Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 34

About Acyclovir

If you’ve used Acyclovir, please help others by sharing your experience with side effects. 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: Painful underarms
Date: 3/10/2010
I got the shingles and, have been on Acyclovin (20 pills a day) for five days. The skin under both my arms and armpit area is VERY sensitive and is painful to the touch, but I have no signs of rash or even redness on the skin. Is this a side effect of the medicine or a symptom of shingles? I can’t seem to find the answer anywhere.

AskDocWeb: Pain under the arms is not listed as one of the possible side effects of Acyclovir.

Subj: Acyclovir works well
Date: 3/13/2010
I have suffered with severe herpes simplex 1 infections for 12 years now. The virus has effected my facial nerves, I often get tinglingling in my left temple and spreading into my face. I was prescribed the Acyclovir tablets and they have worked really well. I am now taking them 2 x a day 400mg for 4 months to prevent any outbreaks. I now have no tingling or burning in my face and no outbreaks as of yet. This medecine has been a real help.


Subj: Unintended consequences?
Date: 3/13/2010
I’m on zovirax 4 times a day for 5 days. This is for treatment of chicken pox. I feel this is a wonderful drug which helped me to recover fast with less symptops pain/itching etc, else I have heard that chicken pox could be a nightmare. I have few queries/concerns, which i hope you could clarify/correct me if I’m wrong;

1) Does the usage of Acyclovir reduces the immunity for second occurrence of chickenpox (compared to a person not treated with acyclovir?)

2) Does the usage of acyclovir increases the chances of aquiring shingles (again compared to someone who was not under acyclovir for chickenpox) at a later point of life?

AskDocWeb: A single attack of chickenpox usually provides lifetime immunity to chickenpox however, the virus remains dormant (inactive) in the body and may emerge later in life as shingles. We have seen nothing to indicate that the use of Acyclovir might increase the chances of getting shingles or reduce immunity in any way. Although anyone who has had chickenpox has an increased risk of developing shingles, only about 15% of people will experience shingles during their lifetime.

Subj: Feeling not right
Date: 3/20/2010
I have never taken Acyclovir in all my life. This was a five day treatment for cold sore on lip. Better than a 3 pill one day event. Or so I thought. I found all the side effects of this 800 mg treatment for 5 days. Confusion, slept more than wake, hallucinations, low back pain, mental AND mood changes. Felt low and depressed in my version of that mood. I will for sure not take it again. What I wonder, it has been two weeks and I still have a ‘feeling’ inside my head that is not right to this old lady. I see my doctor on Thursday and will ask. Is this a ‘fix’ the drug does to some very sensitive people? I am very very sensitive to meds. Thanks for the site,

Patio almost 54 years
AskDocWeb: A vague feeling of discomfort, one that cannot be identified or pinned down and is often sensed as “just not right” is called malaise. This was the most frequently reported adverse event in clinical trials (11.5%).

Subj: Chest burns and something stuck in my throat
Date: 3/21/2010
I have been taking Acyclovir for about 6 days now 2x day. I notice 3 day ago that my chest burns and that feels like I have something struck in my throat. Can this be a side effect or an allergic reaction? Should I stop taking them 2x times a day?

AskDocWeb: It could be related to the Acyclovir but there are also several other possibilities, most of which should be checked by your doctor. Things like allergies, allergic reactions, GERD, or thyroid problems are not things you can check on your own.

Subj: High blood pressure and menstrual periods
Date: 3/24/2010
I have been taking acyclovir for 3 months now for zoster outbreaks, I have never had problems with high blood pressure and now I’m having a problem with it and also my menstrual periods are starting to mess up and I would like to know if the acyclovir is having an affect on these problems I’m having.

AskDocWeb: Hypertension is not listed as a side effect of Acyclovir and there is no mention in the literature about it causing high blood pressure. Irregular menstrual cycles are not listed as a side effect of Acyclovir however, others have reported menstrual problems and changes in their period while taking Acyclovir. There are several other drugs that are known to do that, such as;

  • Delatestryl (injection)
  • Depo-Provera (contraceptive injection)
  • Estratest
  • Flovent Rotadisk
  • Infergen
  • Intron A (injection)
  • Ortho Micronor
  • Xenical

There are also other causes of irregular menstrual cycles; emotional stress, physical stress, changes in the amount of exercise, and changing birth control pills can all affect your menstrual periods.

Subj: Allergic reaction to Acyclovir?
Date: 3/24/2010
I took acyclovir for about week while I waited for my herpes results. It turned out I didn’t have herpes. However, during that time I developed oral thrush, dizziness, chest pain, and just an overall weird feeling. Can thrush be an allergic reaction to Acyclovir?

AskDocWeb: No, thrush is a fungal infection or mycosis. It is commonly referred to as a yeast infection, also known as candidosis, moniliasis, and oidiomycosis. It is not listed as a possible side effect of Acyclovir.

Subj: Travel plans
Date: 3/25/2010
My 6 year old just got the chicken pox today. He also received the vaccination but has developed the spots. My 3 year old has not shown the signs of the pox but has not been vaccinated. I am taking him to the doctor to get him vaccinated today but he has probably already contracted the virus. We are scheduled to leave for a 12 day trip in 5 days and I am wondering if I can also give him Acyclovir starting now until after he gets it to minimize the chicken pox in his case. He has not shown the signs yet but it is only a matter of time I suppose so can it be given now to help save our travel plans and maybe grant him a less sever case of the chicken pox. Great web site, thanks you.

AskDocWeb: Unfortunately the incubation period for chicken pox can be up to 24 days. Please discuss your travel plans with your doctor because this disease is highly contagious. The virus is spread through secretions and tiny droplets in sneezes and coughs for about 5 days before the rash shows up.

Subj: Allergic reaction?
Date: 3/28/2010
I was diagnosed with HSV-2 yesterday and the doctor prescribed me acyclovir to takes 3 times a day. I took my 3rd dose today and no sooner than I take it I see a large bump/rash above my lip (right below my nose) it doesnt hurt its just ugly and red..there’s no head to it so i know its not a this an allergic reaction?

AskDocWeb: An allergic reaction may have one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat

Anyone suspecting an allergic reaction should get emergency medical help immediately.

Subj: Long term studies?
Date: 3/31/2010
My grand daughter is being treated for Herpes on lips with Acyclovir for a long time. Since acyclovir blocks reverse transcriptase (an enzyme necessary for multiplication of RNA viruses) and since the same enzyme is necessary for normal lengthening of human chromosome telomeres, are there any long term studies on the effects of the use of Acyclovir on cell division and child growth? Since retroviruses require host cell membrane cover to reinfect cells, are any procedures to disrupt the cell membrane (such as trigycerides that increase distance between signaling proteins) attempted to aid control of Herpes?

AskDocWeb: The only research we could find in this area involves HIV infected patients who are also infected with the human herpes virus. Telomeres are the end caps on chromosomes. They stop the ends of the chromosomes from unraveling and prevent the chromosomes from fusing together. They do play a role in DNA transcription, they stop it when it reaches the end of the chromosome but they don’t stop all DNA replication.

Subj: Allergic reaction to Acyclovir?
Date: 4/5/2010
I was diagnosed with Herpes (HSV 2) two and a half weeks weeks ago. The clinic that diagnosed me gave me 400 mg tablets of Acyclovir which I tool 3X daily for a week. I noticed no side effects. The next week, after the clinic’s supply of Acyclovir ran out, my herpes symptoms got worse so I went to my own doctor to get more. I am now 5 days into that prescription (also a week’s worth of 400 mg tablets), and I have noticed that one of my groin lymph nodes is swollen. Is that an allergic reaction to Acyclovir, or an expected symptom of the HSV 2? Thanks very much.


AskDocWeb: Swelling of the groin lymph nodes is a common symptom of herpes. The symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from bothersome to life threatening, depending on the strength of the allergic reaction. If the reaction is mild it may consist of itchy eyes, runny nose, itching, rash, hives, sneezing, and/or eczema. The symptoms of severe allergic reactions may include difficulty breathing, wheezing, tongue and airway swelling, hypotension, edema, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, loss of consciousness, and death. Other symptoms may also occur in some cases.

Subj: Highly recommended
Date: 4/9/2010
I am taking Acyclovir 800 mg dose after what my first outbreak of Genital Herpes. I am taking the drug every day for about now 8 month, never ever had since outbreak, highly recommend the drug.


Subj: Acyclovir while pregnant
Date: 4/14/2010
I am pregnant and was prescribed Acyclovir for herper zoster. Do you know of any possible problems with taking this medication while pregnant?


AskDocWeb: Of course there are risks associated with taking any prescription medication. The FDA has established 5 Pregnancy Categories to explain the risks of taking something while pregnant. Acyclovir is in category B.

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