Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 20

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: Meniere’s Disease
Date: 4/8/2008
I have Meniere’s Disease. Is Acyclovir prescribed for this disease?


AskDocWeb: There are anecdotal reports from patients who are being treated with antiviral drugs such as acyclovir, famciclovir, and Valtrex with mixed results. The use of acyclovir has been successful for some but the dosage must be appropriately strong in order to work and it doesn’t work for everyone. While a viral cause of Meniere’s Disease has not been positively established, there are researchers who suspect that the herpes simplex virus (HSV) may be a factor in some cases.

According to S. Karger AG, Basel (2008 University of Massachusetts Medical School) there is some evidence that the administration of antiviral medication provides relief of vertigo in some patients with recurrent vertigo. Relief of vertigo after this treatment was 90% in VN, Ménière’s disease and VN. The relief of positional vertigo (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) was 66%. We believe that this may be worthwhile for patients to discuss with their doctors.

Ménière’s disease is an abnormality of the inner ear causing a host of symptoms, including vertigo or severe dizziness, tinnitus or a roaring sound in the ears, fluctuating hearing loss, and the sensation of pressure or pain in the affected ear. The disorder usually affects only one ear and is a common cause of hearing loss.

Subj: Is this common?
Date: 4/13/2008
I have been prescribed acyclovir for genital herpes, 200mg, 3 times per day. I have been taking it on and off for years, and repeatedly been to the doctor about the lack of effect, but it does not seem to work. Is this common?


AskDocWeb: If by “work” you mean to prevent all outbreaks, that is not going to happen. Acyclovir will reduce the time it takes for outbreaks to heal but it does not totally prevent them. It is a treatment, not a cure.

Subj: Headaches
Date: 4/19/2008
My doctor prescribed Acyclovir 800 twice daily when Valtrax was not suppressing my 30 year old herpes, which were worsening in frequency and intensity. I didn’t know that headaches can be a side effect of Acyclovir, but am very prone to headaches, especially migraines. Now after a couple of weeks of the meds at this level I have been experiencing headaches that I can’t seem to get under control. I finally thought to read the side effects… Could this be the Acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: It is possible. Although headaches are one of the side effects of Acyclovir that may go away during treatment, it sounds like you should discuss this with your doctor.

Subj: Doing nothing for my genitals
Date: 4/25/2008
I have been taking acyclovir 400 mg 3x a day for almost a month now and I’m still having out breaks. it seems every time one sore heals another starts to break out and all of them are in new spots. Is acyclovir for me or is it causing me to have more break outs or should I up the dose. It works great for the herpes on my lips but seems to be doing nothing for my genitals. I don’t seem to be having any side effects either. Please help me.


AskDocWeb: For medical advice you will have to consult with your doctor. This website if for discussion of side effects.

Subj: Reducing dosage to avoid side effects?
Date: 5/15/2008
I have been taking acyclovir 400 mg for suppression for about a year. It works great, no outbreaks. Before, without the prescription, it was every month, and then I would treat each episode individually, and usually I was successful at avoiding a full outbreak with the medication Famvir. I have hair loss, which I attribute to acyclovir. I was thinking about reducing the dosage to 200 per day to see if that works for suppression. Is there any data to support that?


AskDocWeb: Not to our knowledge but since you have had no outbreaks in the past year your doctor may be open to considering a lower dosage.

Subj: Concerned that herpes may become resistant
Date: 5/22/2008
I have had genital herpes since my mid-twenties. I am now 63 and have been taking acyclovir for well over 20 years (since experimental trials). I have had no recurrences and no side effects that I know of. Now, a new doctor wants me to discontinue the acyclovir to see whether I still need it. I am concerned about recurrence which appears likely from what I have read. I am also concerned that my herpes may become resistant if the acyclovir is discontinued. What evidence is there on the risks/benefits of discontinuance? I can see no benefit other than financial. Please advise. Thanks,


AskDocWeb: We have seen no evidence of drug resistance developing because of the intermittent use of “as needed” treatment. The risk of developing a drug resistant virus is greatest in those who do not follow the directions and complete their full course of treatment. Missing a dose occasionally gives the virus a chance to regain strength and build resistance to the treatment.

Subj: Gained weight
Date: 5/31/2008
I have been taking acyclovir now for about 5 months, one tablet daily to sepress my herpes. I have gained an enormous amount of weight. Is this a side effect? And, if so, what are my options?


AskDocWeb: Weight gain is not listed as a side effect of Acyclovir.

Subj: I’ve developed rashes
Date: 6/5/2008
I take 400mg of acyclovir a day for herpes supression for the past month. Now since I started I’ve developed rashes, kind of like ecsema on the backs of my elbows… Should I stop taking the pills and try to find something else to take, is this maybe an allergy?


AskDocWeb: If it was an allergic reaction, you would have rashes or hives all over your body, which may or may not be accompanied with vomiting and stomach cramps. Talk to a physician about treating the eczema.

Subj: My first shingles outbreak
Date: 6/5/2008
I am 37 and experiencing my first shingles outbreak. I work a lot, and have been very stressed. My doctor prescribed 800mg 5x daily. I am petite and wondering if I need to take such a high dosage. I am very very grateful though and happy to be back on the road to health. I thought I was going out of my mind with this pain, numness and the sores on my waistline. Thank you for the excellent product!


AskDocWeb: The product is not ours, we are just tracking the side effects.

Subj: Dosage for chickenpox
Date: 6/6/2008
Yesterday my 9 year old brother and I were both diagnosed with chicken pox. To myself, the doctor prescribed acyclovir at 800 mg 4 times a day for 5 days and to my brother 400 mg 4 times daily for 5 days. I won’t be taking my acyclovir because of my previous response to it. My concern though is with my brother- He is a very small 9 year old and 1600 mgs daily for such a mild case of chicken pox just seems a little over the top to me… What do you think? Thank you,


AskDocWeb: When you compare that to the adult daily dosage for chickenpox, which is 3200 mgs, it doesn’t look so bad.

Subj: What time are you suppose to take it?
Date: 6/6/2008
I was first diagnosed with genital herpes back in 2002 but only had the one outbreak then. Now I recently started having symptoms and a small outbreak so my clinician at Planned Parenthood put me on Acyclovir but didn’t say at what time you’re suppose to take it, only how many days. Does it matter what time of day of how many hrs in between? I just want to make sure I take it right and nothing I eat or drink will interfere with it.


AskDocWeb: There’s no specified time of day to take it and when you take it will vary for what dosage you are taking. Call your clinician and ask what is appropriate for you.

Subj: Still not understanding
Date: 6/12/2008
I just started taking acyclovir, I’m not sure on how it should be taken because I don’t know when I’ll get a outbreak, when I was 1st diagnosed I was 22yrs old. And I had reoccurrence at 23yrs old but noticed no symptoms, while I was doing my hygiene in my peri area I noticed blisters that’s when I knew I was getting an outbreak, my question is, Can I take them even if I noticed no signs or symptoms? And more info on the veltrax,.. Pls.. I was told that u can take valtrex daily with out no symptoms…?

Still not understanding

AskDocWeb: Many people take Valtrex even though they don’t have an outbreak, it’s called suppressive therapy. It reduces the number and severity of outbreaks.

Subj: Acyclovir information
Date: 6/14/2008
I been takin acyclovir for 5 days now n I works real good usually my cold sores last up to 2 weeks n is gone in just 4 dayz.. but I have one question am I able to drink alcohol while takin this medicine?


AskDocWeb: Information on Acyclovir has no caution listed for alcohol so enjoy.

Subj: Have I blown the benefits?
Date: 6/25/2008
I have three canker sores in mouth, I weigh 99lbs just had surgery June 20, I have slow motility of the stomach, doctor installed a device to help turn off the nausea. I’m on TPN for 12 hrs a day. Doctor put me on 400 mg 2 tablets 3x a day for 5 days of acyclovir. I took 2 at 4:30 PM, the next dose was suppose to be at 12:30 PM. I missed that dose, well my throat started to hurt so only took 1 pill at 4:30 this morning. Can I continue taking one pill 3 x a day for 30 days will this help, or have I missed up the use of the pill? Since I missed a dose after the first regular start of the med. My body has been through so much, please let me know if I have blowen the benefits of this med?


AskDocWeb: If you miss a dose, you don’t get the benefits of that dose but nothing is blown. The pain in your throat should be reported to your doctor and follow his directions.

Subj: Chicken pox
Date: 7/19/2008
My dad recently got chicken pox…so I got it frm him. I am 23…he had around 150 blisters all over…but I took acyclovir 800 4 times a day…since very first day the rash appeared. Today itz 5th day but I have only about 20 rashes all over my body…can acyclovir be so effective?


P.S. I have never had chicken pox earlier in life.

AskDocWeb: Yes, as you can see the benefit is obvious.

Subj: Likelihood of spreading herpes
Date: 7/23/2008
I was recently diagnosed with herpes simplex 2. I have stopped all sexual activity currently. Since I have this for life, I wanted to know what the percentage or likelihood of spreading herpes to my sexual partner is when I do not show symptoms. How much of that percentage is reduced by taking Acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: The exact percentages are not known as this varies too much from one individual to the next. Remember that although Acyclovir may reduce the chances of spreading herpes to others it does not completely eliminate that risk. To minimize the chances of spreading herpes, avoid sex when you have outbreaks and use a condom.

Subj: Shingles
Date: 8/2/2008
I have been precribed aciclovir 800mg 5 times a day for 1week as I have shingles. I am now on day 6 and my knuckle on my left hand is swollen and the skin is burning. Do u think this is a side effect of the medication or the shingles virus? I’m 23 and the rash is on my left side- lower back/upper buttock. Thank you,


AskDocWeb: That sounds like the effects of shingles, not a side effect of Acyclovir.

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