Acyclovir reduces the viral DNA replication and the viral-infected cells thus formed absorb more of the drug to prolong the antiviral activity in the body. Oral acyclovir - the tablets and the capsules, is used to treat genital herpes infections. Acyclovir effectively reduces the pain. It also helps to reduce the number of lesions. In the treatment of shingles, acyclovir reduces pain and even shortens the healing time. Acyclovir, when used to treat chicken pox helps to bring down the fever within the first 24 hours of the onset. Acyclovir ointment is used to treat initial genital herpes and limit the spread of the infection.
Acyclovir is available in the form of capsules of 200 mg strength. It is also available as tablets of 400mg and 800mg strength and in the ointment form, with strength of 15gm. The dosage of Acyclovir has to be strictly in accordance with the doctor's prescribed dose. The medication should be taken at the time specified by the medical practitioner. Acyclovir may be taken with or without food. The drug is excreted mainly by the kidney.
The side effects are rare in the case of Acyclovir. They include nausea, vomiting and headache, rash and diarrhea.
The drug acyclovir should be used only for severe cases of Herpes viruses - herpes simplex 1 and 2, the treatment of cold sores and genital herpes, shingles and chicken pox and the Epstein-Barr virus and only as long as needed. In the case of long-term recurrent genital herpes the clinical treatment program should ideally include periodic re-evaluations and trials. These should be conducted without Acyclovir.
In the case of genital herpes which is a sexually transmitted disease, first and foremost, the patients should avoid intercourse. This is especially in the case of visible lesions. There is every possibility of the development of a resistance to acyclovir with overuse. Therefore, acyclovir should be used only for severe cases and only as long as needed.
In the case of an overdose of the drug, you should seek medical assistance immediately. It is important to understand that this anti viral drug is prescribed in accordance to the tolerance level of the patient that is clinically detected via tests.
In the case of a missed dose of Acyclovir, the tablet or capsule, you should just get on with the next one at the next prescribed time. Inform your doctor about the lapse, but do not attempt an overdose.
Acyclovir should be stored at room temperature, in a cool dry place and in a tight container. The drug should be stored away from children and should not be abused in any way.