Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 30

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: Sore throat and Asthma
Date: 10/11/2009
I was on 1 treatment of Acylovir. I have a sore throat and my Asthma is back. Is this normal?


AskDocWeb: A sore throat is one of the possible side effects of Acyclovir but asthma is not mentioned in the patient information for this product.

Subj: Worst outbreak I have ever had
Date: 10/15/2009
I was diagnosed with genital herpes about 2 years ago. I had been with the same partner for 2 years with no outbreaks and my husband does not have it….Why did it take so long to show up? And since I have been aware of this I now get break outs every month. I know I don’t take the acyclovir how I’m supossed to, I take it during the work week and forget on the weekend. I just switched to 400mg 2x day but because I have been getting more out breaks that last longer and spread to more area I got scared and took a bunch more, but it did not help at all and now they are spreading to my leg. This is the worst outbreak I have ever had. It seems as the more med I take the worse it’s getting…please help!


AskDocWeb: It is worth remembering that the medication will not work as intended if you don’t follow the instructions. Not taking it on the weekends gives the virus a chance to multiply and spread. Increasing or decreasing your dosage without first talking to your doctor is dangerous and can have serious consequences.

Subj: Losing hair and memory
Date: 10/15/2009
Have been on acyclovir 500 once a day continuous for two years for genital herpes. I am fast losing my hair and losing memory. I see on your web that some people take it only when an outbreak starts. Is that effective?


AskDocWeb: For some people it is effective. If you haven’t had an outbreak in several months then you might talk to your doctor about that possibility.

Subj: Diagnosed with HSV2
Date: 10/15/2009
I have been diagnosed with HSV2 for about a month and half now. I’ve been taken Acyclovir since then. I have followed directions at first (200mg, every 4 hours) but now I just take once a day. Does that matter as long as I’m taking a pill a day or should I take as prescribed. Also, I noticed I didn’t get my menstrual cycle during the month I’ve been on the Acyclovir. Does taking that stop it? I will admit though I have been going through alot as well. Also, I informed my partner that I have it. As of now, she hasn’t been tested yet so we don’t know if she has it so until she does we have been careful. Since I haven’t had any breakouts while on it, if we are oral and she tastes my secretions will my partner attract the HSV2 virus? Also, say after she visits the doctor and if unfortunately she finds out she has it as well, do we still need to protect ourselves? I mean since we both would have it, why would we?


AskDocWeb: In most cases, you get better results if you follow your doctor’s instructions. That means you take your medication as prescribed. Others have reported menstrual problems and changes in their period when taking Acyclovir. Initial oral infections of HSV-2 are not all that rare so there is a possibility of transmission. HSV-2 can cause painful cold sores in the mouth. If you both have it then protecting each other from transmission is no longer an issue.

Subj: Taking Acyclovir for life?
Date: 10/16/2009
I am a 34 year old hispanic women. I was diagnosed with genital herpes in June 2009, two weeks after my husband same diagnosis. He had it 20 years ago with no outbreaks until now. Is this really possible? I am taking 400mg of acyclovir twice a day, every day, because I had an outbreak every month, around my period. Do I have to keep taking acyclovir for life?


AskDocWeb: Both genital herpes (HSV2) and herpes simplex 1 (HSV1) can be dormant for years before producing an outbreak. While it is uncommon, there are people who have the virus and never have an outbreak. Once infected the virus stays in certain nerve cells in your body for life. There is currently no cure for herpes, only treatments such as Acyclovir.

Subj: Sore and bleeding gums
Date: 10/19/2009
I have been taking Acyclovir for 4 days – this morning my gums were very sore and this evening they are bleeding – could this be as a result of using Acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: Sore and bleeding gums are symptoms of oral herpes, but are not side effects of Acyclovir.

Subj: Excessive sweating
Date: 10/19/2009
I began taking acyclocvir 5 months ago (200 mg two times a day) to supress outbreaks of herpes. I have notices that since I began I sweat a lot more and smell like BO when I sweat. I have never been a sweater before and have never had a problem with BO. Is this common?


AskDocWeb: It is not common but it does happen. According to The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics (1990), several medications occasionally produce excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). These include tricyclic and serotonin reuptake inhibitors, Acyclovir, opioid analgesics, and naproxen.

Subj: Concerned about itchy rash
Date: 10/20/2009
I’ve used Acyclovir for 3 months. Three times a day for 10 days for my first herpes outbreak, then twice a day since then, 400mg. Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed an growing, itchy rash that started on my arms and moved to my legs and chest. Could acyclovir have caused this? The ER doctor didn’t seem concerned, but I am now that I’ve read a rash is a side effect of acyclovir.


AskDocWeb: A rash is a possible side effect for a small percentage of users but it is not necessarily a cause for concern. Your doctor can help with the rash if the itch becomes too uncomfortable. Less than five percent of Acyclovir users experience any side effects.

Subj: Can she take it?
Date: 10/22/2009
My friend takes acyclovir for blisters on her eye lids. She is 16 weeks pregnant but due to her insurance she has not gotten a OB yet. Her eyes will swell shut if she doesn’t take it. So the question is can she take it? She only takes 2 800mg at the onset of symptoms. Please email me back so I can let her know. Thanks,

Nikki, a concerned friend

AskDocWeb: Only her doctor can tell if the known benefits of taking Acyclovir are greater than the potential risks. When considering how safe a drug is to use during pregnancy the FDA has established pregnancy categories. There are 5 categories, A, B, C, D and X. Category A is the safest with progressively more risk as you move down the list. Acyclovir is in category B. Here is the complete list:

The Food and Drug Administration’s Pregnancy Categories
Pregnancy Category AAdequate and well-controlled studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).
Pregnancy Category BAnimal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women OR Animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus in any trimester.
Pregnancy Category CAnimal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.
Pregnancy Category DThere is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience or studies in humans, but potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks.
Pregnancy Category XStudies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities and/or there is positive evidence of human fetal risk based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience, and the risks involved in use of the drug in pregnant women clearly outweigh potential benefits.

Subj: Feel more tired then normal
Date: 10/22/2009
I just started taking Acyclovir for my first herpes outbreak and not to long after taking my first dose I started getting a horrible sore throat and a bad migraine. I feel more tired then normal is this because of the medication?


AskDocWeb: Yes, fatigue is listed as one of the possible side effects of Acyclovir.

Subj: Kidney pain
Date: 10/23/2009
I took acyclovir in early August and I began to have kidney pain. I went to the doctor and had hematuria. I had signs of a kidney stone, but a CT scan refuted this. I’m convinced that the acyclovir has caused this kidney pain and blood in the urine. I felt better, had another blister outbreak, took acyclovir for a couple of days, symptoms returned. Have you had anyone else have these side effects?


AskDocWeb: There have been a couple of reports of kidney pain and one report of kidney infection. According to the manufacturer, kidney damage, with decreased urine production, is a result of an overdose.

Subj: Constipation?
Date: 11/1/2009
I am on Acyclovir 800mg. This med is causing me to be constapaed. Is this one of the side effects?


AskDocWeb: Yes, constipation in those using Acyclovir has been reported by a small percentage of patients (from 0.1% to 1%).

Read more feedback about Acyclovir.

Page 30
Last Page 74