The Acyclovir is the most popular antiviral medicine, which focus on a particular kind of virus called herpes. This drug reduces the outbreak of genital herpes and stops the spreading of the genital herpes to different areas of the body. Also, this medication is used in treating cold sores, shingles, and chicken pox. Acyclovir will not treat herpes, but rather it will minimize the signs and symptoms of the disease.
The viruses causing the above mentioned infections remain in the body even during outbreaks. The medication reduces the length and the seriousness of these outbreaks. Acyclovir can help the sores mend quickly, stops new sores from developing, and reduces itching and pain. This drug may likewise help minimize the pain which can be felt even after the sores is treated. In case your immune system weakens, acyclovir can reduce the possibility of the spreading of the virus to different parts of the body that could result in serious infections.
What is Acyclovir used for?
Acyclovir is very effective in getting rid of the symptoms of shingles. For those who are not aware what shingles are, in layman’s term it is called herpes zoster and is normally caused by the virus varicella zoster. This kind of virus is the same virus which causes chickenpox. Those who have been infected with this kind of virus, also experienced chickenpox during their childhood. Your body does not eliminate the virus, it only becomes inactive in a particular nerve cells in your body. As you grow older, the virus becomes active again and is usually triggered by illnesses or stress that resulted in shingles.
Acyclovir can reduce the symptoms of shingles such as tingling or burning pain and rash. Generally, a rash will develops blisters which could disrupt and ooze. If it takes place, there is a bigger possibility that others might get infected with it. The pain involved in shingles could be severe and may last longer even after the rash is gone.
Common Acyclovir Side Effects
One of the common acyclovir side effects that most users might experience is nausea. In the event your nausea worsens, inform your doctor right away. Bear in mind, that your physician has given you this drug because he knows that you will greatly benefit from it. There are lots of users who were not able to experience any serious side effects. Contact your doctor right away if the following serious side effect occurs.
- Symptoms of kidney problems
- Mood changes
- Unsteady movement
- Difficulty in speaking
This drug rarely has a life-threatening disease which could affect the kidneys, blood cells as well as other areas of the body. If you have a weak immune system this disorder may occur. Contact your doctor immediately if in case one of these serious side effects takes place.
- Irregular beating of your heart
- Feeling of tiredness
- Bloody urine
- Severe stomach pain
- Changes in vision
- Yellowing of the eyes
- Loss of consciousness
Acyclovir Side Effects on Children
Children taking acyclovir might experience some side effects. If in case your child experience one of these side effects, it is best to contact your child’s doctor right away especially if it persists and won’t go away. The following are some of the side effects that your child might encounter:
- Stomach pain
- Throwing up or vomiting
- Soft bowel movement or diarrhea
In the event your child experienced the following serious side effects, take your child to the Emergency Room:
- Difficult or painful urination
- Abnormal weakness or weariness
- Skin rash
Before giving your child this drug make sure that you consult your child’s physician or pharmacist. Also if your child requires to take other medicines in combination with acyclovir make sure that you inform your child’s doctor first. These medicines include over the counter drugs, natural drugs, herbal, over the counter, natural remedies, treatments and supplements.
Acyclovir Side Effects on Men
Men taking acyclovir may also experience the same side effects that children and women may experience. These side effects are unwanted response of your body to medication if taken in regular doses. These side effects can be severe, permanent, mild or temporary. If you are worried about the side effects of the medication, it is best that you discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits of taking acyclovir. There have been reports that around 1% of individuals taking acyclovir experienced the most common side effects. Most of these side effects will go away on its own eventually. If in case the side effects you will experience are bothersome, contact your doctor and discuss what is needed to be done.
Some of the most common side effects in men are the following:
- General feeling of illness or discomfort
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rash
- Picking, numbness or tingling
If you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction stop taking this medication and discuss with your doctor what is the best thing to do to manage such condition.
Acyclovir Side Effects on Women
As mentioned above, men and women and even children may have the same side effects when using acyclovir. There are no specific side effects that only women can experience. To avoid some possible side effects on women it is best that you inform your doctor right away about the medications that you are taking at present, and if you are allergic to acyclovir. Some of the important things that your doctor or pharmacist should know include the following your medical history, particularly if it involves your kidney, condition associated with having a poor immune system disease like HIV, kidney transplant, bone marrow transplant.
This drug seldom causes drowsiness or dizziness. However, you are still advised not to drive, use machinery or carry out any activity which needs alertness until you are certain that you can carry out such activities securely. Lower your alcohol intake to avoid untoward effects. As you grow older the function of your kidney deteriorates.
Acyclovir Side Effects on Pregnant Women
Acyclovir is categorized as FDA pregnancy category B. This implies that the drug is not expected to cause danger to your baby. Inform your doctor if you are anticipating or you are thinking of getting pregnant while under medication. Herpes virus might be transferred from an infected woman to her baby during birth. In the event you have genital herpes, it is vital that you avoid herpes lesions while you’re pregnant so that you will not experience genital lesion once your baby is born. You are not allowed to breast-feed if under medication, since you can pass it to your baby through breast milk and might cause harm. Make sure that you have informed your physician if you are breastfeeding your baby.
Acyclovir Side Effects on Elderly
For the elderly who is taking acyclovir, you might experience upset stomach symptoms like pain, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite and increased thirst. Some of the side effects that the elderly might experience include inflammation of the hand, feet, drowsiness, and headaches. Also the elderly patients might encounter disorientation, anxiety and tiredness while under medication. If you are using a topical acyclovir ointment you might experience burning, mild stinging and pain. In some instances itchiness might occur.
Contact your doctor right away if you are experiencing any serious side effects while taking acyclovir. Some of the serious side effects are getting bruised more than usual, bleed easily, very weak, severe lower back pain and releasing a minimal amount of urine.