Acyclovir is an antiviral medication, which is useful in treating two viral infections namely herpes simplex and varicella zoster. The varicella zoster virus is responsible for causing shingles and chicken pox while Herpes simplex contributes to genital herpes and cold sores. The medication effectively treats outbreaks of genital herpes. Those patients who experience frequent breakouts, the antiviral drug used for reducing the number of future episodes. However, the medication is not a cure for these infections. The herpes viruses responsible for causing infections continue to live inside the body even between breakouts.
Acyclovir works by decreasing the severity and length of the outbreaks. It is useful in healing the sores faster, keeping new sores from forming, and decreasing pain and itching. The medicine is also effective in reducing long pain that remains after the healing of sores. Additionally, for people with weak immune system, the intake of antiviral medication decreases the risk of the virus spreading to other parts of the body and serious infections.
Dosing instructions for patients
The antiviral medication is supplied in different forms such as creams, ointments, and tablets for oral administration. Take the antiviral drug with or without food with a glass full of water. It is usually 2 to 5 times as directed by your health care specialist. Try to drink lots of fluids while taking the medicine unless your health care specialist directs you otherwise.
If you are using it topical form means creams or ointments, carefully apply on to the affected area, avoiding mucous membranes. Apply enough to cover the affected area. Avoid over application of the antiviral topical medication.
According to health care specialists, it is best to use Acyclovir at the time when the first sign of outbreak has started. There is a possibility that the medicine doesn’t work if you delay the treatment. Doing schedule of a medication is always depends upon a condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage also depends on physical factors like weight.
It has been shown that the medicine works best when the amount of the medication must be kept at a constant level. Therefore, it is necessary to use the medication at regularly spaced intervals. Regularly taking the medicine at the same time will help you remember taking the dose of your antiviral medication.
You must continue taking the medication on a regular basis until the prescribed amount is finished. Try not to alter your dosing schedule without discussing with your health care specialist. Also, don’t stop the treatment suddenly without checking with your health care provider.
Possible side effects of Acyclovir
You need an emergency help if you develop any sign of allergic reactions including trouble breathing, swelling of your lips, face, throat, and tongue. Tell your health care provider if any of these serious side effects occur and troubles you:
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Unusual weakness
- Urinating less than usual or not at all
- Pain in your back
Some of the less serious side effects include a headache, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain, loss of appetite, light-headedness, and Swelling in your hands or feet.