Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 23

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: Swollen legs
Date: 11/14/2008
I have taken Acyclovir, for 2 days now, I have a place on my private. My Question is I have some swelling that wasn’t there before. Is it a bad reaction to the medicine or is it common does it get worse before it get better? I have alot of the side affect the sore legs little swollen also like holding fluid, Its easier to just say what side affect I don’t have like loss of hair but I have the rest. Is the swelling normal?


AskDocWeb: The swelling is a response to something, usually infection, and should be reported to your doctor.

Subj: Viral meningitis and fibromyalgia
Date: 11/18/2008
I am taking acyclovir for viral meningitis however I have Fibromylgia as well. Will this medicine make my mygia worse? I don’t know if it is in my head and perhaps because of the meningitis it inflammed the fibro, or the medicine is making it worse. Your response will be appreciated.


AskDocWeb: It is doubtful that Acyclovir would make your condition worse. For some people it has been of considerable help in relieving the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Subj: Long-term use of acyclovir on children
Date: 11/20/2008
After doctors determined that my Cesarean born child had contracted HSVI in the NICU, my infant son was put on Acyclovir infusion therapy for 6 weeks beginning at age 3 weeks. Later he was on oral medication for 6 months. He is currently being treated for ADHD. We have always wondered if the long term use of the acyclovir on such a young child caused the chemical misfire in the brain. Have any of your readers experienced the same?

AskDocWeb: None of our readers have reported the same but long-term use is a subject that needs further study.

Subj: How long is Acyclovir in your blood?
Date: 11/24/2008
Hey, just wondering if acyclovir will show up in your urine or blood and if so how long after you stop taking the pills will it leave your system/not show up in your blood or urine? Thanx,


AskDocWeb: It leaves the body pretty fast. The half-life of Acyclovir is about 3 hours. That’s the amount of time it takes for half the drug to leave your system.

Subj: Acyclovir works
Date: 11/30/2008
Thanks for having this web site it was very helpful for me. I contracted genital herpes some 30 yrs. ago. I was plagued with outbreaks for several years until I figure out how stress, alcohol (ocasional use), caffine in all forms and anything else that depletes my immune system are all related to these out breaks. I have been using Acyclovir 400mg daily at the first sign of activity and take it for 5 to 10 days, well after the outbreak has cleared up. This use has shortened the duration and severity by 90% based on how soon I recognize my symptoms and start this doseing. I have not noticed any side effects to date with 2+ yrs. of this protocal. I do drink lots of water and obstain from use of all of the items I listed above. L-Lysine also helped 1000mg at first outbreak and another 1000mg in 6 to 8 hours and then 500mg two or three times daily until all syptoms cleared. Acyclovir works faster that the difference for me.


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

Subj: Decrease in sexual sensation
Date: 12/11/2008
I have been taking Acyclovir for 2 months now and have noticed a severe decrease in my sexual sensation with my partner. It is almost like I feel nothing… could this be from the drug?


AskDocWeb: That is not likely but that’s not to say it can not happen.

Subj: Outbreaks started again
Date: 12/16/2008
I have taken Acyclovir for genital herpes for 6 months then I stopped and now the outbreaks have started again almost every two weeks. Should I start the long term treatment again? Taking Acyclovir for extended period of time will not damage my kiddneys?


AskDocWeb: The decision to take Acyclovir should by made with your doctor’s help. Kidney damage has been noted to result from overdose and there have been a small number of cases renal failure. It is not clear if those cases were from pre-existing conditions or not. Making sure you are well hydrated while taking Acyclovir may avoid kidney problems.

Subj: Small red bumps – Rash
Date: 12/27/2008
After taking acyclovir for 2 days my body started to break out in small red bumps also. I called and talked to the nurse at the doc. office and she said she did not think it was the meds. I had a feeling she was wrong because they started 2 days after taking it. I was relieved to read someone else got the same rash. I was wondering how long it was going to take for the bumps to go away since it has been 2 days now and they are still all over me?

Jen in MO

AskDocWeb: A reaction can last from several minutes up to several days, depending on severity. Taking Benadryl should help get rid of the rash.

Subj: Birth control?
Date: 12/28/2008
I take Acyclovir for a form of shingles in my nose, can this medication interfer with my birth control? Does it lessen the percentage of effectiveness with my birth control like antibiotics can?


AskDocWeb: Acyclovir does not change the effectiveness of any birth control medication.

Subj: Reoccurring outbreaks in mouth
Date: 12/31/2008
I think I may have oral herpes. I keep having reoccuring outbreaks in my mouth at one time the dentist thought it was mrsa but this time I been given acyclovir. Will this help me if it is oral herpes and how do you get this? I haven’t had oral sex since June 5 or is this just a virus?


AskDocWeb: Herpes is a virus that is transmitted by sexual contact. If it is herpes then the Acyclovir should help.

Subj: Chickenpox in adult
Date: 1/1/2009
My husband has got chickenpox last week. He was taking paracetamol all these days. So is there any use using acyclovir from now?


AskDocWeb: The infection typically runs its course in 3 to 7 days but you should consult with your doctor. For an adult to get chickenpox (also called varicella) can sometimes be a serious event. Here are some self-help tips for care.

  • For the first few days take a bath every 4 hours and put 4 tablespoons of one of the following in the tub water; baking soda, oatmeal or cornstarch. Use soap once a day in one of those baths to clean the skin.
  • Use an ice pack or cool, moist washcloth on the itchy areas for 20 to 30 minutes
  • Calamine lotion will help relieve itching when used on the chickenpox sores
  • If there is a problem sleeping or the itching becomes severe, take a nonprescription antihistamine such as Benadryl.
  • Remember to trim your fingernails and wash hands often to keep the rash from becoming infected from scratching.
  • Use a nonprescription pain reliever such as acetaminophen for fever, headache, or general aches and pains.

In the United States paracetamol is known as acetaminophen, used for the management of pain. It is also sold under the brand names of Tylenol and Panadol.

Subj: Seniors beware
Date: 1/4/2009
1/1/09 -I was prescribed 800 mg x 5 a day of Acyclovir for shingles. I am a senior citizen and after 3 pills I experienced terrible hallucinations that lasted about 3-4 hrs. This was one of the worst experiences of my life. I was then left with bad anxiety, boarding on a panic attack of which was treated with Zanax and fortunately helped. Seniors beware, as we are apparently more prone to this side effect happening as I found out after the fact. I understand clinical trials did not list that, but post trials did per pharmacist researching for me. I much prefer to suffer through the shingles, even though very painful, rather than having such a frightening experience again. I have a lot of drug allergies/sensativities and maybe I was more at risk – but I will never try it again to find out. There must be something out there that does not have these side effects.


Subj: Swelling lymph nodes
Date: 1/5/2009
I’ve been taking Acyclovir for about 7 months now for the suppressive treatment of HSV-2. About 5 weeks ago I had EXTREME swelling of the lymph nodes in my jaw just under my ears and in my throat. The throat lymph nodes swelled to the size of lemons! Besides the discomfort of swelling and looking like a freak, I had no other symptoms (no sore throat or congestion). I went to the emergency room for fear my throat would swell shut…it didn’t, and after all the testing they could do, the ER Dr. said she didn’t know what this was, but it would probably just go away. It got worse, so I went to another Dr. for a second opinion and she said the same thing, that I must be fighting off some kind of virus but the swelling would go away in about a week. It got even worse the next day but then subsided from there and about a week later I was totally fine except then I got an H outbreak.

I kind of wondered if this is a side affect of the Acylclovir? I’ve read as much as I can find about this – but didn’t see anyone’s testimony with such EXTREME swelling – it looked like my neck gained 20 pounds! And the same thing is happening AGAIN to me right now – my throat and jaw lymph nodes are starting to swell up. I’m not sure what to do since the 2 doctors before just told me to wait and I’d be fine. Should I discontinue use of Acyclovir? Is it possible I’ve just become allergic to it? I know you’re not allowed to medically advise me – but could you point me in the direction of some other recorded documentation about Acyclovir that contains information on these side effects? Thanks.


AskDocWeb: Sorry Melanie, the shortage of such information was part of the reason for starting this website. You might want to consider checking with a gland specialist, an endocrinologist.

Subj: Lower back pain
Date: 1/13/2009
I have been taking acyclovir, 400 mg per day, for several years. The muscles in my lower back hurt every day. Could this be a side effect of the acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: Yes, it is called Arthralgia or joint pain and affects up to six percent of users. This has been reported to occur in the back, neck, arms, legs, knees, ankles, feet, and toes.

Subj: Shingles treatment
Date: 1/18/2009
How long is the typical course of treatment with Acyclovir used to treat shingles. My son is doing a report for his science class on the correlation of chicken pox, and shingles. Thank you


AskDocWeb: The oral dose used to treat shingles is 800 mg taken five times a day for seven to ten days, until the rash has crusted over.

Subj: Allergic reaction
Date: 1/18/2009
I have successfully used Zirovax cream in the past to treat or prevent cold sores developing. Yesterday however, at the what appeared the be the first sign of another episode, I applied a smear to the affected area of my lip from a freshly-bought tube of the cream. Within a few hours my cheeks and lips had noticeably swollen, and I developed a mild headache. The swelling in my lips and cheeks was accompanied by the kind of numb sensation one would experience if administered a local aneasthetic at the dentist. I would like to know what might have caused the reaction, and if such reactions have been reported by other users of the product. Worthy of note is the fact that I am allergic to aspirin and ibuprofen, and currently on a prescribed course of betamethasone (corticosterod) nose drops. Best regards


AskDocWeb: Sorry Danny, we don’t have any information on Zirovax cream. If you meant Zovirax then yes, others have experienced symptoms similar to yours. It sounds like an allergic reaction and should be reported to your doctor.

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