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The drug known by its generic name, Acyclovir, belongs to the synthetic nucleoside analogues group of drugs used primarily to treat particular viral infections. Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and marketed as Zovirax, it comes in liquid, capsule and tablet forms. But acyclovir remains the oldest form of treatment for the herpes simplex 1 and simplex 2 viruses, or cold sores and genital herpes, which cause infections in those afflicted with HIV. When a virus takes over a living cell and reproduces itself, at the host cell’s expense, acyclovir is converted into an activated form by the same virus, enabling it to use acyclovir’s active form instead of the nucleoside which it normally uses in the manufacture of DNA; DNA is a crucial element in the replication of a virus.
Simply put, cells which have been virally infected tend to absorb more of the acyclovir than their normal counterparts; therefore there is more conversion of it into active forms, a condition which helps prolong the anti-viral activity. Acyclovir is not a curative treatment for viral infections but it can shorten the duration of the infections and lessen their possibility of developing into more serious medical conditions. In initial cases of genital herpes, acyclovir helps reduce lesions and decreases severity and frequency of infections which are recurrent. Depending on the severity of the genital herpes infection of an individual who has it for the first time, an oral dosage of acyclovir at 400mg thrice a day has been recommended by the CDCP or Center for Disease Control and Prevention; this dosage has to be ingested between seven and ten days.
The patient may then choose to have daily or episodic therapy; the former is also known as suppressive therapy.
Patients who have existing conditions of HIV should take 400mg of oral acyclovir thrice a day between five and ten days. While there haven’t been sufficient clinical studies on the use of acyclovir by pregnant women and subsequent adverse effects, nursing women are cautioned against ingesting acyclovir since this can be transferred to an infant as an excretion in breast milk.
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While herpes virus type 1 (HSV-1) typically causes oral herpes, herpes virus type 2 (HSV-2) is usually spread through genital and oral secretions and causes most often genital herpes. Most individuals in the US get infected with oral herpes by the age of 20; however, once infected, the herpes simplex virus remains in the sensory nerve cell bodies for life, in a latent state or active from time to time.
Genital herpes is an STD, it is more common in women than men and it is often asymptomatic.
Evidence suggests that antivirals reduce viral shedding and make symptomatic episodes less severe. If you have new open sores and blisters on your genital area when you start taking these medications, then the treatment should last more than five days. In case you have less than six recurrent outbreaks in a year, your doctor will prescribe a 5-day course of acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir every time you feel the skin itching, tingling or burning at the site where the painful blisters will appear.
In case you experience more than six recurrent outbreaks in a year or you have severe symptoms, your doctor will prescribe an antiviral, typically acyclovir, that you need to take every day for a longer period of time, in order to suppress the HSV-2 into latency.
Although the risk of passing the herpes virus on to your partner is reduced, it is not completely prevented.
A weakened immune system that is typically associated with recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes may also be a sign of HIV. Although there are several older and newer available treatment options for herpes, the herpes simplex virus cannot be cured. Antivirals do however relieve discomfort and pain felt during the outbreak by healing the blisters. Natural remedies for the treatment of herpes include echinacea, the amino-acid L-lysine, vitamin C, zinc, aloe vera, eleuthero as well as bee products especially propolis ( which can also be applied topically to accelerate the healing of the sores).
Herpes virus is the main cause for this infection which creates painful sores in the mouth and tongue. This infection is highly contagious and spreads to other persons who come in direct contact with the affected person.


Some of the signs of oral herpes infection are fever, chills, fatigue, muscle aches, pain, tingling sensation, itching and formation of sores. You can use over the counter medicines like Tylenol and Ibuprofen for treating mild forms of sores with pain. Medical remedies are available in the form of topical anesthetics like lidocaine for relieving pain. Antiviral drugs like Famvir, Zovirax and Valtrex are prescribed for patients who have repeated attacks of herpes infection.
This is a viral infection of the lips and mouth which is caused by the herpes simplex virus a€“ termed HSV. Herpes doesna€™t always develop symptoms a€“ it does not always cause any outward, visible signs. Kissing or touching and any sexual contact with the area that is infected spreads oral herpes.
Many individuals have symptoms of itching, burning, and tingling proceeding the outbreak of blisters or sores. The most concentrated pain from these sores occurs at the onset and can make drinking or eating hard. If a child with cold sores is less than 6 weeks old, the babya€™s physician needs to be notified if oral blisters or sores appear. Individuals with weakened immunity systems should also notify their primary care physician if sores or blisters appear. A physician will make a tentative diagnosis on data provided by the patient and on the physician exam. Topical anesthetic such as lidocaine (xylocaine, Nervocaine, Dilocaine, Zilactin-L) can be approved for pain relieve of oral blisters and lesions. Oral or IV drugs exist for HSV but only for individuals with weakened immune systems, infants younger than 6 weeks or those with severe disease.
Topical Denavir (penciclovir) creams can shorten attacks of recurrent HSV-if it is applied early, normally before lesions develop. These medications may stop viral reproduction in the skin but do not eradicate HSV from the body or stop later outbreaks. This website is for informational purposes only and Is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Acyclovir is a prescriptive medication that prevents the division and multiplication of viruses responsible for said infections.
When the active acyclovir is incorporated into a new virus in the DNA, production of DNA stops. Taking acyclovir for treatment of genital herpes can help reduce its severity or prevent it from further recurrences. The latter is experienced as a painful rash which could develop several years after having had chicken pox with the reactivation of the virus. For shingles, acyclovir helps reduce pain, shorten the duration for healing, and halts the formation of more lesions and further spread of the virus.
Acyclovir may be used intravenously for patients who have severe cases of genital herpes as well as those whose immune systems are compromised. Those who elected episodic therapy can choose to take acyclovir orally at 400mg thrice daily for a total of five days, 800mg thrice daily for a total of two days or 800mg twice a day for a total of five days.
For suppressive therapy, the CDCP recommends 400mg of oral acyclovir twice daily; those who are already infected with HIV should take it between 400mg and 800mg two or three times daily. Based on the site of infection, herpes is categorized into two main conditions – oral herpes and genital herpes.


Both types of herpes are highly contagious and in order to prevent getting infected, you should avoid intimate contact with a person already infected as well as touching items infected with the herpes virus ( dishes, towels, razor blades).
However, in case you have a weakened immune system, symptoms do occur, usually 2 days to 2 weeks after getting infected, they are quite severe and include fever, malaise, nausea and decreased appetite as well as swollen lymph nodes during the first outbreak.
Treatment for genital herpes typically depends on whether you have a primary infection with the herpes virus ( you have genital herpes for the first time) or a recurrent infection ( genital herpes symptoms reappear after a period of latency). Acyclovir and valaciclovir are available as generic medications and they are effective particularly in oral herpes, especially if they are taken before blisters start to develop. The most side-effects of these antiviral medications include a general sick feeling, nausea, rash, tremor, headaches and fatigue. Genital herpes symptoms include small and painful blisters filled with clear fluid which appear on your genital areas.
Episodes of recurrent genital HSV-2 infections gradually become less severe and less frequent after a period of two years following the first outbreak. Pregnant women who have an outbreak when they give birth may pass the herpes virus to their babies and in this case a C-section is recommended. To minimize discomfort, it is also important to wear loose-fitting cotton underwear instead of nylon, to cleanse gently the affected areas with antiseptic soap and water and to take warm baths, which may also alleviate the pain. These dietary supplements have no side-effects and can be taken for a longer period if you suffer from recurrent outbreaks. It would cause painful sores, lesions on the tongue, gums and inside the cheeks and even on the face.
The virus finds entry into the body, whenever there are small wounds or cuts in your skin or mucous membranes. In rare cases, the patients like infants (for dehydration), people with lowered immunity level and who are in the advanced stage of infection should be hospitalized. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved the drug for use against the virus known as varicella-zoster in the treatment of viral infections which caused shingles and chicken pox. A study published last year, however, revealed that herpes strains which are resistant to acyclovir could develop over a certain period of time.
Aside from acyclovir’s availability in 200 mg capsules, 400mg and 800mg tablets, and 200mg and 5ml liquid suspension, it is also available as a 50mg or 40ml injection, a 500mg and 1000mg powder and as 5% ointment. There have been reports of seizures, hepatitis, agitation, hypersensitivity reaction, muscle pain, and anemia, all of which must be reported to the patient’s doctor for advisement. Risk factors for recurrent infections include genital irritation, stress, injury and fatigue.
Prescribed antivirals should be typically taken 5 times a day, for a period of at lest five days.
If you are experiencing recurrent infections , it is also recommended to get tested for HIV. Latex condoms are the only ones which can prevent a herpes infection from spreading during sexual contact. This infection is more or less like cold sores and two types of virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) causes this problem. Blisters may be single or in groups which will gradually break down forming reddish ulcers. Doctors have also prescribed acyclovir in the treatment of the Epstein-Barr virus which causes mononucleosis.



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