had an accelerated heart beat earlier this evening as well. If these symptoms don’t improve I may have to ask my doctor about other treatment options. I haven’t been able to take the prescribed five pills a day because of the side effects.


Subj: Hair loss with Acyclovir
Date: 6/27/2004
After my sixth outbreak of shingles over the past 2 years, my doctor has prescribed 400mg of Acyclovir twice daily for the next year to hopefully suppress the virus. Steady hair loss over the course of treatment has been the only notable side effect. Can you tell me if this hair loss will be permanent? Is there any way to counteract it?


AskDocWeb: We don’t know if the hair loss will be permanent or not. To counteract it you might try a shampoo for hair loss and a vitamin supplement made specifically for hair loss, like Advecia. Let us know if these are helpful as other people also have this problem.

Subj: Peripheral neuropathy
Date: 7/17/2004
While looking up Acyclovir side effects on your website, I do not see numbness or peripheral neuropathy. Yet, one of the letters below the drug description for Acyclovir from a Lea Ann, on 8/20/2003 mentions finding this symptom for Acyclovir on your website. Are these symptoms associated with long-term (20+ years) use of Acyclovir for HSV-2 suppression? Thanks very much for your help.


AskDocWeb: Peripheral neuropathy was not listed in the side effects that we found for Acyclovir. It is possible that Lea Ann gave us credit for something she found at one of the links we provided.

Bright yellow urine
Date: 7/25/2004
I’m taking Acyclovir for the first time–for simplex 1, which I’ve had for years–and I have a question that might be a bit weird. My urine is really, really bright yellow, is that normal? I am not taking any vitamins and haven’t eaten anything unusual.


AskDocWeb: Yellow is the most healthy urine color. In most cases changes in urine color are harmless however, if it persists for more than a day consult with your doctor.

Subj: Suppress outbreaks?
Date: 7/27/2004
I was diagnosed with genital herpes about 6 years ago, which I had maybe one outbreak at the time. For the past 2 years I have been breaking out every month, during my menstrual cycle. My doctor prescribed me to take 2x daily 400mg of acyclovir (5x if I start to feel an episode about to occur). My question is if I take this daily like I am suppose to, does it suppress the virus from becoming active, or will I still get an episode every so often?

Curious To Know

AskDocWeb: Acyclovir does prevent the virus from multiplying but, there is no guarantee that you won’t get an episode from time to time. If you do have an episode, it will be much less severe than without the Acyclovir.

Subj: Are these side effects of Acyclovir?
Date: 8/14/2004
I am slowly recovering from a severe outbreak of genital herpes. The initial outbreak lasted a week and began to clear up within a second week. I was prescribed acyclovir and neurontin. As a result of the herpes, I developed severe constipation, slow urination, and numbness and sensitivity to my genitals, buttocks, and feet. The side affects have lasted two months. I’m presently out of work, as the side affects make it difficult for walking. The constipation is no longer an issue as of two weeks ago, however the numbness and sensitivity in the genitals, buttocks, feet and calves continues. I have been to numerous doctors, primary physician, proctologist, and a neurologist.

I have had blood test, MRI’s and EMG. All are negative with no serious health concerns. My doctor’s tell me it is neuropathy/lumbar plexitis and the nerves should recover in a few weeks to a few months. I am no longer taking neurontin as they did not make a difference at all and I have no pain. Could the acyclovir cause these side affects? I do not see these side affects in relation to acyclovir. My doctor swears it is not the drug and I am not suppose to stop taking it for a few months to prevent any flare ups. Any suggestions?


AskDocWeb: The only symptom on your list we can link to the Acyclovir is your slow urination. An overdose of Acyclovir does have the ability to produce kidney damage, which could result in decreased urine production.

Subj: Urgent request
Date: 8/20/2004
Life threatening urgent request: shingles medication acyclovir and medrol/methlprednisolone


AskDocWeb: This website does not give medical advice. We leave that to your local doctor or health care provider.

Subj: Long term use of small doses of Acyclovir
Date: 9/8/2004
I have been taking 1 200mg capsule of acyclovir daily for the past dozen or more years. Prior to it, I would have an occurrence of genital herpes 4-6 times per year, and “coldsore” herpes once or twice per year. Since taking this very small regular dose, I have had one modest genital herpes outbreak, and one or two virtually sub-clinical external coldsores on my lips. Is there any issue with such long term continual modest prophylactic use of acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: None that we have found.

Subj: Several bad side effects
Date: 9/27/2004
I am a 57 year old woman who had a bone marrow transplant for Leukemia (CML) 9 years ago. I have been taking acyclovir for the past 9 years and have experienced memory loss, numbness in toes, general fatigue also have had vomiting attacks at least every 3-6 months that last at least 5 hours over the last nine years. I also take Novopen-VK-500, which also has vomiting as a side effects as well as hair thinning. My doctor does not seem to think that this matters although he has no solution to my vomiting episodes and does not want me to discontinue either drug. Any thoughts?


AskDocWeb: Any time you are unsatisfied with the care your doctor provides, you should considered getting a second opinion.

Subj: Tingling and numbness
Date: 10/7/2004
I have been taking 200mg per day for 2 straight years and before that during outbreaks. For the past month I have had tingling in my hands and feet and some numbness. Is this a possible side effect?


AskDocWeb: We usually associate that tingling feeling and numbness with reduced blood flow or circulation but, there are other conditions that can also cause it. While it could be a side effect of Acyclovir, why not get a physical and find out what is causing it. What you describe could also be a sign of heart disease or diabetes. You are better off knowing for sure.

Subj: Make it heal faster
Date: 10/12/2004
I found out exactly a week ago that I had genital herpes and I have been on the medication for 7 days so far. The medicine is helping in the sense that it is not as uncomfortable to walk and move around but going to the restroom is still killing me. Is this normal? I was just wondering how long it would take for it to go away. I mean all the sores except for one have gone away and the one left is killing me. Also is there anything that I can do to make it heal faster? And would smoking make it worse? And sorry this is my last question…I am really scared about all of this and I was just wondering if there were any things that I could do to lessen the outbreaks? Thank you for all your help.


AskDocWeb: Smoking reduces the flow of blood and, because of that, slows healing. You can increase your rate of healing by reducing your smoking as much as possible. And follow your doctor’s advice in taking your medicine.

Subj: Questions about herpes
Date: 10/25/2004
I was just diagnosed with herpes and I was curious if my partner could have it and not know it, and also if receiving oral sex with the blisters can make the disease spread easier. (sorry I don’t know a whole lot about this disease) Thank you for your help.


AskDocWeb: Yes, it is possible for a person to contract herpes and not know it. When symptoms first show up, they may not be recognized or may be attributed to something else. Any time a person has blisters, they are more contagious.

Questions about sores
Date: 11/3/2004
My question is do all herpes form a cluster of watery bumps, and do all herpes scab and crust over? Also if you are having your first outbreak would you have more than one sore?


AskDocWeb: Yes you can have more than one sore and they do scab and crust over. Generally speaking the first outbreak is typically the worst.

No period the first month
Date: 11/17/2004
I’ve been taking Ortho-Lo for the past month and I didn’t get my period the first month. Is this normal? I know that it makes then lighter but non existant the first month??!!


AskDocWeb: Yes it is normal to be late with your period occasionally but not missed completely. You may want to have a pregnancy test done just to make sure you are not pregnant.

Feeling nauseous
Date: 11/25/2004
I’ve been on Ortho try-cyclen LO for a little over a month now. I feel nauseous, but not like down in the pit of my stomach. It’s more like up in my chest, right between the bottom of my ribs. I was just wondering if that was normal, because many of the first month side-effects are the same as early pregnancy symptoms. Thanks!


AskDocWeb: No they are not early pregnancy symptoms, more like gastric symptoms. If they continue, check with your doctor.

Subj: Acyclovir and mood swings?
Date: 11/29/2004
I just had my first herpes outbreak and was given acyclovir. My question is if another side effect of this medicine is mood swing or depression, or anxiety. I’ve been taking this medication for a week know and out of nowhere I yelled terribly to my mother for the first time.


AskDocWeb: Non of those three, mood swings, depression, or anxiety were listed in the side effects for this medication. Yelling at one of your parents is something that many people have done. It has more to do with anger than side effects. Learning how to express your anger appropriately is something everyone goes through. Some people get better at it than others.

Subj: Night sweats and fever
Date: 11/30/2004
I’ve been taking acyclovir for a week and I can see a lot of recovering on my genitals, the thing is that since I’ve been taking it I’ve developed serious night sweats and high fever starting at evening until next morning. Are these side effects of acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: Acyclovir is one of the medications that occasionally produce excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis) but then you may also have something else going on. Sounds like you should talk to your doctor about this.

Subj: Acyclovir spoils the taste
Date: 12/2/2004
My doctor prescribed Acyclovir for what he said was the onset of shingles. I took the pills, 5 a day 800 mg, for 2 weeks and developed a terrible taste in my mouth. I stopped taking the pills after 2 weeks, because of what I believe was a side effect, but the bad taste has not gone away. The only food product it doesn’t effect seems to be chocolate. It spoils the taste of virtually anything else I eat. Is this a common side effect? I don’t see it mentioned in any of the sites here related to Acyclovir.


AskDocWeb: It seems that more than a few medications affect the sense of taste.

Weight gain
Date: 12/7/2004
I have been taking ortho-tri-cyclen-lo for almost a year. I didn’t think anything of it, but over the past year I have gained approximately 10-15 lbs. Just recently I started wondering if the weight gain was affiliated with the pill. I decided to stop taking the ortho and see if things will change with the weight gain. If weight gain is caused by the pill, can one lose the weight once stopping?


AskDocWeb: A 10-20 lb weight gain is typical with most birth control pills. The weight is not likely to come off by itself just because you stopped taking the pill. You have to diet and exercise.

Subj: Use of Acyclovir in children
Date: 12/27/2004
My daughter was just broke out with chicken pox 2 days ago and as been put on 100mg per day across 4 doses a day. I have recently read that Acyclovir should not be given to children under the age of 12 due to side affects. Is this true and what are the side effects? My daughter is 9. Thank You


AskDocWeb: I think the main problem is that, because children are more sensitive, side effects are more likely, but that doesn’t completely rule out the use of Acyclovir. Using it to treat chicken pox is common. If we find out anything new about this, we will post it here.

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