Acyclovir is a drug in the class of anti-viral drug used to treat various types of viral infections. It has for decades been used to cure herpes labialis which are triggered by the Herpes Simplex Virus; chicken pox and the immunocompromised individual's virus known as Shingles/ herpes zoster. Acyclovir has also been used to treat genital herpes especially in people who have frequent exposures to the condition. Acyclovir works to reduce the chances of future episodes or bridge a gap between one attack and the next. Despite Acyclovir been an antiviral drug, it does not cure these viral infections. The viruses causing these infections continue to live in the human body and could easily show up when triggered by various factors. i.e. immunosuppression. The anti-viral drug acyclovir helps reduce the outbreaks of the virus and curb the severity they can cause. For example in Chickenpox, Acyclovir helps the condition decrease and heal faster. It also prevents new sores from forming while decreasing the itching/ scratching. Those with a weak immune system i.e. those who have chronic conditions such as Diabetes Mellitus or disease such as HIV, the drug helps prevent the virus from spreading inside the body. This prolongs life and prevents complications.
Acyclovir is taken per oral two to five times daily as prescribed by your doctor. The Acyclovir tablet can be taken during meals or when you aren't eating. Always take the Acyclovir tablet with a lot of fluids unless directed otherwise by your doctor/ Pharmacist. When using the suspension form of Acyclovir, ensure you shake the bottle thoroughly before taking the dose. As instructed, measure the dosage using the right device (be it a spoon or the top cap). Using any other form of equipment such as the normal spoon gives you the wrong dosage!Acyclovir drug works best when started early or during the initial stages of a viral infection. It might not be very effective after the disease has taken its course. Mode of action.The mode of action of Acyclovir is by interfering with the Dioxy Riboneucleic Acid polymerase to Stop its replication. It achieves this through terminating the chain. PharmacoKinetics. When taken orally, the bioavailability is 15 - 30% and the drug reaches peak levels in blood in 1.5-2hrs while when using the IV route, peak levels are reached in the first hour. About its distribution, Acyclovir is found in the CSF, vagina, uterus, muscles, spleen, kidney and brain. It is distributed widely. It bounds to protein albumin at 10-30% rate. The drug is metabolized in the hepatic system in minute levels. The elimination half-life of the drug is four hours in neonates, 2-3 hours in children and three hours in adults. Approximately 90% of the unchanged drug is excreted in urine.
As an injection formulation, 50 mg/mL As a liquid formulation 200 mg/5mL. When used as a powder for injection 500 mg/vial, Tablet formulations of Acyclovir are 400 mg and 800 mg In the treatment of Herpes Zoster (Shingles)The dosage is: 800 mg Per Oral four times a day for approximately 7-10 days For Immunocompromised patients, give 10 mg/kg Intravenously eight hourly for 7 days In the treatment of Genital Herpes.The initial treatment is 200 mg Per Oral four times daily for approximately 10 days. It can also be started as 400 mg PO three-hrly for approximately 7-10 days. In case of recurrence of genital herpes, the dose is 200mg per oral four hourly for 5 days. This is usually best when initiated on the first signs of recurrence. In suppressing the Chronic genital herpes against recurring the dosage is 400mg per oral twice a day for up to a year or 200mg three to five times daily. In HSV Encephalitis.The Acyclovir dosage is 10-15 mg per kg intravenously three times a day for up to ten days. In Mucocutaneous Herpes Simplex Virus Infection.This disease usually affects the immunocompromised patients and hence the dosage can be given as an IV infusion or orally.IV: 5 mg/kg q8hr for 7 days; This can continue up to 14 days then reassess. When given orally, the dosage is 400 mg four hourly for 7 days. In the treatment of Varicella-Zoster (Chickenpox)In patients above >40 kg administer: 800 mg Per Oral six hourly for 5 days. In Immunocompromised patients: 10-15 mg/kg IntraVenously eight hourly for 7-10 days. The dosage of Acyclovir is based in accordance with the medical condition that you have and the response to treatment. To some extent, especially for children dosage is based on weight of the baby. As part of its pharmacokinetics, Acyclovir works best when it is taken at the same time of the day all the time. This is it because it works best when its on constant levels in your body. You can set alarms to help you remember the intervals. Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished. Do not change your dose, skip any doses, or stop Acyclovir early without your doctor's approval.
ACYCLOVIR SIDE EFFECTS
Some minor effects might be noted when taking Acyclovir. Not all though and still, they are not supposed to be worse to an extent that they affect your activities daily living. In case they reach to such a point, consult your doctor/ pharmacist. The side effects include a headache, nausea, vomiting and stomach upsets. They shouldn't persist! Some of the questionable side effects include dizziness, change in urine color or pain when urinating, mood changes, hallucinations, difficulty speaking, drowsiness, confusion, and agitation. Those people with a weak Immune system should not take Acyclovir since it might cause life-threatening symptoms that might affect kidneys and blood cells. The weak immune system individuals include those who have undergone a transplant of kidney or bone marrow, kids and those who have HIV. Fatal allergic reaction to Acyclovir is rare. However, when you notice you are having uncommon symptoms such as sudden rash, itching or scratching or swelling of the face and throat, dyspnea and severe dizziness, consult a medical doctor immediately.
Just as any other medication, some drugs affect the distribution of Acyclovir in the body. It is important to know these drugs so that by no chance will you take them concomitantly. These drugs include:- Most of fungal infection antibiotics such as Amphotericin B (Fungizone)- Antibacterial medications such as Gentamicin, kanamycin, Tobramycin, Amikacin, amoxicillin, capreomycin, carboplatin, cephaloridine, cisplatin, colistin- Pain Relieving medications found over the counter such as Ibuprofen among others.- Drugs used to manage HIV/AIDs i.e. ZidovudineAcyclovir PricingAcyclovir price is not that costly as compared to most antiviral drugs. It is the cheapest anti-antiviral drug available. You can buy Acyclovir online on various sites which are accredited to sell drugs through their websites such as FairPriceRX.com