Acyclovir Warnings Dosage, and Side Effects

Acyclovir Warnings, Side Effects, and Dosage

In this article we discuss Acyclovir dosage and answer the questions what is Acyclovir, how does Acyclovir work, and what are the side effects of Acyclovir. Learn more about this antiviral medicine used to mitigate symptoms of herpes, shingles and chickenpox.

What is Acyclovir?

Acyclovir is an antiviral drug used to treat and mitigate symptoms of herpes, shingles and chickenpox. Acyclovir does not destroy herpes, shingles or chickenpox but decreases the severity and length of outbreaks, and mitigates symptoms.

Acyclovir Warnings

Acyclovir can cause dizziness, drowsiness and trouble speaking. Tell your doctor right away if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Trouble speaking
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Unsteady movement
  • Mood changes
  • Signs of kidney problems

Acyclovir Uses

Acyclovir is used to treat the symptoms of chickenpox, herpes, and shingles. It can treat symptoms which appear around the genitals and on the skin, mucous membrane and brain. 

Acyclovir Brand Name 

Acyclovir is available as the brand name drugs Zovirax. 

Acyclovir Dosage

Acyclovir dosage varies depending on a variety of factors including age, weight and health. Acyclovir comes in many different forms including tablet, capsule and liquid to be taken by mouth. It is also available as a delayed-release tablet which should be applied to the upper gum of the mouth. 

The recommended dosage for Acyclovir ranges from 200 mg to 800mg depending on age, weight, health, and treatment type.

Acyclovir Dosage for Chickenpox

400 mg, 5 times a day for 5 days 

Acyclovir Dosage for Shingles

800mg, 5 times a day for 7-10 days 

Acyclovir Dosage for Herpes

200 to 400mg, five times a day for 10 days.

How Does Acyclovir Work?

Acyclovir works by stopping the spread of herpes, shingles, and chickenpox in the body. Acyclovir does not remove or destroy viruses, but works to stop them from growing or spreading to other parts of the body. This helps the body’s immune system recover to fight against the virus. 

What are the Side Effects of Acyclovir?

Acyclovir does have some potential side effects–some more serious than others.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Acyclovir include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Hallucination
  • Diarrhea
  • General sickness
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Mouth pain

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects of Acyclovir may include: 

  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Painful urination 
  • Difficult urination
  • Lack of urination
  • Swelling in feet or ankles
  • Shortness of breath
  • Shaky movement
  • Trouble Speaking

Disclaimer: Here at Manifest Pharmacy, our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information.  However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare professional who  knows your medical history. 

    Acyclovir Interactions 

    Acyclovir may interact with other drugs resulting in significant kidney problems. These can include non steroidal inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Acyclovir is very similar to valacyclovir. Do not take both at the same time. 

    Acyclovir Warnings, Uses, Side Effects, and Dosage Summary

    Acyclovir is an antiviral drug used to treat herpes, shingles and chickenpox. It does not cure these diseases, but decreases the severity and length of outbreaks. Acyclovir can be taken as a tablet, capsule or injection.

    Acyclovir is very similar to valacyclovir. It is not advisable to take both at the same time. 


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