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Acyclovir (Acyclovir) - Summary



Rx only

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

Herpes Zoster Infections

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

Genital Herpes

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

Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study Comparing the Combination of 15% SP-303 Gel With Acyclovir Versus Acyclovir Alone for the Treatment of Recurrent Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) Infections in Subjects With Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) [Completed]
To evaluate the safety of topically applied SP-303 gel and to compare the efficacy of SP-303 gel in combination with acyclovir, relative to acyclovir alone, for the treatment of recurrent Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) 1 and 2 infections, affecting the genital, perianal and neighboring areas, in patients with AIDS.

A Study to Describe the Pharmacokinetics of Acyclovir in Premature Infants (PTN_Acyclo) [Recruiting]
Acyclovir is a drug used to treat herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections in babies. Appropriate dosing of acyclovir is known for adults and children but acyclovir has not been adequately studied in full-term or premature neonates. HSV is a very serious infection in babies <6 months of age and often results in death or profound mental retardation. HSV leads to profound mental retardation in young infants because the virus attacks the central nervous system.

The investigators hypothesize that the currently recommended dose of acyclovir is inadequate to produce adequate blood levels to combat herpes simplex infection. The investigators propose to study acyclovir levels in the blood of babies who are placed on acyclovir to treat a suspected HSV infection. This will allow them to determine the appropriate dose in premature infants. This is an unmet public health need because it is likely that the drug behaves differently in premature infants than it does in term infants and older children. Premature babies have more body water and less body tissue. Their kidneys are more immature and do not function as well as full term infants. Premature neonates are also at the greatest risk from herpes infection because they have poorly functioning immature immune systems. Early and appropriate treatment with acyclovir has resulted in improved outcome in term infants.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Acyclovir Among HIV and HSV-2 Co-Infected Women, Chiang Rai, Thailand [Completed]
Herpes infection is an important co-factor in HIV transmission. A recent meta-analysis demonstrated that HSV infection contributed to a 2-fold increased risk of HIV transmission. Suppressive therapy with acyclovir has been a method proposed to reduce HIV transmission. We are conducting a randomized controlled cross-over trial to evaluate the effect of acyclovir suppressive therapy on HIV genital shedding in women co-infected with HIV-1 and Herpes Simplex Virus Type-2 (HSV-2) in Thailand.

Effectiveness of Acyclovir in Suppressing HIV Viral Load in Women Coinfected With HIV and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2) [Recruiting]
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.

Iontophoretic Application of Acyclovir Cream to Treat Recurrent Herpes Labialis [Completed]
Currently approved drugs for the treatment of herpes labialis (cold sores) exhibit low levels of efficacy due to the limited ability of the drugs to penetrate the skin to the site where the herpes virus is replicating. Iontophoresis uses electric current to enhance the delivery of drugs through the skin. This trial is testing a new iontophoretic device for the delivery of acyclovir cream to treat cold sores.

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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