Acyclovir:
What is it?

Acyclovir:
How is it Used?


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Acyclovir Overview

Overview

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Created: 2005-04-07 16:15:32.0

Modified: 2010-03-09 08:26:40.0

Lexi-PALS TM © (1977)-(2007) Lexi-Comp, Inc. All rights reserved.

Canadian Brand Names

Apo-Acyclovir®; Gen-Acyclovir; Mylan-Acyclovir; Novo-Acyclovir; Nu-Acyclovir; ratio-Acyclovir; Zovirax®

General statements

• If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.

• Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.

• Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.

• Most medicines can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.

• Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).

• Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or in Canada to Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.

• Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

How does it work?

• Acyclovir works to injure the virus and fight the infection.

How is it best taken?

Oral:

• Use prescription as directed, even if feeling better.

• Take this medicine with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.

• Drink plenty of noncaffeine-containing liquid unless told to drink less liquid by healthcare provider.

• A liquid (suspension) is available if you cannot swallow pills. Shake well before use.

• Those who have feeding tubes can also use the liquid. Flush the feeding tube before and after medicine is given.

• If you are taking this medicine for a recurring infection, start medicine as soon as possible.

• If you are taking this medicine for herpes zoster, start as soon as possible; no later than 3 days after rash appears.

• If you are taking this medicine for chickenpox, start as soon as possible; no later than 24 hours after rash appears.

Injection (I.V.):

• This medicine is given as a shot into a vein.

Skin:

• Do not take this medicine by mouth. For skin only. Keep out of mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).

• Wash hands before and after use.

• Clean affected area before use. Make sure to dry well.

• Use a rubber glove to apply ointment. This prevents spread of infection.

• Apply a thin layer to the affected skin and rub in gently.

How should I store this medicine?

• Store at room temperature.

• Protect capsules and tablets from moisture. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.

• Follow directions for storage of injection. Talk with healthcare provider.

Mexican Brand Names

Acifur; Cicloferon; Clirbest; Clorixan; Clyvorax; Genovix; Hercivir; Ignis; Jersin; Laciken; Opthavir; Sophivir Ungena; Victoclir; Virestat; Zirconia; Ziverone; Zovirax

Pharmacologic Category

Antiviral Agent; Antiviral Agent, Topical

Reasons not to take this medicine

• If you have an allergy to acyclovir, valacyclovir, or any other part of this medicine.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.

U.S. Brand Names

Zovirax®

What do I do if I miss a dose? (does not apply to patients in the hospital)

• Use a missed dose as soon as possible.

• If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.

• Do not use a double dose or extra doses.

What should I monitor?

• Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

• Follow up with healthcare provider.

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