Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 36

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: Use in children
Date: 5/17/2010
My twelve year old daughter has recently had an outbreak of shingles. A doctor prescribed 700mg five times a day of Aciclovir (she is 35kg) to reduce the severety and length of the attack. I read in the notes that side effects in children are unknown and that it is not recommended for use in children. I note also that effects on fertility are mentioned. Should I continue use of these tablets and is it likely that the benefits of using this drug in this instance outweigh the possible and unknown side effects? I understand that shingles in children can be less severe than in adults and that the pain and duration of the attack may be reduced in a child anyway? Please help.


AskDocWeb: Your doctor must be convinced that the known benefits outweigh the possible risks or a prescription would not have been written. A limited number of studies have been done using acyclovir in children. These studies show that children experience the same effects as for adults.

Subj: Long term negative effects?
Date: 5/23/2010
I am 53 years old. I have had shingles for almost 30 years. My grandmother had shingles and my 14 year old grandaughter had shingles. I used to have outbreak after outbreak. (as does my grandaughter) I finally had a doctor suggest taking Acyclorvir as a suppressant. I have been taking 800 mg daily of Acyclovir(Valtrex before that) as a suppressant for many years now. When I miss even one dose I get my onset symptoms (neuralgia) of another shingles outbreak. I recently had a small outbreak even while taking my suppressant dosage. Is it possible to become immuned to this doseage and will I need to start taking a higher dosage? Are there any long term negative effects?


AskDocWeb: Since the strength of your body’s immune system can vary over time, it is possible that your dosage may need to be adjusted periodically. That is one of the reasons why it is important to keep your medical appointments and get that yearly physical.

Acyclovir seems to be well tolerated by most people, even in long-term use. There have been a small number of reports from long-term users of Acyclovir reporting depression, hair loss, skin rash, dizziness, fatigue, anorexia, leg pain, medication taste and sore throat.

Subj: Reaction to Acyclovir
Date: 5/28/2010
I am not a Doctor. The following information should not be used without consulting your Doctor. The description of how Acyclovir works sounds very similar to VirOptic eye drops used for Type-I infections. My new Ophthalmologist recommended taking Acyclovir continuously. Within hours of taking the first dose, my lips turned cherry red. After the second dose, my lips, face and eye lids became covered in blisters and I looked like heck. I did not take a third dose and called my physician. It took over a month to recover.

With a 50 year history of having only eye infections and an occassional fever blister, my retired Ophthalmologist said my immune system had become very strong. My only suggestion to anyone including DR’s is start with a very small dose for two or more days before taking larger dosages. Many antiviral med’s supply a defective form of RNA which the virus loves but can’t survive upon nor use to multiply.

Those suffering for many years have found ways to reduce the effects or assist the body’s natural defence. Avoid acidic foods, stay calm, get extra sleep, take antacids, use ice packs where possible. Apply ice cubes and antacids directly to the lips. In addition to meds which your DR. prescribes for the eyes; ask them about moisture eye drops like TheraTears and Refresh drops.


Subj: Cold sore outbreak
Date: 5/28/2010
I have been taking Acyclovir whenever I feel a coldsore coming on. I take 3 tablets per day. I stopped after all signs went away (after about 5 day). About 8 days later, I have another outbreak happening. Please tell me what the normal time period would be for a cold sore outbreak. I live in Baja and only see my US doctor about twice a year. Thank you.


AskDocWeb: With all the variables that influence the appearance of cold sores, there is no set time period between outbreaks. If your stress level is low it could be a long time. If your immune system gets week new outbreaks could appear quickly.

Subj: Vaginal discharge
Date: 6/1/2010
I have been taking 400 mg per day as long term prevention of shingles for a month and it is working great. But I have developed a bright yellow clear vaginal discharge in the meantime, with no other changes in my life or habits, or any sexual activity of any kind. Could the drug be causing this?


AskDocWeb: That is not listed as one of the possible side effects of Acyclovir. However, a yellow vaginal discharge is a common sign of bacterial vaginosis, especially if it is accompanied by a “fishy” smell.

Subj: Constant vertigo problems
Date: 6/2/2010
I was prescribed Acyclovir for Epstein Barr Virus and took for 3 months. I became nauseated, and dizzy, with vertigo and stopped the medication. Since then I have constant vertigo problems. I have never had this in my life and I am 76 years of age. I was afraid to go back on this drug. What could have taken place? Is this a known side effect?


AskDocWeb: Yes, the clinical studies revealed that dizziness (as well as nausea and vomiting) were reported to occur more often in those over 65 years of age.

Subj: Loose stools
Date: 6/2/2010
I’ve taken Acyclovir to avoid Chickenpox, I finished the dose one week before, but still I am feeling loose stools, Is this because of Acyclovir, or should I go to the doctor again!


AskDocWeb: Loose stools (diarrhea) is a possible side effect but when it lasts more than 3 days it may result in dehydration. Please talk to your doctor about this because it could indicate a problem.

Subj: Kidney and liver functions
Date: 6/7/2010
I have been prescribed aciclovir for ulcers on my eyes. I have been taking them for 2 weeks. When I visited the horpital and saw a different doctor he said I will need to have blood tests to check my kidney and liver functions. Is this correct?


AskDocWeb: Because patients vary in their ability to metabolize drugs special monitoring through tests are sometimes required to make sure everything goes as well as everyone hopes. To get the maximum beneficial effect the dosage has to be as high as possible without causing an overdose. Testing kidney function is one way to monitor that.

Subj: Indigestion
Date: 6/13/2010
The Acyclovir is great at preventing herpes 2 outbreaks but I have been having indigestion resulting in a lot of burping air after having been taking it for two months. Prilosec doesn’t seem to help- I even slowed down my eating so I was careful not to swallow very much air but still am bothered by the belching. Is this side effect ever reported?


AskDocWeb: Yes, remember that Acyclovir should be taken with food and with a full (8 oz) glass of water. Not doing so may result in an upset stomach. Swallowing too much air may also lead to bloating.

Subj: Epstein Barr virus
Date: 6/13/2010
Been diagnosed with chronic ebstien barr virus three years ago. Still showing symptoms. Swollen lympnods, muscle, and joint pain daily. Recently prescribed acyclovir. Will this help? Or could this be something else? Should I go to another infectious disese specialist fir a second opinion? Thanks,


AskDocWeb: Most of those reporting about the use of Acyclovir for Epstein Barr virus say that it helps with significant improvement in symptoms. So far we have had only one report of it not helping. Of course it could be something else so if the treatment doesn’t help then talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

Subj: Acyclovir side effects
Date: 6/21/2010
I have been prescribed Acyclovir 800mg 2 times a day for herpes simplex that appear on thigh and low back. My doctor wants me to take it for 1 year, but when I take it, and I have tried adjusting the dosage to 400mg once per day, I get nausiated, aggitated, dry eyes, headache, sore throat and sleeplessness. I dont see that all of these symptoms are a side effect to the Acyclovir. Have you heard of anyone else having these side effects?


AskDocWeb: Nausea and headache are listed as possible side effects that may or may not go away with continued use of Acyclovir. Medications found to be helpful in reducing nausea include Compazine, Reglan, and Phenergan. Aspirin or other pain pills may help with headaches. There are a few reports of sore throats, dry eyelids, insomnia and feeling agitated but these are rare. Although you have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages, it may also be possible to adjust your dosage if your side effects are severe.

Subj: Skin problem
Date: 6/21/2010
i been taking acyclovir 400mg tablets after 2 or 3 days im felling some skin problem like under my feet more skin rash i need help.


AskDocWeb: It sounds like you may want to get in touch with your doctor. They will know if this is something to be concerned about or not.

Subj: Suppressive treatment
Date: 6/23/2010
I started suppressive treatment with Acylovir and have been on it for 4 months. In the 4th month I noticed that I felt my food going down my esophagus and have frequent burping/belching now. I never had this before – feels like there is something stuck in the throat. My burping/belching air doesn’t seem to get better with antacids nor does is it affected by chewing the food better or slowing down ones eating. Going to go for the H Pylori test today. Also have sever thumb joint pain about the same time- although avoiding all aspartame and alcohol helps. The hair loss comments are really scaring me and I will go off the suppressive treatment – only way to tell if I am experiencing any side effects.


AskDocWeb: About 6% of users have joint pain as a side effect of Acyclovir. There are a few reports of sore throat. Any difficulty with swallowing should be discussed with your doctor, as well as the risks of going off suppressive treatment.

Subj: Meniere’s Disease
Date: 6/24/2010
I am about to being treatment with aciclovir 400 mg twice a day for Meniere’s Disease. This is quite experimental at the moment but other people I know who have tried it report a marked improvement on the tinnitus and balance issues associated with this condition. My question here is aimed at anybody who takes a similar dose of Aciclovir on a long term basis. What side effects can I expect from this protocol? The product literature indicates nausea, vomiting and headache. Is this what others have found? Any help would be appreciated.


Subj: Hives
Date: 6/26/2010
I’m on a 7-day Acyclovir treatment for Shingles. On my 5th day, after some alcohol, I started to itch all over. Now (6th day of treatment), it’s hives all over the body. Itch and hives are known allergy reactions to Acyclovir, but is it possible that the reactions appear only after a few days? And since I’m almost completing the course, should I continue?


AskDocWeb: Allergic reactions can vary in severity from mild redness with tiny bumps over a small area to peeling of the entire skin. A drug-induced rash can appear suddenly within minutes after taking a drug, or they may be delayed for hours or even days. People with an allergic rash often have other allergic symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, wheezing, and even collapse from dangerously low blood pressure. That is why it is so important to get any suspected allergic reaction checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.

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