Acyclovir is used to treat infections caused by the herpes virus. This infection can cause many symptoms, which include:
- When you have a cold sore at the corner of your mouth.
- When you have sores or blisters on your private part that is caused by herpes virus.
- When you have chicken pox.
Your healthcare provider may also prescribe this drug if you have HIV or other diseases like cancer that weaken your immune system. This is to prevent you from getting a herpes infection.
Acyclovir is a drug that treats infections caused by viruses, like herpes virus infections. Note that this medicine will not work for bacterial infections. You also need a prescription to get this drug.
Acyclovir is taken by mouth as tablets, capsules, liquid or injected directly into your blood by a healthcare provider. It is also available as a cream to treat cold sores and sores on your private part.
- If you skip a dose, take it as soon as you remember but if you remember at a time close to your next dose, then take only the next dose.
- Do not take two doses at the same time or intentionally skip a dose.
- Do not stop taking this medicine even if you feel better unless your healthcare provider tells you to do so.
- If you take more of this medicine than was prescribed for you, go to the nearest health center (with the remaining medicine) and report the overdose.
You may experience mildly uncomfortable effects of this medicine. They will usually go away within 2 to 3 days. You should mention these or other uncomfortable effects to your healthcare provider, especially if effects last longer than a week.
Here are examples of some common side effect you may experience:
- You may pass loose stools and vomit.
- You may feel weak.
- You may have a headache.
- If you took an injection, you might experience mild irritation at the site of the injection.
If you experience the following side effects, you must go to the health center closest to you immediately:
- You experience difficulty breathing, have a swollen face and tongue or fever, sore throat, skin rash, and a burning sensation on your skin and in your eyes.
- You experience changes in the way you behave, like being aggressive, confused or have convulsions.
It is important that you inform your healthcare provider if you have any conditions like kidney disease or HIV, and other diseases that can weaken your immune system. This will help them check your risk of any severe unpleasant effects. The following tips are also important:
- Do not take this medicine if you have a disease that affects the organs that produce urine, especially your kidneys. This medicine can make it worse.
- Do not take acyclovir if you had a drug reaction to it before, like a rash that went away when you stopped taking it.
- Do not have sex with your partner when you have sores on your private parts because this drug does not stop you from transmitting herpes virus to your partner.
- This medicine may reduce your blood pressure. Talk to your healthcare provider immediately if you begin to feel tired without exercise while taking this medicine.