Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 21

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: Herpes infection
Date: 8/4/2008
My wife’s doctor prescribed acyclovir for her about five years ago. This disturbed me since it’s used to treat herpes. I confronted my wife’s doctor and he told she had herpes. To my knowledge, I am not infected. We have sex only about once a month. Could she be infected and not have infected me?


AskDocWeb: Yes, that is possible. If you avoid contact with open sores that will minimize the chances of infection. You can get herpes from a herpes infected partner even if your partner has no symptoms but the infection is more likely to be spread if sores are present. This is true until the scabs have fallen off after the sores are completely healed. It’s best to avoid any sexual activity if your partner has any symptoms of herpes.

Subj: A certain class of antibiotics?
Date: 8/5/2008
I just had a shingles outbreak a few days ago, and have been taking acyclovir for about 24 hours. For about the last 4-5 hours, I have been having pain in my achilles tendon. I remember reading something about a certain class of antibiotics (including Cipro) that can cause tendons to rupture, and am wondering in Acyclvir falls under this umbrella? The article I read had mentioned stopping the meds if there was any tendon pain in that area. Thanks for your help!


AskDocWeb: Acyclovir is an antiviral not an antibiotic so that doesn’t apply here.

Subj: Stomach cramping and difficulty urinating
Date: 8/7/2008
I use Acyclovir for herpes outbreaks. It generally works pretty good. Since the last outbreak I’ve noticed a lot of stomach cramping and difficulty urinating. Is this due to Acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: Those symptoms are not listed as side effects of Acyclovir so check with your doctor. You may have an unrelated condition that might need attention.

News Note: Several different vaccines are in various stages of development. These include vaccines made from proteins on the HSV cell surface, peptides or chains of amino acids, and the DNA of the virus itself. NIAID and GlaxoSmithKline are supporting a large clinical trial in women of an experimental vaccine that may help prevent transmission of genital herpes. The trial is being conducted at more than 35 sites nationwide. For more information, type Herpevac Trial for Women into your browser or go to

Subj: Rash
Date: 8/17/2008
I rarely have outbreaks, maybe 1x or 2x a year but when I do I usually take acylvoir (sometimes I let the outbreak run its course on its own) anyway I am on my 4th day and I have this rash now that is really itchy. I have eczema and sometimes in extreme heat I get a heat rash and we are having a heat wave with warnings right now. I don’t remember having a rash before but noticed you said a possible side effect is a skin rash?


AskDocWeb: Yes, a small percentage of Acyclovir users report getting a rash.

Subj: Hives?
Date: 8/17/2008
I am a 57 yr old woman. When I was in my 20’s and 30’s when I became over stressed I would get terrible cancer sores. I moved to Florida 4 years ago and hadn’t have a cancer sore for at least 20 years. Moving to Florida put me under an enormous amount of stress. We sold our home, I left my job and friends and family, then supervised the building of our new home and pool and then my father was in the hospital and I was driving back and forth a 3 1/2 hour drive both ways. One day I work up covered with hives. The first they did was put me on predisone and an anti hisimine. Needless to say it didn’t work. At one time I was on 25 mg of predisone and at least 5 different anti hismine. The hives has gotten so big that one could cover my entire side and they not only itched but were extremely painfull. One night I was up all night with ice between my legs because I had a hive at least 10 incles by 10 incles on the inside of both of my thighs. I called my allergiest the next day and he stated he couldn’t do anything else for me.

I changed doctors tried other anti histimes/still on predisone but also then on anti depressent/anxiety mediciation. My allergist then wanted me to go on the drug they give transplant patients. I refused to do that. My dermitoligist and he talked and they put me on Dapsone. My hives gradually went away and I was able to get off of everything else. I was on the Dapsone for 3 months ….All in total I had the hives for 7 months. I will tell you I felt like dying. Once well I decided it must have been all the changes and something I had a strong reaction to moving to Florida from California. Boy, what I would not do to move back. Almost every one I met or talk to has some kind of skin problem here.

Well in May of this year. My dad was in the hospital again, I was under extreme stress at work, my family was fueding over my dad and his treatment and he was touch and go. I was also trying to get ready for a vacation in Cancun. Well, got a couple small hives on one of my arms and took some benedyl thinking okay the is the end of that. Got to Mexico work up covered from head to toe and extreme hives again. For 7 days the doctor came to my room and give me an adrenline shot. As soon as I got back I went to my doctor. He put my on the dapsone and a very small amount of predisone and watched my blood very careful. The dapsone did not work as well and I had to be taken off after 2 months due to the effect on my blood. My doctor asked if I had ever had cancer sores or cold sores I advised I had. He put me on acyclovier 400 mg 3 X a day. Within 3 days my hives were gone. My predisone is down to 6 mil a day and I drop it a 1/4 of a miligram each day. I am not on any antihistimes. I am taking xanax and lexapro since this attacks appear to by brought on by anxiety and stress. Has anyone else ever been sucessful in using this drug for hives. I have had no complications for taking the drug; I would appreciate any input.


AskDocWeb: What you describe sounds more like shingles and Acyclovir is an effective treatment for shingles.

Subj: Cold sores
Date: 8/18/2008
My daughter is 11 and has had out breaks of cold sores all over her face. I’ve been to several different doctors. The latest wants to put my daughter on Acyclovir on a daily basis. I don’t think this is a healthy solution for an 11 year old. What do you think? Would you? I appreciate your help.


AskDocWeb: Although a limited number of studies have been done using Acyclovir in children, the results have been the same as for adults. Considering that the alternative is not to treat something that is treatable, we suggest you follow your doctor’s advice.

Subj: Outbreaks?
Date: 8/26/2008
I take acyclovir everyday now due to my amount of outbreaks I was wandering will I still breakout if I take it everyday? and will I still have the tingling feeling? Thanks,


AskDocWeb: That tingling feeling will still signal that you are about to have an outbreak but taking Acyclovir should reduce the number of them and it will shorten the healing time for recovery.

Subj: Treating chickenpox
Date: 9/2/2008
Me & my wife is having chikenpox now. I took the vaccine when I knew that I was having chikenpox but my wife took it befor knowing that she is infected. But the other day she also got that. NOW we both are taking the madicin for chikenpox 5per day. Is it advisabel to use it? Me & my wife are having chikenpox now.


AskDocWeb: Acyclovir is commonly used to treat chickenpox. According to the 2008 Physician’s Desk Reference, in otherwise healthy adults over 40 kg, the dosage for treatment of chickenpox is 800 milligrams 4 times a day for 5 days.

Subj: Bells Palsy?
Date: 9/3/2008
I was wondering if there was any documentation about the effectiveness of this drug for Bells Palsy? Also, if anyone has had improvement of Bells Palsy after taking it, would you please email me at Thank you,


AskDocWeb: Sorry Sharon, it is against our privacy policy to publish email addresses. There was one study involving Acyclovir antiviral treatment (Adour*) which used Acyclovir 400 mg 5 times daily for 10 days. More recent improvements in antiviral drugs suggest that famciclovir 500 mg tid may be a more effective choice. Valacyclovir (Valtrex) has the same effect. See Arguments favouring the pharmacotherapy of Bells’ palsy

*Adour KK. Combination treatment with acyclovir and prednisone for Bell palsy. Arch ORL 124:824, 1998

Subj: Generic vs. non generic Acyclovir
Date: 9/10/2008
I’ve been taking acyclovir on and off for about six years in treating my skin condition called erythema multiforme (a form of herpes which is known to occur in some people just after having a herpes simplex outbreak). It seems that taking regular Acyclovir clears the outbreaks more quickly. When I asked a pharmacist I was told there is no difference between generic and non-generic, just the cost. My new dermotolgist says the opposite. Have any studies been done and if so, what were the results? Curious to know if I should spend the extra $60-$80 for the real deal (I have no health insurance).


AskDocWeb: There is not supposed to be any difference in the effectiveness between the two. There are not current studies on any possible differences but if you get good results with the generic then why pay more for the name brand?

Subj: Circulation problems
Date: 9/12/2008
I have taken acyclovir 800mg twice a day for 5days on and off for acute therapy now I am on it for suppressive therapy because of breakout due to stress. I have experience numbness and tingling in hands and feet, joint stiffness and constipation when I stop medication symptoms go away. I am convince this medicine causes circulation problems or nerve damage but it does treat the symptoms what can I do.


Subj: Extreme dry mouth
Date: 9/18/2008
I have been taking Acyclovir for about a month now, only side effect I am seeing is extreme dry mouth. I found out about 4 months ago I had herpes. For those who have a painful breakout I have some suggestions…As far as using the bathroom, I would put some water in my bathtub and get in that and pee, afterwards let water out clean and put just enough back in for the next time. I also put some tea tree oil in my bath water and soak, it acts as a natural antiseptic. I also ordered some Lysine ointment from Pride online, and it is great and cheap. Just apply a little when you feel an outbreak coming on or during an outbreak, it is very soothing. Good luck to all, I know what you are going through.


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

Subj: Bumps that itch like crazy
Date: 9/19/2008
I was prescribed Acyclovir about a month and a half ago for genital herpes. In the last two weeks I have been getting water filled bumps all over my hands that itch like crazy. And it seems like wherever one was, becomes a dry, bumpy patch of skin. Now my inner thighs are itching, as well and my rear. Could this be the rash that was referred to in side effects? And if so, what can I do?


AskDocWeb: It does sound like a rash and this should be reported to your doctor.

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