Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 26

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: Migraines
Date: 4/19/2009
I was taking Topamax 100mg. for migraines. Whenever I developed Shingles and the doctor prescribed Acyclovir…My migraines stopped. When I stopped the Acyclovir, my migraines returned. I later had another small outbreak of shingles. Once again, the doctor put me on Acyclovir. The migraines stopped. I continued taking 400mg. of Acyclovir(prescribed by my M.D.) and gradually stopped the Topomax. My headaches gradually began to return. My question is …Is there any reason that I should be concerned about taking Acyclovir for a long period of time? My M.D. says it won’t hurt me. My neurologist is upset because I’m taking Acyclovir and says it will damage my liver over a long period of time. Is that correct? I can’t find anything to back that up. Why not take Topamax and Acycloir if it stops my migraines?


AskDocWeb: There is a possibility of developing liver enzyme abnormalities but not actual damage unless you take high doses over time. We found antidotal reports that over time, taking 2 grams or more per day might cause liver damage. This is probably not a problem for most people. If you suspect an overdose, call 911 or visit your local emergency room or clinic.

Subj: Acyclovir for felines?
Date: 4/22/2009
My feline 13 years have feline calcivirus and the local vet prescibe acyclovir 200mg to use 1/4 tab every 6 hours. She have a deep mouth ulcer and nothing not antibiotics help. Is it save for her and how long can she use it?


AskDocWeb: If your vet thinks that it is safe then it is probably okay. We are not vets and this website is usually limited to discussing side effects.

Subj: Understanding Acyclovir’s action on my gastrointestinal tract
Date: 4/23/2009
I took Acyclovir 800 mg – double dosed myself – and now I have been sick for all day vomiting. I was not given any directions or cautions regarding any of the 3 medications I was prescribed for my shingles. I did finally read the pharmacy print out about possible side effects. But, really very little was discussed or emphasized. I took the double dose because I have had the virus for 5 days prior and was beginning to have huge blisters and so much pain that I was worried about my acetaminaphen use. I have arthritis and use Meloxicam and Tylenol 650 mg – long lasting for pain already. Well, I am wondering when I will stop vomiting. Cannot hold down even water. I was prescribed 800 mg tabs to be taken 5 X daily. I wonder if I could even do that since I cannot take the 1600 mg single dose. Any way thanks for asking. I will call my doctor or pharmacist or someone… I need help understanding this drug and its action on my gastrointestinal tract. Thanks,


AskDocWeb: Nausea and vomiting are listed as possible side effects that may go away during treatment. The digestive side effects are reduced if Acyclovir is taken with meals. Some nausea can be avoided with eating strategies like eating dry salted crackers and not lying down after you eat. If it continues check with your doctor.

Subj: For shingles
Date: 4/27/2009
I have just started taking prescribed Aciclovir LOVIRtm 800mg 5 a day for shingles present on top of left breast and top of left back. I am worried about taking such a heavy dosage but will try as prescribed.


Subj: 16 year old
Date: 4/28/2009
Hello I’m a 16 year old girl. I’ve been using acyclovir for a week now. I got them by going to the doctor. My reason was that I was getting sores in my vagina and I had the fever. Do I have genetal herpies??? My doctor said that she was going to call me and tell me the results and she never did. Should I call and ask her about my results? Am I going to die with this? Now just yesterday I had sex with my partner and we did not use protection can he get it??? Should I be having sex? Thanks a lot for your help…


AskDocWeb: First the good news, if you have herpes, you are not going to die from it. It is, however, a sexually transmitted disease, commonly referred to as STD. Call your doctor and find out. If you don’t have it, this will save you a lot worry. If you do have it, you need to know about it. Right now there is no cure for herpes so the people who get it have to learn to live with it. Part of learning to live with it involves learning how to reduce the chances of spreading the disease to other parts of your body and to other people. We suggest you invest a few hours reading to lean about this disease now in order to prevent a lot of regret later.

Subj: 100 times worse
Date: 4/30/2009
My doctor prescribed Acyclovir for what she thinks are cold sores. The thing is that it has done nothing except make the situation 100 times worse. I am not sure if they are cold sores because they are inside of my mouth and they are just red patches that feels more like the skin has been peeled off and it is very red, raw & painful. It is difficult to talk and impossible to eat. Also my lips have been swollen for a week. I have had this condition for 3/4 weeks with no help!!!!


AskDocWeb: That sounds like what is referred to as an adverse reaction. Please contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Subj: Side effects on infant?
Date: 5/2/2009
My son was diagnosed with HSV meningoencephalitis when he was 4 weeks old. His ID doctor started him on IV acyclovir for 21 days, after that is completed, then by mouth 3xa day for 1 year. I have some concerns for being on this medication for an extended period of time. Is this medication safe and what side effects can I look for in an infant?


AskDocWeb: This is a subject that needs more study and research. There have been only a limited number of studies on using acyclovir in children but what data we have show that they get the same side effects as adults. These include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headaches, which may go away during treatment.

Subj: Chickenpox
Date: 5/6/2009
I am 25 yrs old. I’m now suffering from chickenpox. I am not taking acyclovir. One ayurveda doctor told me it is not necessary to take acyclovir. Use Nirocil (Ayurvedic antiviral medicine) that I m using. One thing I’m wondering that my facial blister will leave scar in my face or not? Its been 2 days I’m suffering from chickenpox. Will it be effective to take acyclovir now?


AskDocWeb: Sorry Nirmal, we have not data on the Ayurvedic philosophy or medicine, just that it comes out of India. As long as you can avoid scratching the blisters you can avoid the scars. If you scratch a blister, you are likely to get a scar there. And yes, Acyclovir will still be effective in treating the chickenpox. It is more effective if treatment is not delayed.

Subj: Lysine
Date: 5/10/2009
Herpes sufferers-please try supplementing your use of acyclovir with Lysine. It is an amino acid in tablet form that is available over the counter (even in the grocery store!) for about $5 for 60 pills. Take 2-3 500 mg per day when you feel an attack coming on and continue for a week. Using it with zovirax should help the problem clear up much faster.


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

Subj: Decided to try suppressive treatment
Date: 5/13/2009
I recently contracted genital HSV-1 and have had three outbreaks in the past three months. I initially took 800mg three times a day for five days for outbreaks but have since decided to try suppressive treatment (400mg twice daily). I started the medication two days ago and I’m already having an outbreak! I do not think I am under any stress at this time, have been eating right and sleeping enough, I am also taking l-lysine 500mg twice daily. Is there anything else I can do? And why am I having an outbreak so soon?


AskDocWeb: It is quite possible that your condition requires a higher dosage than just suppressive therapy. If the suppressive treatment isn’t working, admit it and report back to your doctor.

Subj: Herpes virus and L-Lysine
Date: 5/14/2009
I especially feel very sorry for the mother of the 4 day old baby. Folks! Contact the medical people at the Saturday Evening Post and learn about L-Lysine. My husband has had herpes simplex of his left eye and keeps it under control with L-lysine. Also my nieces take L-lysine for their hives and shingles. If they get an attack they increase the lysine for several 1000 MG. To know how much to take, contact the Post and get all the information they have on this herpes virus and L-Lysine.


Subj: Joint pain and shortness of breath
Date: 5/16/2009
I have a rash on my neck and went to see my doctor today. He believes it is shingles. He took a blood sample for testing and prescribed Acyclovir 800mg 5 times a day. I took the first tablet at 12pm and felt joint pain and the need to stretch. I took the second tablet at about 3pm and soon after started to experience shortness of breath. I called my doctor and he suggested that I stop taking the medication until my blood work comes back. Are these typical side effects of this drug and does these side effects diminish over time? Should I consider trying to take this medication again or am I allergic to this medication? Should it be that I am allergic to this medication what alternatives are there for me? Thank you in advance for your advice.


AskDocWeb: About 6% of those who take Acyclovir have joint pain as a side effect. Any difficulty breathing can indication an allergic reaction or overdose but there are also other causes such as panic attacks. The alternatives to acyclovir include valacyclovir hydrochloride (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir).

Subj: Acyclovir in children
Date: 5/18/2009
My son was diagnosed with Herpes Simplex Keratis RE about 4 and 1/2 years ago. He has been in Acyclovir when he gets an outbreak for about a month afterwards. Now because of more freqent outbreaks, he is on it forever to help cut down the outbreaks. His eye gets red as a tomato, swollen and he says it is very itchy and hurts. I have not noticed any long term effects in him. I just make sure he gets lots of rest, and that’s not easy for an 8 year old. I hope this helps the parents who are concerned with their young ones on this med for the long haul.


Subj: Develop allergic reactions or side effects over time?
Date: 5/26/2009
I have been taking 800 mg of Acyclovir (twice daily)a day for over a year now and I must say it works very well. However, I have to concerns/ questions… This past weekend I was on vacation and for four days I had only taken the pill twice because of the fear that alcohol intake would cause a bad interaction with the medicine. On the third day, I had hives or small bumps on my arms, upper back, neck, ears, legs, thighs, really everywhere except my face. Could this be because I missed the dosages or an allergic reaction? I’ve taken benadryl since then, and the bumps are still slightly visible… Also, after evaluating myself before I started taking the pill and now, I realized that it’s a little easier for me to become agitated at times than before…being irritated easily in certain situations or with people, and a bit of a temper along with other abnormal behaviors. Do you think this is b/c of the drug? Have I been taking it too long? Is it possible to develop allergic reactions or certain side effects overtime?


AskDocWeb: Although it is possible and it has happened, it is rare to develop an allergic reaction after being on a drug for an extended period of time. Side effects may show up at any time while taking a drug, even after years of use.

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