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Acyclovir (Acyclovir) - Summary



Acyclovir is a synthetic nucleoside analogue active against herpesviruses. Each capsule, for oral administration, contains 200 mg of acyclovir.

Acyclovir is indicated for the acute treatment of herpes zoster (shingles).


Acyclovir is indicated for the treatment of initial episodes and the management of recurrent episodes of genital herpes.


Acyclovir is indicated for the treatment of chickenpox (varicella).


See all Acyclovir indications & dosage >>


Published Studies Related to Acyclovir

Valacyclovir therapy does not reverse herpes-associated alterations in cervical immunology: a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial. [2014]
Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection is associated with a 3-fold increase in the risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquisition, perhaps through alterations in mucosal HIV-susceptible target cells. We performed a clinical trial to assess the impact of herpes therapy on cervical immunology in HSV-2-infected, HIV-uninfected women from Africa or the Caribbean who were living in Toronto, Canada.

A pilot study examining the safety and tolerability of valacyclovir in veterans with hepatitis C virus/herpes simplex virus type 2 coinfection. [2014]
(HCV) coinfection... CONCLUSIONS: Valacyclovir 1 g twice daily showed no evidence of hepatotoxicity in

ASP2151 for the treatment of genital herpes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo- and valacyclovir-controlled, dose-finding study. [2012]
replication... CONCLUSIONS: Three-day or single-day courses of ASP2151 appear to be effective

Valacyclovir suppressive therapy reduces plasma and breast milk HIV-1 RNA levels during pregnancy and postpartum: a randomized trial. [2012]
mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) interventions is unknown... CONCLUSIONS: Valacyclovir significantly decreased early breast milk and plasma

Oral acyclovir suppression and neurodevelopment after neonatal herpes. [2011.10.06]
BACKGROUND: Poor neurodevelopmental outcomes and recurrences of cutaneous lesions remain unacceptably frequent among survivors of neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) disease... CONCLUSIONS: Infants surviving neonatal HSV disease with CNS involvement had improved neurodevelopmental outcomes when they received suppressive therapy with oral acyclovir for 6 months. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; CASG 103 and CASG 104 ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00031460 and NCT00031447, respectively.).

more studies >>

Clinical Trials Related to Acyclovir

HSV-2 Shedding Resolution After Acyclovir Treatment [Completed]
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the pattern of viral shedding after beginning treatment with acyclovir for a clinical recurrence of genital herpes and to compare it with the pattern of viral shedding during an untreated clinical recurrence of genital herpes.

Acyclovir Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Skin, Eye, and Mouth [Completed]
The purpose of this study is to test whether long-term treatment with oral acyclovir improves the outcome for infants with herpes simplex virus (HSV) disease of the skin, eyes, and mouth (SEM). Study participants will include infants in the United States and Canada who have HSV disease of the skin, eyes, and mouth, with no central nervous system disease present. Initially, all subjects will be treated with acyclovir administered through IV access (through the vein) for 14 days while hospitalized. Participants will then be placed in one of two groups, acyclovir given by mouth or a placebo (substance with no medication present). The participant and the study site will not know to which group the subject is assigned. All children will be followed at 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months of age. During the follow up visits, physicals, hearing assessments, eye assessments, and neurological assessments will be completed.

Acyclovir for Herpes Infections Involving the Central Nervous System in Neonates [Completed]
The purpose of this study is to test whether long term treatment with acyclovir given orally (by mouth) improves the outcome for infants with herpes simplex virus infection of the brain or spinal cord (known as the central nervous system [CNS]). Infants with herpes viral infection of the CNS that has or has not spread to other parts of the body will be enrolled in this study. All participants will receive treatment in a hospital for 21 days with acyclovir, given intravenously (by a needle inserted into a vein). Participants will then be divided into two groups: those with CNS disease that has or has not spread to the skin, and those whose viral infection has spread and involves the CNS. Both groups will be randomly assigned to receive either oral acyclovir or placebo (inactive substance) for 6 months. Infants in the US and Canada will participate for 5 years. A physical exam, hearing exam, eye exam, and an evaluation of the nervous system will be performed throughout the study.

A Randomized Trial to Evaluated the Suppressive Effect of Acyclovir on Rapidly Cleared HSV-2 Reactivation [Active, not recruiting]
We propose to study the episode rate, duration, and quantity of HSV-2 genital shedding in patients taking standard, FDA approved, CDC recommended doses of acyclovir (400 mg PO BID) for HSV-2 suppression compared to taking no medication to better define the effect of acyclovir on short bursts of rapidly cleared HSV-2 shedding. This study will be a randomized, open label, cross-over trial. We hypothesize that short bursts of HSV-2 reactivation will not be suppressed by acyclovir.

Effectiveness of Acyclovir in Suppressing HIV Viral Load in Women Coinfected With HIV and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) [Completed]
The purpose of this study is to determine whether acyclovir is effective in suppressing HIV viral load in women infected with both HIV-1 and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) who are starting HIV treatment for the first time.

more trials >>

Reports of Suspected Acyclovir Side Effects

Oedema (32)Hepatotoxicity (31)Vomiting (30)Nausea (28)Rash (28)Drug Interaction (25)Malaise (25)Pyrexia (24)Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysaesthesia Syndrome (23)Blood Bilirubin Increased (22)more >>


Based on a total of 12 ratings/reviews, Acyclovir has an overall score of 9. The effectiveness score is 9.17 and the side effect score is 9. The scores are on ten point scale: 10 - best, 1 - worst. Below are selected reviews: the highest, the median and the lowest rated.

Acyclovir review by 26 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Considerably Effective
Side effects:   Mild Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   cold sores
Dosage & duration:   400 mg taken twice a day for the period of 1 year
Other conditions:   NA
Other drugs taken:   NA
Reported Results
Benefits:   My whole lip used to swell up and I would get over a dozen little pockets of fluid that would merge into one giant blister. Now, cold sores appear 1/2 as often as before - down to every other month at most. One or two little pockets of fluid usually appear without the unsightly swelling. The cold sore is dried up within 24 hrs. They became unnoticeable to everyone.
Side effects:   I had to take it with food or I would get a little upset stomach.
Comments:   I have been taking Acyclovir daily for 1 year so far and will continue as long as my doctor allows me to.


Acyclovir review by 31 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Highly Effective
Side effects:   No Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   Cold sore
Dosage & duration:   5% (dosage frequency: 6 times a day) for the period of 3 days
Other conditions:   none
Other drugs taken:   Abreva, Campho-phenique
Reported Results
Benefits:   I was 6 days into having my very first cold sore which had since turned into TWO on the left and right sides of my bottom lip and I had already tried abreva and campho-phenique with absolutely no benefit. I thought I was going to suffer for weeks. It was so painful and kept scabbing then the scabs would fall off after drinking or taking a shower. Then I saw my dr who prescribed Zovirax ointment. I swear, the NEXT day, both cold sores were half the size and no longer "weeping". It is just about healed. This stuff works and now that I know I get cold sores, I will never be without Zovirax. Ever.
Side effects:   None
Comments:   Blotted lips to dry and allow the ointment stay on lips. Wash hands well before and after application. Apply a thin layer to lips 6 x per day and especially right before bed.


Acyclovir review by 43 year old female patient

Overall rating:  
Effectiveness:   Moderately Effective
Side effects:   No Side Effects
Treatment Info
Condition / reason:   herpes
Dosage & duration:   don't know (dosage frequency: daily) for the period of probably a year
Other conditions:   none
Other drugs taken:   none
Reported Results
Benefits:   This drug did not completely eliminate outbreaks. While it may have diminished length and extent of outbreak, still had more than expected. Decided not to take any longer and had better results taking Olive Leaf extract daily
Side effects:   none
Comments:   prescribed as a daily preventive for herpes outbreak.

See all Acyclovir reviews / ratings >>

Page last updated: 2014-11-30

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