ACYCLOVIR – Drug Information
Generic Name: Acyclovir
Therapeutic Classification: Antivirals
Acyclovir is an antiviral drug. It is used for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infections, varicella zoster (chickenpox) and herpes zoster (shingles). It will not cure herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of the infection. The discovery of acyclovir was announced in 1977. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the safest and most effective medicines needed in a health system. It is available as a generic medication and is marketed under many brand names worldwide.
Mechanism of Action:
Acyclovir is a synthetic nucleoside analogue, that has inhibitory against the herpes viruses, including herpes simplex 1 and 2 (cold sores and genital herpes), varicella-zoster (shingles and chickenpox), and Epstein-Barr virus (mononucleosis). It interferes with DNA polymerase to inhibit DNA replication via chain termination.
- Absorption: PO, 15-30%
- Peak serum time: 1.5-2 hr (PO); 1 hr (IV)
- Distributed widely (brain, kidney, lungs, liver, spleen, muscle, uterus, vagina, cerebrospinal fluid)
- Metabolized by liver (in small amounts)
- Half-life: 4 hr (Neonates); 2-3 hr (children 1-12 years); 3 hr (adults)
- Excretion: Urine (62-90% as unchanged drug)
Contraindications for Acyclovir:
- Animal studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and appropriate studies on pregnant women are lacking.
Warnings and Precautions for Acyclovir:
- Use with cautions in patients with history of kidney disease, any allergy, during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
- Use with caution in immunocompromised patients.
- Use with caution in patients receiving nephrotoxic drugs.
- It may lead to dehydration, drink adequate water or liquid.
- Avoid sexual intercourse or use condom to prevent the spread of virus.
- It may cause dizziness, drowsiness, do not drive a car or operate machinery while taking this medication.
- It may cause sunburn easily, avoid exposure to sunlight or wear proper clothes.
Adverse Reaction / Side Effect of Acyclovir:
- General: Malaise, severe allergic reactions, fever, headache, pain, difficulty sleeping, angioedema and swelling in your hands. r feet.
- Central Nervous System: Aggressive behavior, agitation, unsteadiness, coma, confusion, decreased consciousness, dizziness, hallucinations, burning or tingling in the arms or legs, drowsiness and tremors.
- Gastrointestinal: Nausea, Vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal distress.
- Blood: Anemia, decrease in white blood cells and platelets.
- Skin: Hair loss, redness, itching, pale skin, rash or blisters and hives.
- Genitourinary: Kidney failure, elevated blood urea nitrogen levels, blood in urine and urinating less than usual or not at all.
- Acute Treatment of Herpes Zoster: 800 mg every 4 hours orally, 5 times daily for 7 to 10 days.
- Chronic Suppressive Therapy for Recurrent Disease: 400 mg 2 times daily for up to 12 months, followed by re-evaluation.
- Treatment of Chickenpox: Children (2 years of age and older): 20 mg/kg per dose orally 4 times daily (80 mg/kg/day) for 5 days.
- Genital Herpes: Treatment of Initial Genital Herpes: 200 mg every 4 hours, 5 times daily for 10 days.
- Adults and Children over 40 kg: 800 mg 4 times daily for 5 days.
Store in room temperature (15° to 25°C) and protect from moisture.
Trade Names / Brand Names of Acyclovir:
Acvirall (400 mg) | Herperax (Eye) | Clovirax (Skin) (5 gm) | Alovir (800 mg) | Vivorax (Skin) (5 gm) | Acvirall D (200 mg) | Rovir (800 mg) | Lyrovir (Skin) (5 gm) | Alovir (400 mg) | Acivir (Skin) (5 gm) | Aciv (200 mg) | Acivir DT (400 mg) | Vira (Eye) | Virucid (Eye) | Cyclopiz (200 mg) | Avir DT (800 mg) | Herperax (Skin) (5 gm) | Acloriv (Skin) (5 gm) | Herperax (400 mg) | Optiviral (Eye) | Kayvir (800 mg) | Virclo (800 mg) | Acirax (200 mg) | Axovir (250 mg) | Acv (500 mg) | Lovir (200 mg) | Rivol (800 mg) | Zovir (400 mg) | Acv (400 mg) | Zoylex inj (250 mg) | Aciherpin (200 mg) | Zovirax Opthalmic