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Aciclovir Tablets

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Aciclovir is antiviral medication used in the treatment and suppression of genital herpes. It can help to ease symptoms of an outbreak and can also reduce the number of outbreaks when taken as suppression therapy.

ABOUT Aciclovir Tablets

Aciclovir Tablets

Aciclovir is an antiviral medication used in the treatment and suppression of genital herpes. It can help to ease symptoms of an outbreak and can also reduce the number of outbreaks when taken as suppression therapy.


What is aciclovir?

Aciclovir is an antiviral medicine that is used to treat infections caused by the herpes simplex virus, such as herpes, genital herpes and cold sores. It can also be used as a medication for shingles and chickenpox. 

It does not cure herpes but works to prevent the replication of the herpes simplex virus. This reduces the severity and length of symptoms. It is also used as a suppressive therapy in individuals that experience frequently occurring episodes of herpes. 

Aciclovir is also referred to as acyclovir in different parts of the world, but they are the same drug containing the same ingredient.

Aciclovir tablets are an oral form of aciclovir medication, usually coming in 200mg, 400mg or 800mg pills. 

A single dose can vary between 200mg and 800mg, as directed by your doctor or pharmacist, depending on the reason for taking this medication. The dosage for children may be lower.

You can also buy aciclovir in a liquid or cream form, and it is sometimes administered as an injection in hospitals. 


How does aciclovir work?

Aciclovir is an antiviral medication that can decrease the length and severity of outbreaks caused by viruses such as herpes, shingles and chickenpox. 

Aciclovir tablets work by changing the DNA of the herpes simplex virus. This means that the herpes simplex virus is unable to multiply and infect more cells. This allows the immune system to bring the virus under control, resulting in fewer and milder symptoms that disappear faster than they would without treatment.

You should note that aciclovir is not a cure for infections, but rather can help sores to heal faster and prevent new sores from developing. Aciclovir can also be effective in reducing pain and itching after sores have healed, reducing the risk of the virus spreading to different parts of the body. 


What is aciclovir used for?

  • Aciclovir 200mg: can be used to treat genital herpes outbreaks. However, it requires tablets to be taken five times a day. It can also be used as suppression therapy, but it needs to be taken four times a day. 
  • Aciclovir 400mg: is used to treat genital herpes outbreaks and can also be used as genital herpes suppression treatment. It can be used to treat other conditions associated with the herpes simplex virus, such as cold sores.
  • Aciclovir 800mg: can be used to treat infections associated with the herpes simplex virus. It can be used to treat genital herpes outbreaks, at a dose of three times a day for two days. However, the higher dose can make you more prone to side effects. It should not be used for suppression therapy. 

How to take aciclovir

You should take aciclovir with a glass of water, spacing your doses evenly throughout the day. If you have trouble swallowing tablets, you can disperse tablets in water. 

If you take aciclovir three times a day, you should space the doses evenly, taking one tablet in the morning, afternoon and evening. 

If you take aciclovir twice daily, you should take one tablet in the morning, and one in the evening. 

If you miss a dose of aciclovir, you should take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is nearly time for the next dose, take the dose at the set time, rather than taking a double dose. 

You should continue taking aciclovir until you have completed the course, even if you are feeling better after a few days of taking the medication. Treatment for an outbreak will usually last five days, whilst treatment for genital herpes suppression is ongoing. 

It is important to drink plenty of water, to avoid dehydration. This will ensure that less stress is placed on your kidneys, avoiding any potential side effects and damage to kidneys. 


Aciclovir Dose Instructions

To treat an outbreak of genital herpes, you should take one tablet (400mg), three times a day for 5 days. 

To use aciclovir as herpes suppression therapy, you should take one tablet (400mg), two times a day. You should review your treatment after 6-12 months to see if the number of outbreaks has reduced.   


How long do aciclovir tablets take to work?

In general, the effects of aciclovir tablets as a treatment for genital herpes will be seen after a few days. 

If you begin taking aciclovir within five days of an outbreak starting, it can shorten the length of symptoms by one or two days. It may also shorten the severity of outbreaks. With regular aciclovir use as a suppression course for genital herpes, treatment can decrease the frequency of outbreaks, reduce the severity, or potentially stop the outbreaks altogether.


Can I buy aciclovir tablets over the counter?

No, you cannot buy aciclovir tablets over the counter. You will need a prescription to buy aciclovir in the UK.

You can buy aciclovir online from a registered pharmacy, such as Chemist Click. A pharmacist will assess your suitability through an online consultation and generate a prescription in-house if it is safe to do so. Your medication will be dispensed and dispatched to you in plain and discrete packaging. 

If you have a private prescription from your doctor, you can upload an aciclovir prescription online, and have your medication sent directly to you by express delivery once it has been dispensed.

If you are concerned that you might have genital herpes, it is best to test whilst you have symptoms. You can also buy herpes test kits online at Chemist Click.


Aciclovir and alcohol

There is no direct interaction between aciclovir and alcohol, so you can drink in moderation whilst taking aciclovir. However, if you are experiencing side effects, limit your consumption, as alcohol may intensify side effects of aciclovir, such as headaches, nausea, dizziness and sleepiness. 

Excess alcohol can reduce the function of your immune system. To get the most out of your treatment, alcohol consumption should be limited. 


Aciclovir and pregnancy

In general, it is safe to take aciclovir tablets during pregnancy, but this should be done under the supervision of your doctor. It can be advised to take aciclovir four weeks before birth, in order to prevent a genital herpes outbreak. This is to prevent the infection from being spread during birth. 

If you have herpes and are pregnant, the risk of passing it onto your baby is very low, however, you should make your doctor aware so that you can discuss your options. 

Pregnant women who have never had, or been vaccinated against, chickenpox may be advised to take aciclovir tablets if they develop the infection or are exposed to it. This can prevent harm to both mother and baby. 

If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you should inform your doctor. They will discuss with you both the benefits and risks of taking aciclovir while pregnant. 

Aciclovir is present in breastmilk, and you should avoid taking it unless the benefits outweigh the risk.

You may still be eligible to use aciclovir tablets, however, we recommend that this is done under the close supervision of your doctor.


Aciclovir vs valaciclovir

Aciclovir and valaciclovir are both antiviral drugs that are effective in disrupting viral DNA replication. 

Valaciclovir is converted rapidly into aciclovir when it enters the body. The two medications are also used to treat the same viruses, such as herpes, chickenpox and shingles. 

A significant difference is that valaciclovir tablets work over a longer period of time, and for this reason, requires taking fewer doses each day. To treat an outbreak, aciclovir is taken three times a day, whereas valaciclovir is taken twice a day. For suppression treatment, aciclovir is taken twice a day, whereas valaciclovir is taken once a day.


Can I take paracetamol with aciclovir?

There are no interactions between aciclovir and paracetamol and it is safe to take them together. It is usually safe to take ibuprofen on a short-term basis. However, you should consult your doctor if you are taking ibuprofen or aciclovir long term or have any kidney problems. 

Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can be used to manage pain associated with genital herpes. 

If you are ever unsure about taking medication alongside aciclovir, always consult your doctor or pharmacist first. 


Who should not use aciclovir tablets?

You should not take aciclovir if you suffer from the following:

  • Liver problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Conditions that affect the immune system such as HIV
  • Conditions affecting the nervous system
  • Any allergies to aciclovir or its ingredients

 

You may still be eligible to use aciclovir tablets, however, we recommend that this is done under the close supervision of your doctor.


Aciclovir interactions

You should consult your doctor if you are taking any of the following medication:

Aceclofenac, Adefovir dipivoxil, Amikacin, Aminophylline, Amphotericin, Bacitracin, Capreomycin, Carboplatin, Cefaclor, Cefadroxil, Cefalexin, Cefixime, Cefotaxime, Cefradine, Ceftaroline fosamil, Ceftazidime, Ceftobiprole, Ceftolozane, Ceftriaxone, Cefuroxime, Celecoxib, Ciclosporin, Cisplatin, Colistimethate sodium, Dexibuprofen, Dexketoprofen, Diclofenac, Etodolac, Etoricoxib, Fenoprofen, Flurbiprofen, Foscarnet Sodium, Ganciclovir, Gentamicin, Ibuprofen, Ifosfamide, Indometacin, Ketoprofen, Ketorolac, Mefenamic acid, Meloxicam, Methotrexate, Mycophenolate mofetil, Nabumetone, Naproxen, Neomycin sulfate, Oxaliplatin, Parecoxib, Pemetrexed, Penicillamine, Pentamidine isethionate, Piroxicam, Polymyxins, Streptomycin, Streptozocin, Sulindac, Tacrolimus, Telavancin, Tenofovir, Tenoxicam, Theophylline, Tiaprofenic acid, Tobramycin, Tolfenamic acid, Trimethoprim, Valaciclovir, Valganciclovir, Vancomycin, Zidovudine, Zoledronic acid.


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Side Effects

As with any medication, you may experience side effects after taking aciclovir. Some people don’t feel any side effects, while others just have minor ones. 

Common side effects of aciclovir tablets include; 

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin being sensitive to sunlight

 

If you are bothered by any of these side effects, or they will not go away, you should continue to take the medication, but speak to your pharmacist or doctor. It is understood that common side effects will be experienced by over one in ten aciclovir tablet users

If you do experience common side effects from aciclovir, there are many ways in which you can address them. If you feel dizzy after taking aciclovir you should never drive, use machinery or tools, or ride a bicycle. It is best to sit or lie down for a few minutes until you get better. 

Headaches can be treated by drinking plenty of water and getting enough rest, as well as taking pain medication such as paracetamol. 

If you have diarrhoea, ensure that you are not dehydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, but don’t take any other medication until you have spoken to your pharmacist or doctor. 

Nausea and sickness can be helped by sticking to simple meals, avoiding foods that could irritate your stomach and taking regular sips of water to avoid dehydration. 

If you experience sensitivity to sunlight, use sunscreen when out in the sun and make an effort to avoid exposure to bright sunshine.

Patient Information Leaflet

For more information about aciclovir Genital Herpes Treatment, take a look at the patient information leaflet below: 

 

Where can I find out more information about aciclovir?

To find out more information about aciclovir, visit the NHS website.

Aciclovir is safe to use in pregnancy, but this should be done under the close supervision of your doctor. Your doctor will only prescribe aciclovir if the potential benefits outweigh the risks involved. If you develop genital herpes during pregnancy, you should consult your doctor to minimise the risk of passing it onto your baby. If you have herpes and are pregnant, the risk of passing it onto your baby are very low, but you should make your doctor aware of this. Aciclovir is present in breastmilk and you should avoid taking it unless the benefits outweigh the risk.

You can have sex whilst taking aciclovir, but it is important to remember that it is still possible to pass the infection on to others. The chances of transmitting herpes to somebody else increases during an outbreak.

If you have genital herpes, you are contagious and can pass the virus on at any time. You are more likely to pass the virus on when experiencing symptoms such as sores, irrespective of whether you are taking aciclovir tablets. Aciclovir is used to manage symptoms and shorten the length of an outbreak, as well as suppress common outbreaks in individuals who suffer from regular episodes. If you are taking aciclovir to suppress herpes, you are less likely to infect someone else, as suppression therapy helps to prevent outbreaks (you are most contagious when experiencing an outbreak).

If you experience less than six outbreaks a year, your best option would be to use aciclovir each time you have an outbreak. 

If you experience six or more episodes of genital herpes a year, you may wish to think about taking aciclovir as suppression therapy. This can reduce the number of outbreaks.

If you are experiencing less than six outbreaks a year, but you feel as though herpes is negatively affecting your mental health, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist about using suppression therapy. 

The first outbreak of herpes is usually the most severe, and you should complete the full 5-day course of tablets prescribed to you.

If you are experiencing an acute flare-up, you should take aciclovir for 3-5 days, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

If you are experiencing 6 or more outbreaks and wish to take aciclovir to suppress the number of outbreaks you experience, you should take aciclovir for a few months. This way you can assess your response to treatment. 

Aciclovir has a high success rate and has proven to be successful in treating genital herpes. Those that do not experience any relief using aciclovir should try valaciclovir, a prodrug of aciclovir.

Aciclovir 200mg can be used to treat genital herpes outbreaks. However, it requires tablets to be taken five times a day. It can also be used as supresison therapy, but it needs to be taken four times a day.

Aciclovir 400mg is used to treat genital herpes outbreaks and can also be used as genital herpes suppression treatment. It can be used to treat other conditions associated with the herpes simplex virus, such as cold sores.

Aciclovir 800mg can be used to treat infections associated with the herpes simplex virus. It can be used to treat genital herpes outbreaks, at a dose of three times a day for two days. However, the higher dose can make you more prone to side effects. It should not be used for suppression therapy.

Product Reviews For Aciclovir Tablets

On the whole, those who buy aciclovir tablets have given the medication positive feedback for its ability to treat outbreaks of herpes, shingles and chickenpox. Users who stick with the course of aciclovir as advised have praised the medication’s effectiveness in lessening the seriousness of viruses, especially when it is taken within 72 hours. There are a large number of reviews that cite the effectiveness of clearing up infection breakouts that involve cold sores. For the duration that aciclovir is taken, many users report their herpes breakouts cleared quickly and did not return. 

Others with sores or blisters reported that although aciclovir didn’t prevent them from forming altogether, it was effective in reducing the size of the blisters or sores and making them less painful. 

While some users reported no side effects, others do notice feeling a little different when they first begin taking aciclovir.  For a more in-depth review of this medication, take a look at our page dedicated to aciclovir tablets review.

If you are interested in finding out more about genital herpes in general, take a look at some of the following articles:

Aciclovir PRICES

*Please note: We do NOT charge a prescription fee

Medicine x15 Tablets (One Outbreak) x30 Tablets (Two Outbreaks) x45 Tablets (Three Outbreaks) x180 Tablets (Three Month Suppression)
Aciclovir Tablets 400mg 12.99 19.49 23.49 43.95

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