Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 38

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: Valley fever?
Date: 7/31/2010
I had a double lung transplant in July 2006 and was required to take 3 types of anti-rejection meds, Cellcept, prednisone & prograf, which damaged my kidneys. The doctors tell me they only work 50% and I’m now on dialysis 3 times a week, but are improving (very slowly). They reduced the cellcept & prograf, but now prescribed Acyclovir to keep me from getting the virus they call “valley fever”. I am in Arizona. Is this drug necessary or will it further damage my kidneys? I also take SMZ-TMP, Sporanox and Zithromax. I do not have herpes.

AskDocWeb: It sounds like there may be some miscommunication between your doctor and you. Valley fever is a fungal infection caused by Coccidioides immitis or C. posadasii organisms, not a virus. It is also known as “California disease”, “Desert rheumatism”, and “San Joaquin valley fever”. It is endemic in certain parts of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and northwestern Mexico. Mild cases of valley fever typically go away without treatment. In more severe cases of valley fever, doctors prescribe antifungal medications (not antivirals) that can treat the underlying infection. These antifungal medications include fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), and for serious infections amphotericin.

Subj: Flu like episodes
Date: 8/3/2010
Several times a year I have a flu like episode which is very painful in bones, muscles and skin but no break out, which I think is herpes simplex As a child I had this regularly also without fever. Now at 75, the problem can last for weeks and weeks and I am considering taking acyclovir for the pain and to shorten this episode as it is very painful. I am taking pain pills and muscle relaxers which only help a little. Do you think it will help me at this point or only at the beginning of the next episode…which I am afraid is going to happen as these last few years I have this problem at least six times a year, and then it suddenly disappears.

AskDocWeb: Acyclovir would only be effective if you actually have the herpes virus. That is something that your doctor can test for and if you do then you can ask about using Acyclovir. If it turns out to have another cause then you have an opportunity to do something about that.

Subj: Vitamin C & zinc?
Date: 8/6/2010
Am taking 500mg of vitamin c & 15mg of zinc to help keep from getting a cold. But am also taking 400mg of acyclovir twice daily, but not at the same time. It that ok.

AskDocWeb: Most likely, those supplements are not known to interact with Acyclovir.

Subj: Tablet size
Date: 8/9/2010
I have herpes but I don’t know which one and I am required to take 4 by mouth 4x daily for 7 days then everyday there after it’s 4 by mouth 1x daily. They are 400 mg tablets and I was wondering if uping the doseage to 800 mg would be better because it would cut down the amount of pills I have to take everyday as well. Please help me out.

AskDocWeb: Many people have problems swallowing the larger pills but if you don’t then ask your pharmacist about the 800mg ones.

Subj: Hair loss?
Date: 8/10/2010
Are there any reports of acyclovir being associated with hair loss? I’ve been on 400mg/day for 4 years and have noticed increasing hair loss all over. If it is due to the medication is it reversible if you stop the acyclovir? Thanks. P.S. It has been a godsend in terms of herpes outbreaks.

AskDocWeb: Some people have reported hair loss from prolonged use of Acyclovir. Most drug induced hair loss is reversible once the drug is discontinued however, you have to weigh the known benefits against the side effects. If you haven’t had an outbreak in several months then you may want to talk to your doctor about the possibility of changing from daily suppressive therapy to taking Acyclovir on an as needed basis.

Subj: First outbreak
Date: 8/11/2010
This is my first out break of HSV and its extremely severe and painful. It’s been one week. Should I get acycloivir from the doctor or is it to late? Also my mom thinks I should wait to see how frequent outbreaks are first, as in wait 6 months.

AskDocWeb: Treatment is almost always more effective when it is started early, and best within the first 72 hours of an outbreak. Your doctor may still be able to help you. It doesn’t make sense to go through 6 months of painful outbreaks before getting medical help.

Subj: Immuno-suppressants?
Date: 8/13/2010
Does long term use (4-5months) of Valcivir / Virovir / ocuvir tablets for HSV-1 lower the immune power of one’s body? I have heard these are immuno-suppressants and should not be taken for such long durations. kindly advise.

AskDocWeb: Immunosuppressive drugs or immunosuppressive agents are drugs that inhibit or lower the disease fighting ability of the immune system. Acyclovir is not an immune suppressant. It suppresses the replication of the herpes virus, not your immune system.

Subj: Personality change?
Date: 8/14/2010
Has anyone ever had a personality change after taking Acyclovir where Acyclovir was thought to contribute? I’m a healthy 40 male never had a health problem but I do get cold sore. After being diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy I was perscribed Acyclovir 400 mg 5 times a day for 10 day and Prednisome 10 mg 6 times a day. After days my kidneys started shutting down I stopped the Acyclovir and they returned. Also my personnality changed from a shy soft spoken person to an agressive loud person.


Subj: Red bumps on scalp
Date: 8/16/2010
I had a stem cell transplant 18 weeks ago and take Acyclovir (800 MG) twice a day) and haven’t missed a dose. I have about 6 raised, red bumps (with small blishers on each bump) on my scalp. The doctor’s PA seems to know nothing. I have been told by another transplant patient that he gets these bumps when he misses a dose of Acyclovir. One problem, I haven’t missed a dose. PLEASE COMMENT. I had Mantel Cell Lymphoma and I’m doing everything to recooperate. Thank you.

AskDocWeb: It is highly unlikely that the immune system of the transplant patient you talked to is exactly the same strength as yours. Acyclovir may completely suppress those red bumps in some patients but not everyone has the same experience.

Subj: Misdiagnosed shingles outbreak
Date: 8/20/2010
Late start on Acyclovir. My daughter had a severe shingles outbreak which was misdiagnosed as sun poisoning. By the time she was correctly diagnosed, she had had the shingles rash and severe pain for over a week. She was started on Acyclovir 800mg 5x/day and evidence of resolution was seen by day 3 of the start of tx.


Subj: Are these side effects of Acyclovir?
Date: 8/23/2010
Taking 500mg of acyclovir a day for facial breakouts, could the acyclovir cause a runny nose/post nasel drip and intestinal inflamation resulting in watery stools and loss of appatite?

AskDocWeb: Diarrhea (watery stools) is listed as one of the possible side effects of Acyclovir that may go away with continued use. The patient information does not mention changes in appetite or nasal problems, although some people have reported sore throat.

Subj: Acyclovir dosage
Date: 8/31/2010
I am 42 yrs old male…recently been diagnosed with Gential herpes…I take 200mg x 4 times a day as a prophylactic..BUT when I have a sore or redness I increase to 200mg x 5 times a day…I also in addition to the table I use the acyclovir cream (5%) whenever there are any rednss or onset of genial herpes…I feel using the tablet plus cream as well, this helps alot. The pharmacy says I should be taking 400mg x 4 times a day but I read the label and it say that higher dosage is for shingles?? or should I really be taking 400mg x 4 times a day?

AskDocWeb: Genital herpes affects people differently and with a wide range of severity. The appropriate dosage varies from one person to the next according to the severity of the condition and how well that person responds to treatment. It sounds like your doctor has you on one of the alternative regimens. If that is working well for you then great, but if it isn’t then talk to your doctor. Remember that doctors are also human and sometimes make mistakes. If you have any questions about your medication, dosage or other concerns, talking to your doctor can put your mind at ease.

Subj: Ocular herpes
Date: 8/31/2010
I have ocular herpes and have been put on Acyclovir 400 mg twice a day for prevention from too many occurrences of herpes. I have skin irrations from this drug, but I am continuing to take it until a replacement drug is prescribed. I am concerned about the long term use of this drug and what damage it may do to my kidneys. It is a catch 22 situation so I take the chance with the drug in order to try to keep my eyes free of herpes.


Subj: Alcohol and sunshine
Date: 8/31/2010
Do I need to stay out of the sun while taking Acyclovir and can I drink alcohol while taking Acyclovir?

AskDocWeb: Acyclovir is not known to make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. The only note of precaution we could find involving alcohol and Acyclovir said to limit alcoholic beverages. A few people have mentioned the possibility that Acyclovir might increase or worsen a hangover after drinking. One patient reported that a single drink gave them a hangover the next day.

Subj: Tongue and cheeks burning
Date: 9/1/2010
I am taking acyclover 800mg for canker sores & think they are gone but still taking it because DR. said finish it. Now my tongue & inside both cheeks feel burning or a little painfull could it be a side effect?

AskDocWeb: Those symptoms are not listed as side effects of Acyclovir. However, others have reported burning/sore tongue so it may be one of the rare side effects.

Subj: Marijuana?
Date: 9/3/2010
i am a Marijuana smoker and i just startd taking Acyclovir for my 1st herpes outbreak. It’s going be hard to stop smoking. so hw do Acyclovir and Marijuana react?

AskDocWeb: Sorry, we have not researched the affect of prescription drugs with any illegal substance.

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