Zovirax Oral

Generic Name: Acyclovir

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Zovirax oral is a medicine used to treat shingles (a painful rash caused by the chickenpox virus), genital herpes, and chickenpox. Zovirax oral is available as capsules, tablets, and a suspension.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Zovirax oral works by lowering the ability of the virus to multiply in your body, thereby reducing your symptoms.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What:

    Shingles: Zovirax oral has been shown to help your lesions heal faster.

    Genital Herpes: Zovirax oral has been shown to help your lesions heal faster, as well as prevent or reduce the frequency or severity of recurrences.

    Chickenpox: Zovirax oral has been shown to reduce the number of lesions and improve symptoms such as fever or loss of appetite.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Zovirax oral exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    You may start to notice an improvement in your symptoms after you start

    How do I know it is working?

    You may start to notice an improvement in your symptoms after you start taking Zovirax oral. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions and order tests to assess how well your infection is being treated.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Shingles

    More common side effects may include: general feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being.

    Short-Term Treatment for Herpes

    More common side effects may include: nausea, vomiting.

    Long-Term Treatment for Herpes

    More common side effects may include: nausea, diarrhea.

    Chickenpox

    More common side effects may include: diarrhea.

    Less common side effects of Zovirax oral may include:

    Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a condition in which blood clots form in the blood vessels and can occur all over the body.

    Zovirax oral may also cause severe kidney problems.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not use Zovirax oral if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or to a similar medicine called valacyclovir.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Zovirax oral. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney problems; or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Shingles

    Adults: The recommended dose is 800 milligrams (mg) every 4 hours, 5 times a day for 7 to 10 days.

    Genital Herpes (Initial Episode)

    Adults: The recommended dose is 200 mg every 4 hours, 5 times a day for 10 days.

    Genital Herpes (Recurrent Episodes)

    Adults: The recommended dose is 200 mg every 4 hours, 5 times a day for 5 days.

    Genital Herpes (Long-Term Control of Recurrent Episodes)

    Adults: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for you depending on the frequency and severity of your outbreaks.

    Chickenpox

    Children ≥2 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her weight.

    Adults: The recommended dose is 800 mg 4 times a day for 5 days.

    If you have kidney impairment, your healthcare provider may adjust your dose appropriately.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Zovirax oral exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change your dose or stop taking Zovirax oral without first talking to your healthcare provider.

    Start treatment as soon as possible after your symptoms start.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not have sexual contact with your partner when you have any symptoms or outbreak of genital herpes.

    Do not become dehydrated. Drink adequate amounts of fluids while you are taking Zovirax oral.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Zovirax oral is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Zovirax oral with probenecid.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Zovirax oral during pregnancy are unknown. Zovirax oral can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Zovirax oral, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect Zovirax capsules and tablets from moisture.