Feedback on Acyclovir Side Effects and Usage, page 62

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.

Testing for herpes
Date: 4/17/2006
I recently tested positive for herpes but was not told hsv1 or 2. My boyfriend of 7 months had negative results. I just started taking Acyclovir in march, I want to test again will it have an affect on my test results. If so how long should I wait to test after stopping the pills?


AskDocWeb: To get a clear confirmation you need to have the lesions cultured or better yet, PCR tested. Taking Acyclovir will not affect the test results. IgG antibody tests sometimes are positive as soon as 2-3 weeks after infection although it usually takes 6-12 weeks for them to become positive.

Taking a holiday from Acyclovir
Date: 4/27/2006
I have been taking Acyclovir for the last five years for repeated shingles. I now have a rash on my arms, neck and my face feels numb. I am not taking any other medication. I am going to take a ‘holiday’ from Acyclovir and only take it when the spot for shingles appears. Is this a good idea?


AskDocWeb: Not everyone can do that. A good idea would be to discuss any change in your treatment with your doctor before doing it. And while you are there you can have him or her evaluate your current condition.

Date: 4/28/2006
Are the curative effects of acyclovir negated with the use of alcohol?


AskDocWeb: Although consuming alcohol does not reduce the effectiveness of Acyclovir it may increase certain side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, or changes in vision. These effects may be worse if you take Acyclovir with alcohol.

Expired medication
Date: 5/2/2006
i currently have a outbreak genital herpes and have a expired prescription of acyclovir and valtrex. is it safe to take even though the meds are expired?


AskDocWeb: Of course the standard answer is to discard all medication that reach their expiration date. That date is there to protect consumers. With that said, let’s take a closer look at expiration dates. Since 1979 the FDA has required all prescription drugs to have an expiration date. It does not indicate when a drug goes bad, but rather a date through which the drug is guaranteed to be good. This is comparable to what you might find on a can of soup: the “best if used by” date.

Expiration dates are only found on the original packaging and apply to unopened meds that have been stored as directed. This is in contrast to the date on your actual prescription bottle, which may be a “do not use beyond” date. Pharmacists commonly buy pills in bottles of 1,000 and dispense them into smaller containers, generally with a shorter expiration date, which is likely to be a year beyond the original prescription date. Although the pharmacist’s bottle may have an expiration date 2-3 years in the future, your bottle may be dated for 1 year or less from purchase due to uncertainty about the conditions a patient may use for storage.

At one point the U.S. government faced the prospect that millions of dollars worth of drugs stockpiled for emergency use were about to expire. As those drugs neared expiration a program was developed to test them for extended stability rather than simply discard them. This resulted in the Shelf Life Extension Program or SLEP. Part of that program deals with drugs used to combat viral infections. Based on testing and stability assessment, 88% of the lots were extended at least 1 year beyond their original expiration date for an average extension of 66 months, but the additional stability period was highly variable. The SLEP data supports the assertion that many drug products, if properly stored, can be extended past the expiration date.

In 2009 as a result of the concern about bird flu, two anti-viral drugs were granted an Emergency Use Authorization (which has since expired). Relenza was granted approval for up to one year after the original expiration date and Tamiflu was approved for up to an additional 5 years. Unfortunately we have been unable to determine how long Acyclovir might be effective past its expiration date.

Can I take ibuprofen with acyclovir?
Date: 5/6/2006
Im taking 400mg of Acyclovir 3x a day, but the pain is too severe so is it ok if i take 800mg of Ibuprofen while taking the Acyclovir?


AskDocWeb: There are no known clinically significant interactions between ibuprofen and acyclovir and many people take them together.

Note for Ro:Your post about “Valtrex for Impetigo or cold sores” was moved to the Valtrex forum.

Reacting to the drug
Date: 5/28/2006
I am 73 and never been ill or taken any drug except Allopurinol when I self diagnosed Gout. After working in the garden I came out in a rash on the left hand side of my Face and one watery blister. I thought I might be allergic to the Shrubs I was moving but no, my Doctor diagnosed Shingles and prescribed Aciclovir, no advice to side effects or to take with food and water, or any advice at all, after 2 days my face, lips and tongue were swollen, I could only eat soup on the right side of my mouth. I thought this must be Shingles. I had unbearable pains in my head, eyes and ears.

I then consulted the Internet, 3am in the morning, realised I was reacting to the drug, stopped taking them and drank excessive amounts of water all night, probably 5 litres in as many hours. My head, eyes and ears stopoped acheing, by morning the swellings had gone down and was feeling great again and VERY hungry, ate for a horse. Returned to gardening, now 1 week later I have broken out in a rash on my arms and left side, itchy when hot. Is it Shingles re-occuriung or was the original problem Allegies from the Shrubs and Trees I have been moving? Reluctent to involve Doctors because of “their” side effects.


AskDocWeb: There is an old home remedy for allergy testing that says to apply a dime size amount of whatever you are testing to the inner bend of your elbow and wait for 24 hours. If itching, bumps or redness develops then you are likely allergic to that substance. In order to find out if Shingles is involved you would need specific tests that are only available through your doctor.

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