Acyclovir instructions for use
Acyclovir is an antiviral drug of direct action from the group of nucleotides and nucleosides. The drug is active against viruses of the family of herpesviruses (Herpesviridae). This is a large family of DNA-containing viruses, including herpes simplex viruses (HPV) types I and II, varicella, Epstein-Barr and cytomegalovirus.
Acyclovir is a widely used direct-acting antiviral drug in the treatment of infections caused by herpesviruses. Acyclovir can also be used for treatment and as a prophylactic to prevent relapses of herpes zoster, infections caused by HPV, both in immunocompetent individuals and in patients with immune disorders, including those receiving immunosuppressive therapy and HIV-infected people.
Acyclovir: side effects
Generic Acyclovir with comorbidities and non-compliance with the doctor's recommendations may cause side effects:
- Allergic reactions: itching, swelling, shortness of breath, skin rashes.
- Disorders in the blood and lymphatic system, which are manifested by anemia, thrombocytopenia, and leukopenia.
- CNS – headaches, apathy, drowsiness, dizziness, hallucinations, memory, sleep and attention disorders, tremors of extremities. Mood swings are possible.
- Respiratory system: shortness of breath, dry cough.
- Digestive system: stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, diarrhea, or constipation.
- Skin: rash in the form of urticaria, hair loss.
- Kidneys: worsening of blood values, pain in kidney area, crystalluria. In severe cases, renal failure may develop.
- Dosage of acyclovir for herpes
- Take the drug orally, shake the bottle before use. Adults who get herpes simplex: 200 mg (2.5 ml) five times a day, every four hours; exclude overnight doses.
It is important to follow the dosage as directed. Do not take more or more often than directed or prescribed by your doctor. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is time for your next dose, just skip the previous dose. Do not double the next dose to make up for the one you missed.
Treatment duration is 5 days, but may be extended for severe infections. For immunocompromised patients, the dose is 400 mg (5ml). Treatment should be started as early as possible when the lesions first appear.
Suppression of herpes simplex infections in immunocompromised patients:
200 mg (2.5 ml) 4 times a day at 6-hour intervals. A regimen is administered to patients: 400 mg (5 ml) 2 times a day at 12-hour intervals. Dosages of up to 200 mg (2.5 ml) 3 times a day at 8-hour intervals, or even 2 times a day at approximately 12-hour intervals, are also often an effective treatment regimen.
Therapy should be interrupted periodically at intervals of 6 to 12 months.
Herpes simplex prophylaxis in immunocompromised patients: 200 mg (2.5 ml) 4 times a day at about 6-hour intervals in patients with severe immunodeficiency, the dose may be doubled to 400 mg (5 ml).
Effects when concomitantly used with drugs:
- Cimetidine. Increased bioavailability of Acyclovir, due to reduced excretion by the kidneys.
- Cyclosporine. Nephrotoxicity may occur.
- Immunostimulants. Increased efficacy of acyclovir may occur.
- Phenytoin. Decrease in plasma Phenytoin and Valproic acid, and as a result, increase the incidence of seizures.
- Theophylline. Increased plasma concentration of Theophylline and increased toxicity.
- Probenecid. Increased bioavailability of acyclovir, due to decreased renal excretion.
During treatment with Acyclovir, it is not recommended to drink alcohol, because alcohol affects the liver. Its function is to free the body from toxins, and Acyclovir creates an additional load on the liver and can provoke side effects.
If alcohol and Acyclovir are consumed at the same time, there may be toxic poisoning. In this case, it is necessary to perform gastric lavage or an enema. You can also take adsorbents (e.g., activated charcoal). After complete cleansing of the body, the patient can be offered strong tea (preferably green). And only an hour after that, you can take Acyclovir.
The drug Acyclovir, you can take with food, because eating does not interfere with its absorption to a large extent.
Acyclovir 80 mg is used for the following conditions:
- Labial herpes (in combination with cream, taken orally in the form of tablets or solution)
- Genital herpes
- Generalized herpes (usually taken orally as tablets)
- Herpes encephalitis or herpes simplex in newborns
- Herpes prophylaxis in immunocompromised patients
- Shingles or herpes zoster (to speed healing and relieve pain in shingles, it is important to take Acyclovir during the first three days after the rash begins)
Acyclovir does not prevent sexual transmission of herpes, so during the treatment period it is necessary to refrain from sexual intercourse, even in the absence of clinical manifestations. It is necessary to inform patients about the possibility of genital herpes virus transmission during the rash, as well as about cases of asymptomatic viral carriage.
Pediatric dose of Acyclovir
For the treatment of herpes simplex infections and prevention of herpes syndrome in immunocompromised children Acyclovir liquid is prescribed: from 2 years and older the adult dose should be given, and for children younger than 2 years – half the adult dose. Treatment of varicella zoster infection for 6 years and older: 800 mg (10 ml) 4 times a day; 2-5 years: 400 mg (5 ml) 4 times a day; under 2 years: 200 mg (5 ml) 4 times a day. The duration of treatment is 5 days. It is recommended to drink more fluids during treatment.
Acyclovir for chickenpox
A suspension of Acyclovir can also be used in the fight against the chickenpox virus.
The drug is able to infiltrate the cell affected by the virus and build into the DNA of the viruses, preventing them from multiplying.
This antiviral drug has been shown to help reduce the duration of fever in patients with chickenpox by one day. Acyclovir can reduce the number of rashes, but only if it is used in the first day after the first signs of a rash.
The doctor prescribes Acyclovir to those patients who are prone to a severe course of chickenpox – a critical rise in temperature and the appearance of a significant number of rashes. The risk group includes children with low immunity, those diagnosed with chronic diseases of the lungs and skin.
Acyclovir therapy is also indicated for children who receive salicylates for a long time and, sometimes, for those who have been infected by relatives. In addition, this antiviral medication can be prescribed to all patients whose age exceeds 12 years, due to the risk of a more severe course of the disease.
If the disease runs in the form of moderate severity, Acyclovir liquid therapy is carried out at home. But the severe form of the disease is an indication for hospitalization in a hospital department, where medics carry out intravenous drip administration of Acyclovir.
Can I take Acyclovir with antibiotics?
In the treatment of viral diseases, you can not take Acyclovir and antibiotics at the same time, because they will reduce the effectiveness of each other. Because of this, the whole treatment will not give the expected result.
There is also an incompatibility of Acyclovir with antimicrobial drugs, especially with the group of sulfonamides. The reason is the possession of medications with a pronounced nephrotoxic manifestation. This group includes Ciprofloxacin, which in no case can be taken with Acyclovir, because the kidneys and the urogenital system will be severely affected.
Even if pharmacologically the drugs are compatible with each other, the simultaneous use of medications will not accelerate the patient's recovery. At the same time, an additional load is created on the liver, due to which negative consequences are possible.
Does Acyclovir cause drowsiness?
Drowsiness may develop during treatment with Acyclovir, so care should be taken when driving a motor vehicle and engaging in potentially dangerous activities that require increased concentration and rapid psychomotor reactions.
Acyclovir: dosage during pregnancy
Administration of Acyclovir during pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding) requires caution and is possible only after assessing the estimated benefits to the mother and the potential risk to the fetus and child.
No increase in birth defects has been found in children whose mothers received Acyclovir during pregnancy.
Acyclovir is administered orally at a dose of 200 mg 5 times/day or at a dose of up to 300 mcg/kg/day.
Does Acyclovir cause diarrhea?
Individual intolerance to the active ingredient Acyclovir or additional components may result in individual intolerance, which will be manifested by various side effects, including diarrhea.
Can Acyclovir cause a rash on the body?
In rare cases of individual intolerance, Acyclovir can cause allergic reactions. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to the drug can be a skin rash, such as urticaria.read more