Zovirax (Acyclovir)

What is Zovirax?

Zovirax can be prescribed for patients with a number of infections caused by the presence and active multiplication of the herpes virus, including genital herpes, cold sores, chicken pox, shingles, herpes infections of the skin, eyes, nose, and mouth. The herpes virus affects the person once and for a lifetime, but its outbreaks can be contained, letting the patient enjoy a normal life without worrying about another display of the virus. Zovirax works by blocking an enzyme the virus needs to multiply, that way preventing it from developing into a bigger problem.


Before using Zovirax

Before you start the treatment, it's very important that you talk to your doctor and discuss any aspects that you think may be important. Your doctor will need to know if there are any medical conditions you have likely to interfere with the success of your treatment in any way or require additional tests. Please make sure you let your doctor know about any of the following ones: human immunodeficiency virus infection, immune system problems, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or kidney disease.

How to use Zovirax to benefit

Taking Zovirax right and just as prescribed is the only way you can benefit from your Zovirax treatment the most. Your doctor will provide all the necessary instructions you will have to follow. How long you need to take Zovirax and which dose you will benefit from the most will be determined by your doctor based on your conditions and individual factors. Patients are usually recommended to take Zovirax from two to five times daily, from ten days to twelve months. It's very important that you observe the dose and treatment schedule, taking the entire amount of Zovirax prescribed even if you feel better soon after starting the treatment. The herpes infection may not manifest itself, but it can still be there, and the multiplication of the virus will continue when you stop the treatment without talking to your doctor. Zovirax will not sure your herpes infection, rather than treat it and help you keep it under control.

Zovirax side effects you may experience

You will need to contact your doctor if you get any of the following serious side effects of Zovirax: easy bruising, confusion, fast heartbeat, itching, hives, seizures, easy bleeding, unusual weakness, difficulty breathing, rash, shaking, urinating less than usual, hoarseness, lower back pain, or blisters. The serious side effects mentioned are unlikely and uncommon, but you still need to be aware of their possibility to know exactly which ones you have to call your doctor about. Mild side effects of Zovirax are a lot more likely, although still do not occur in too many patients. They can include lightheadedness, diarrhea, swelling in your hands or feet, headache, vomiting, loss of appetite, nausea, and stomach pain. Other side effects are also possible but their intensity is impossible to predict, as they can be quite individual.

Can I take other drugs besides Zovirax?

Talking to your doctor about other drugs used at the moment is very important. You are also not supposed to start any new drugs while using Zovirax, without your doctor's consent. It's so important to get professional opinion because there are a few drugs that will be likely to interfere with the success of your Zovirax treatment by causing interactions. The following drugs can interact with Zovirax in a number of ways: kanamycin, tacrolimus, vancomycin, sulfamethoxazole, amikacin, amphotericin B, cyclosporine, neomycin, streptomycin, paramomycin, HIV or AIDS medicine, tobramycin, trimethoprim, probenecid, gentamicin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and pentamidine. There are things your doctor can recommend doing to avoid those interactions and still enjoy efficient treatment.

Is Zovirax likely to harm an unborn child?

Zovirax is FDA pregnancy category B. It is not expected to harm an unborn child if taken by the mother. However, the safety of Zovirax for a nursing infant is not known. It passes into breast milk, which means there is a risk it can harm the nursing infant. It's important to manage your genital herpes during pregnancy, as the presence of lesions during labor may result in passing the virus to the baby. You will need to treat your genital herpes before giving birth to a child.

In case you took too much Zovirax

Make sure you avoid taking too much of Zovirax, even if you think you will benefit from it. An overdose of Zovirax can cause agitation, extreme tiredness, hallucinations, swelling of the hands, feet, or ankles, decreased urination, trouble urinating, seizures, and loss of consciousness. Any overdose cases have to be reported to the local poison center right away, and you must have those symptoms treated as soon as they appear.

Missed dose of Zovirax

If you happened to miss your regular dose of Zovirax, take it as soon as you remembered. You should skip that dose if the next one needs to be used soon to avoid taking too much.