What Is Acyclovir?

Acyclovir is an antiviral drug used in treating certain viruses.  The medication can be used in the treatment of cold sores due to herpes simplex virus, shingles resulting from herpes zoster, and chicken pox. Acyclovir is also used in the treatment of genital herpes outbreaks. The drug can also help in reducing future herpes outbreaks.

Though Acyclovir is an antiviral drug used in the treatment of herpes, it is not a cure. Even if the drug helps the body in fighting the virus in the body, the virus remains in the body.

Acyclovir works by reduction of severity of outbreaks and length. The medication helps the sores heal faster; reduces or eliminates the itching and pain, as well as prevents reduction of new sore formation. Taking the medication also reduces the chances of the herpes virus moving from one part to other areas in the body especially for people with a weak immunity. In addition, Acyclovir is also prescribed for many other virus treatments.

Using Acyclovir

It is important that you take acyclovir exactly as your doctor prescribes. The drug will come with a prescription label that should be followed. This, therefore, means that the drug should not be taken in smaller or larger amounts than what has been prescribed.

For effectiveness, it is important that you start using Acyclovir as soon as you experience the first sign of herpes outbreak symptoms such as blisters, burning, and tingling sensation.

Taking The Oral Suspension: Always shake the liquid well before you measure your dose. There will be a measuring device such as a syringe provided to make sure the measurements are accurate. Others might be medicine cups, or dose-measuring spoon. In case you do not have one, make sure you get one from your pharmacist.

Taking Acyclovir Buccal Tablet: Tablets need to be kept in their packs until you are ready to use them. Pick a tablet using dry fingers.

The buccal tablet should not be swallowed or chewed. It should be places in the mouth with the flat side facing your upper gum, behind your canine tooth and behind your lip. The tablet should be on the same side as the sore.

Keep your mouth closed as you gently press the outside part of the lip one the tablet. Hold this position for about 30 seconds. Once the tablet is in place, you should not press or touch it. The tablet will dissolve throughout the day in your mouth. It is possible to eat and drink with the tablet in place. In case your tablet does not stick well or falls off within the first 6 hours, you can place another tablet. In case you accidentally swallow the Acyclovir buccal tablet, you should drink a glass of water and place another tablet.

Important Information

You should inform your doctor as soon as you notice a change in weight. Acyclovir dosages are prescribed according to weight and any weight changes might affect the dose. When taking Acyclovir, you should also take lots of water to keep your kidneys healthy. The dosage should be followed to the end. This is because there are cases where the symptoms might end before the dosage is done. All lesions caused by herpes virus should be kept clean. Wearing lose clothing is one way to prevent irritation.

Acyclovir medication should be stored at room temperature away from heat and moisture. Always keep medications away from the reach of children.

Learn more about Acyclovir side effects 

Acyclovir Dosage

First Episode Treatment: Prescription for the first episode involves 200 mg for every 4 hours, 5 times in a day for 10 days. This is according to manufacturer dosage. According to CDC, the dosage should be 400 mg taken orally 3 times in a day for a period between 5 and 10 days. This dosing is used for the treatment of genital herpes.

Suppression Therapy: The recommended daily suppression therapy dosage is 400 mg twice every day. There are alternative regimens ranging between 200 mg taken orally 3 times a day, to 200 mg taken orally 5 times a day.

Acyclovir Overdose

If you or anyone you know happens to overdose on Acyclovir, it is important to seek emergency medical attention immediately. You should call 911 if you notice symptoms such as trouble breathing. You should also call the local poison control center. For U.S residents, call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. Other notable symptoms of Acyclovir overdose include seizures, loss of consciousness, agitation, extreme tiredness, and urine amount change.

You should not share your medication with other people since the prescription is specifically made for you. The medication is for your current condition and should, therefore, not be used for a later infection.

What If I Miss My Acyclovir Dose?

So, if you miss a dose, you should take it the moment you remember. However, in case the moment you remember is close to the next dose, you should skip the missed dose and take the next one. You should not take a double dose to cover a missed dose.

Acyclovir Price

The price of acyclovir tends to vary with the drugstores. On average, the price falls between $7 and $16 for 30 tablets depending on the drugstore you are buying the drugs from. Acyclovir is the generic name of Zovirax and there are other generic tablets that might be cheaper. The most important thing is to make sure that the tablets are as effective as the originals. Talk to your doctor and ask them about the best medication for your condition.

In Conclusion

It is always a good idea to check the side effects of any medication before you start using it. There might be information that will save you a great deal of agony. This is because while some medications may have great results in dealing with the herpes infection, their side effects might be extreme for some individuals. Talk to your doctor and explain your condition as this will help them make a decision on the best medication to use for your condition.