An antiviral drug, a synthetic nucleoside analogue, that is active against the herpes viruses, including herpes simplex 1 and 2, varicella-zoster and Epstein-Barr virus.

Trade zovirax.

Converted to an active form by the virus itself, and the virus then uses the active form of acyclovir rather than the nucleoside it normally uses to manufacture DNA.

Incorporation of active acyclovir into new viral DNA stops the production of the DNA.

Virally infected cells absorb more acyclovir than normal cells and convert more of it to the active form, prolonging its antiviral activity.

Used for treating genital herpes, herpes zoster, and chickenpox.

Reduces the pain and the number of lesions in the initial case of genital herpes, and decreases the frequency and severity of recurrent infections.

In the treatment of shingles, reduces pain, shortens the healing time, and limits the spread of virus and the formation of new lesions.

Can be used to treat chicken pox and acts to reduce healing time, limit the number of lesions, and reduce fever if used within the first 24 hours after the onset of illness.

Intravenous acyclovir is used for treating herpes simplex and chicken pox in immuno-compromised patients and severe genital herpes.

Acyclovir ointment is used topically to treat initial genital herpes where it has been shown to decrease pain, reduce healing time, and limit the spread of the infection.

Adult oral doses are 200 mg to 800 mg every 4 hours-5 times daily.

Adult intravenous dose is 5-10 mg/kg every 8 hours for 7 days.

Available as Capsules: 200 mg, tablets: 400 and 800 mg, suspension: 200 mg/5 ml, injection: 50 mg/ml and ointment 5%.

May decrease levels of phenytoin or valproic acid.

Probenecid may increase serum levels by decreasing renal excretion of acyclovir.

May increase serum levels of theophylline.

No adequate studies of use in pregnant women.

Excreted in breast-milk, and a significant amount may be transf2242ed to the infant.

Most common side effects are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and headache.

Occasionally associated with agitation, confusion, rash, anemia, and muscle pain.

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