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Name of the generic: acyclovir (oral) (oral) A-SYE-KLO-VEER“a-SYE-klo”
Drug class: purine nucleosides

What is Zovirax?

Zovirax can be described as an antiviral medicine. Acyclovir reduces the spread and growth of the herpesvirus within the body.

Zovirax can be used to treat diseases caused by herpes viruses, including herpes genital, cold sores, shingles, and chickenpox.Zovirax does not treat herpes, but it may help reduce the symptoms of the disease.


You should take Zovirax for the duration prescribed by your physician. Your symptoms could get better before the infection is completely addressed.Treatment with Zovirax is recommended to begin at the earliest possible point following the onset of symptoms (such as burning, tingling blisters, etc.).

Herpes infections can be contagious and can spread to others, even if you are receiving treatment with Zovirax. Beware of letting affected areas come into contact with others. Avoid touching the affected region, and the next step is to touch your eyes. Make sure to wash your hands regularly to avoid spreading the infection to other people.

Follow the directions on the label of your medication and the packaging. Inform your health care providers about your medical issues, allergies, and any medications you take.

Before you take this drug

It is recommended not to take Zovirax if you have an allergy to acyclovir or the drug valacyclovir (Valtrex).

To ensure that Zovirax is not harmful to you, inform your doctor whether you suffer from:

  • Kidney disease kidney disease
  • An insufficient immune system (caused by illness or taking certain medicines).

Consult your physician if you are breastfeeding or pregnant.

Herpes may be transmitted to your child during pregnancy if you suffer from genital lesions at the time your baby is born. If you have genital herpes, it's essential to avoid the development of herpes lesions during pregnancy. Use your medication as directed to control your infection.

It might not be safe to breastfeed while taking this medication. Talk to your doctor about any risks.Zovirax should not be administered to children younger than 2 years.

Similar/related drugs

Prednisone, Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, Valtrex, Deltasone, Tetracaine topical, and Lysine

How to take Zovirax?

Use Zovirax as directed by your physician. Follow all instructions on the prescription label and study all medication guides or instruction sheets.Begin taking Zovirax immediately when you first notice symptoms (such as burning, tingling, blisters, etc.).Take note of and follow the instructions for use that come with your medication. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you don't understand these directions.

Shake your oral suspension (liquid) prior to taking a dosage. Utilize the dosing syringe that comes with it or use a dosage-measuring device (not an ordinary spoon).Acyclovir dosages are determined by weight (especially for teenagers and children). Your dose needs may change if you gain or lose weight.

Drink plenty of fluids while you take Zovirax to ensure that your kidneys are working correctly.Take this medication for the prescribed duration, even if symptoms do not improve immediately. The absence of doses could increase the chance of the virus developing resistance to the medication.

Herpes virus-related lesions must be treated as cleanly and dryly as possible. Wearing loose clothes can aid in preventing irritation of the lesions.Keep at room temperature, away from heat and moisture.

What happens if I miss the dose?

You should take the medication as quickly as you can. However, do not take your missed dose if you are nearing the time to take the next dose. Don't take two doses at a time.

What happens if I overdose?

Get medical attention in an emergency or contact the Poison Help line toll-free at 1-800-222-1222.

What should be avoided?

Herpes infections can be contagious and can spread to others, even if you are receiving treatment with Zovirax. Do not let infected areas come into contact with others. Avoid touching an affected region, and after that, avoid touching the eyes. Cleanse your hands often to avoid spreading the infection to other people.

This medication does not stop you from passing on a genital herpes infection to your lover. Avoid sexual intercourse when you are suffering from active lesions or are experiencing the first signs that indicate an outbreak. Genital herpes can be transmitted by "viral shedding" from your skin, even if you do not have any signs.

Side effects of Zovirax

See a doctor immediately. If you exhibit symptoms of an allergy reaction to Zovirax, such as hives, breathing difficulties, and swelling of your lips, face, or tongue,

See your doctor right away. If you suffer from:

  • Bleeding or bruising that is easy to treat in red or purple areas under your skin;
  • Changes in behavior;
  • Hallucinations, confusion,
  • Symptoms of kidney problems: very little or no urine pain or difficulty urinating; swelling of your ankles or feet; being exhausted or sluggish.

Some of the common side effects associated with Zovirax could include:

  • Mild skin irritation;
  • Rash, itching;
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;
  • Headache

This isn't a complete list of possible side effects, and other side effects could occur. Contact your doctor to seek medical advice on the effects. You can report any side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Interaction with other drugs

Acyclovir may affect your kidneys, and this is especially true when you are also taking certain medications to treat cancer, infections, osteoporosis, rejection of organ transplants, bowel diseases, high blood pressure, or arthritis pain (including Advil, Motrin, and Aleve).

Other medications may interfere with acyclovir. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Inform your physician about the medicines you are currently taking as well as any medications you are about to start or stop taking.



Prescription only

Pregnancy & Lactation

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