What is Acyclovir?

Category: Prescription Drugs

Most popular types: Zovirax

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Acyclovir is a type of medicine called an antiviral. Antivirals kill viruses or stop viruses from multiplying. Acyclovir is used to treat herpesvirus infections spread by direct skin-to-skin contact. Acyclovir will not cure herpes infections.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
Shingles (herpes zoster) 69 72
Cold sores (fever blisters) 48 30
Genital herpes 39 23
Prevent infection 26 8
Herpes outbreak 12 9

Show all 42 reasons taken


  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations
Severe 9
Moderate 11
Mild 24
None 156

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Acyclovir

Side effect Patients
Headaches 4
Nausea 4
Diarrhea 3
Fatigue 2
Upset stomach 2
Acute renal failure 1

Show all 32 reported side effects

Dosages

Based on patients currently taking Acyclovir

Dosage Patients
400 mg twice daily 14
800 mg daily 14
400 mg daily 11
200 mg twice daily 7
400 mg three times daily 4
800 mg twice daily 4
1,600 mg twice daily 2
200mg as needed 2
400mg as needed 2
1 g three times daily 1

See all 18 dosages

Why patients stopped taking Acyclovir

Multiple reasons could be selected

Reason Patients
Course of treatment ended 66
Doctor's advice 16
Other 13
Did not seem to work 12
Side effects too severe 10
Personal research 5
Change in health plan coverage 1
Expense 1
See all 102 patients who've stopped taking Acyclovir

Duration

Currently taking Acyclovir

Duration Patients
1 - 6 months 1
6 months - 1 year 4
1 - 2 years 8
2 - 5 years 15
5 - 10 years 22
10 years or more 18

Stopped taking Acyclovir

Duration Patients
Less than 1 month 46
1 - 6 months 26
6 months - 1 year 9
1 - 2 years 8
2 - 5 years 5
5 - 10 years 5
10 years or more 3
Adherence
Adherence Evaluations
Always 163
Usually 27
Sometimes 8
Never taken as prescribed 2
Burden
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 5
Somewhat hard to take 14
A little hard to take 34
Not at all hard to take 147
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 0
$100-199 2
$50-99 3
$25-49 12
< $25 87
Not specified 96

What people switch to and from

Patients started taking Acyclovir after stopping:

Treatment Patients
Valacyclovir (Valtrex) 3
Acyclovir Topical (Zovirax Topical) 2
Famciclovir (Famvir) 1

Patients stopped taking Acyclovir and switched to:

Treatment Patients
Valacyclovir (Valtrex) 8
Famciclovir (Famvir) 1
Meloxicam (Mobic) 1
Pregabalin (Lyrica) 1
Last updated:

14 patient evaluations for Acyclovir

Feb 15, 2016 (Started Feb 05, 2016)

  • Effectiveness
    Slight (for shingles (herpes zoster))
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: 800 mg Five times daily

  • 0 helpful marks

Oct 1, 2015 (Started Mar 09, 2015)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for cold sores (fever blisters))
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: As needed
Advice & Tips: taking acyclovir the moment you begin to feel the tingle of a blister, even before it shows, will make it go away and not reach a blister stage.

  • 0 helpful marks

Sep 27, 2013 (Started Aug 22, 2013)

  • Effectiveness
    Can't tell (for eczema herpeticum)
  • Effectiveness
    Slight (for herpes outbreak)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: 4000 mg Daily
Advice & Tips: Difficult to tell if this was effective since we don't know what the diagnosis is.
Cost: $25-49 monthly

Sep 13, 2013 (Started Aug 22, 2013)

  • Effectiveness
    Can't tell (for eczema herpeticum)
  • Effectiveness
    Can't tell (for herpes outbreak)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: 4000 mg Daily
Advice & Tips: Changed mind about taking this as the condition is not responding to this or Augmentin.
Cost: $25-49 monthly

Sep 5, 2013 (Started Aug 22, 2013)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for eczema herpeticum)
  • Effectiveness
    Major (for herpes outbreak)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Usually
  • Burden
    Very hard to take
Dosage: 4000 mg Daily
Advice & Tips: This anti-viral was very effective at beating my initial bout of eczema herpeticum but the frequency of doses is difficult to achieve. If you wake up late and don't start the first dose until 9am, the last dose is not until 1am. When you are tired and ill you don't stay up until 1am! I managed to achieve the doses by compressing the schedule to every 3-3.5 hours on the advice of my doctor, but a couple of days went by with only four doses and I felt that this slowed down my recovery. I'm now on Valtrex as it has a better schedule, but so far (72 hours in) it is not as effective as Acyclovir
Cost: $25-49 monthly

  • 0 helpful marks
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 14 patient evaluations for Acyclovir