- Side Effects
- Information leaflet
What is Aciclovir
Aciclovir treats painful blisters across the mouth and lips known as, cold sores. They can be irritating and sour and have an effect on the patient’s confidence.
How effective is Aciclovir?
Aciclovir is prescribed to help cold sores heal faster and works most effectively when used at the first sign of symptoms whereas, if used once the blisters have come out, the medication may not work as well. It is also a beneficial treatment for anyone whose herpes recurs regularly as it works well as a suppression and prevention.
The first time you use the treatment, Aciclovir may seem to work more effectively when compared to follow up treatments, but the benefits of further treatment may still be preferable for anyone who experiences more regular or longer lasting outbreaks.
Can I buy Aciclovir Online?
To purchase Aciclovir without taking the time out to visit your GP, you can fill in our brief health questionnaire which will help our doctors assess whether this is the correct treatment for you. If you are approved, you will receive a prescription and be able to buy your medication. Your prescription will then be sent out to you by next day delivery.
Why choose Aciclovir?
As the longest standing antiviral treatment for herpes, having been on the market as a topical medication since 1982 and as a pill since 1985, it has been shown to be safe to take daily for anywhere up to 10 years if needed. It has also been proven to lessen the time a patient suffers from a herpes outbreak making it a good way to deal with regular occurrences.
What is contained in Aciclovir?
The active ingredient in Acyclovir is Aciclovir PhEur.
The inactive ingredients are colloidal anhydrous silica, magnesium stearate, polyvidone, sodium starch glycollate
How should I use Aciclovir?
Aciclovir tablets must always be taken as directed by your doctor and if you feel uncertain how best to take them then you can book a free appointment with a Click Pharmacy expert who can assist you. The dose will be different for different people and depending on the reason you are using it for example, for treatment or prevention.
For cold sores, the usual dosage is as follows:
Treatment: 5 times a day every 4 hours for 5 to 10 days
Prevention: 4 times a day every 6 hours for up to a year as directed by your doctor
The tablets should be taken with water, with or without a meal and if it is too hard to swallow, it can be dissolved and stirred into water though this is not the preferred manner for taking the medication.
When taking this treatment ensure you drink plenty of water during the day to keep your kidneys working as effectively as possible. If you miss a pill then depending on how close you are to your next dose, take it as soon as you remember. Continue to take your medication until you have finished the complete prescription to ensure you get the full benefit.
How does Aciclovir work?
Aciclovir is an antiviral medication. It works specifically on infected cells and stops infections of the skin and/or mucous membrane from spreading. It reduces the severity of the virus and helps it to heal faster, decreasing pain and other side effects of a cold sore such as itching.
Aciclovir cannot kill the virus as once it is in your body it lays dormant until it reactivates, but it does help to prevent viral infections in anyone with lowered immunity or else it treats outbreaks when they occur.
How long can I take Aciclovir for?
The medication is usually taken for 5 to 10 days though if necessary it can be taken for anywhere up to 12 months if prescribed for prevention. Your GP or Click Pharmacy doctor will discuss this with you based on your health questionnaire.
What are the side effects of Aciclovir?
There can be side effects from any medication though not everyone will experience them. Common side effects with Aciclovir can include dizziness, nausea, stomach pains, diarrhoea, tiredness or headaches.
If you experience an allergic reaction to the product which can manifest as anaphylaxis including swelling of the tongue, lips or throat or difficulty swallowing and breathing, then get medical help right away and stop the medication.
Other Warnings to consider
Sensitivity to sunlight and UV light such as that found in a sunbed can occur in some instances when taking Aciclovir resulting in your skin burning more easily. As such, when using this treatment wear sunblock each day to ensure this does not occur.
Aciclovir can interact negatively with other medicines so ensure you tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medication including but not limited to:
- mycophenolate mofetil
If you are, or you think you may be pregnant, or you are breastfeeding then ensure you tell your doctor this information. There are limited studies done on the effects of Aciclovir in these instances so it is important to get advice on this before going ahead with the medication.
What are Aciclovir Tablets for?
Aciclovir Tablets are formulated to treat infections caused by herpes. The infections include cold sores and genital herpes. Aciclovir Tablets can sometimes also be used to treat chickenpox and shingles.
Are Aciclovir Tablets suitable for pregnant women?
You should avoid taking Aciclovir Tablets if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding. The Aciclovir cream may be a better alternative.
Does taking Aciclovir Tablets affect my fertility?
There is no data that suggests taking Aciclovir Tablets affects fertility in any way.
How should I take my Aciclovir Tablets?
It is important that you swallow Aciclovir Tablets with plenty of water to ensure your kidneys continue to function effectively.
Can I take Aciclovir Tablets if I have a kidney problem?
If you have any history of a new or existing kidney problem, consult a GP or pharmacist before taking Aciclovir Tablets.
Can I still participate in sexual activity?
If you have been prescribed Aciclovir Tablets to treat genital herpes you should refrain from oral sex until your sores have healed. You should also avoid kissing around those areas. This is to ensure the risk of passing the infection to your partner is reduced.
How long does it take for Aciclovir Tablets to work?
These tablets can take up to 3 days to work effectively. After 3 days you should be able to notice symptoms fading.
Can I drive while taking Aciclovir Tablets?
A common side effect is dizziness, if you suffer from this you should avoid driving and using machinery until you feel better.
Does taking Aciclovir Tablets affect my contraception?
Although Aciclovir Tablets do not directly affect contraception, taking these tablets may result in severe diarrhoea in which taking contraceptive pills may not protect you from pregnancy.
Can I drink alcohol while taking Aciclovir Tablets?
Yes, it is safe to drink alcohol while taking Aciclovir Tablets.
What if I find it difficult to swallow tablets?
If you struggle to swallow Aciclovir Tablets, alternatively you can dissolve the tablet in water and drink the liquid. Please note this is not suitable for all tablets.
What if I get an allergic reaction?
Although allergic reactions to Aciclovir Tablets are rare, if you experience an allergic reaction you should seek medical assistance and refrain from using this medication in the future.
How do I prevent side effects?
The most common side effects are headaches and feeling dizzy. To treat side effects it is advised you drink plenty of water and rest.
What dosage is right for me?
The recommended dosage is 400 mg, although it can vary between 200 my and 800 mg depending on age.
How many times a day do I have a tablet?
It is advised to take Aciclovir Tablets between 2 to 5 times a day at regular intervals.
It is rare for this drug to cause any serious problems that affect vital parts of the body such as the kidneys and blood cells. To prevent this from happening you should drink plenty of water to remain hydrated while taking this medication.
Common side effects can include nausea, headaches, diarrhoea, and vomiting. Although these side effects are usually mild, if any of these side effects worsen seek medical advice.
Authored by Jana Abelovska
Last reviewed 20 April 2021
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