Acyclovir: Drug Descriptionn
Acyclovir is prescribed for the treatment of several conditions caused by varicella zoster virus, including:
- Genital herpes
- Shingles (herpes zoster)
Acyclovir is also effective at preventing chickenpox after exposure to the virus. Off-label uses of generic Acyclovir include the treatment of other viral infections.
Mechanism of Action
Active component acyclovir, which works by preventing viruses from multiplying. It helps the immune system fight the infection.
The varicella zoster virus cannot be cleared completely. Once you have been infected with this virus, it remains in your body for the rest of your live and may become active from time to time. For that reason, Acyclovir will not cure the virus, but it will improve healing of its symptoms.
- When used for treating shingles, Acyclovir helps the lesions heal more quickly. It also reduces pain associated with shingles.
- When taken for the treatment of genital herpes, Acyclovir can improve the blisters healing. The medication can also prevent herpes outbreaks and make them less severe, if taken on a daily basis. People who take Acyclovir for initial genital herpes outbreak usually have less painful lesions.
- When it comes to the treatment of chickenpox, Acyclovir has shown to reduce the number of lesions and reduce the chances of having fever.
Acyclovir tablets should be taken orally as advised by your doctor.
Your dosage of Acyclovir will depend on the condition it is being used for and some other factors, such as tour age and weight.
- The recommended Acyclovir dosage for shingles is 800 mg taken five times a day for 7-10 days.
- When used for treating genital herpes, the dosage of Acyclovir will vary depending on whether you have an initial or subsequent infection. Thus, the usual dose for the first infection is 200 mg taken five times daily for 10 days. Later outbreaks of genital herpes should be treated with 200 mg five times daily for 5 days.
- Patients using Acyclovir to prevent future genital herpes outbreaks are usually given Acyclovir 400 mg twice a day for up to a year.
- When using Acyclovir for chickenpox, the recommended dose is 20 mg/kg taken four times a day for 5 days. Acyclovir can be used in children age two and older.
Keep in mind that Acyclovir is more effective when started within two days after symptoms of the virus appeared.
Remember that you should avoid sexual contacts while having genital herpes outbreaks, even if you are taking Acyclovir.