What is aciclovir?
Aciclovir is an antiviral medication that is commonly used in the treatment of genital herpes. It does not cure herpes, but works to prevent the replication of the herpes simplex virus during an outbreak, reducing 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.
How does aciclovir work?
Aciclovir works by changing the DNA of the herpes simplex virus. This means that the herpes simplex virus is unable to multiply and infect more cells, allowing the immune system to bring the virus under control and deal with it. This results in fewer and milder symptoms, that disappear faster than they would without treatment.
Does aciclovir cure herpes?
Whilst there is no cure for herpes, aciclovir helps to manage and suppress outbreaks. Aciclovir helps to manage the symptoms and decrease the length of outbreaks, as well as prevent outbreaks when taken as a suppression therapy (over a prolonged period). You are most contagious when experiencing an episode of herpes, and aciclovir can help ensure you are less likely to infect someone else by keeping the virus under control. It is important to know that it is still possible to infect another person, but less so when you are not experiencing an outbreak.
How should I take aciclovir tablets?
You should swallow one tablet whole with water at the prescribed intervals. Maintain a high intake of fluids (preferably water), and do not skip any doses, even if you start to feel better. You should try and take the tablets at regular intervals at the same time each day. Complete the prescribed course.
For those that have difficulty swallowing tablets, aciclovir can be dispersed in water.
What is the difference in suppression therapy and treating an outbreak?
Herpes suppression therapy is used to prevent future outbreaks in people that suffer from frequent episodes of genital herpes. The dose is lower than treating an acute outbreak, and is taken over a longer period of time.
Aciclovir is also used to treat a flare-up of herpes over a shorter period of time. This treatment is taken over the course of a few days and is suitable for those that do not experience symptoms on a regular basis.
How do I take aciclovir to treat a herpes outbreak?
The dose of aciclovir used to treat an outbreak is “400mg (1 tablet) to be taken three times daily for five days”. You should start taking aciclovir at the first sign of an outbreak for the most effective results. Taking medication as early as possible should shorten the length of an outbreak and lessen the symptoms.
How do I take aciclovir to suppress herpes?
The dose of aciclovir used in herpes suppression therapy is “400mg (1 tablet) to be taken twice daily” over a longer period of time. Herpes suppression therapy is usually taken over the course of a few months, and you should discuss the length of treatment with your doctor.
What if I forget to take a tablet?
Take one as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time of your next dose, or you remember when it comes to taking your next dose, omit that dose and carry on as usual. You should try to remember to take your tablets everyday as a missed dose can have a negative outcome on the success of treatment.
Should I buy aciclovir for outbreaks or suppression therapy?
If you experience less than six outbreaks a year, your best option would be to buy herpes treatment for outbreaks and take them at the onset of experiencing any symptoms.
For those that experience six or more episodes of herpes a year should consult their doctor about taking suppression therapy.
How long should I use aciclovir for?
The first outbreak of herpes is usually the most severe, and the 400mg tablets should be taken for five days continuously.
Those that are experiencing an acute flare-up should take the 400mg tablet for three to five days, depending on the severity of symptoms.
Those that experience frequent episodes of herpes are required to take 400mg tablets over the period of a few months. You should discuss with your doctor the length of treatment.
How long does it take for aciclovir to work?
When aciclovir is taken to treat an outbreak of herpes, it starts to work straight away and you should notice that symptoms start to ease after the first day. In order to get the most out of your treatment, you should start taking the tablets when you first start to experience signs of an outbreak. Aciclovir will also work to shorten the length of a herpes episode.
When aciclovir is taken as a suppressive therapy, it works to reduce the number of flare-ups over the time it is taken.
Is it effective?
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.
Who should not use aciclovir?
Aciclovir should not be used in those with:
- 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, however, we recommend that this is done under the close supervision of your physician.
Can I use aciclovir with other medication?
You should consult your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
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.
Can I use aciclovir if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Aciclovir can be safely used when pregnant or breastfeeding, but this should be done under the close supervision of your doctor. You will only be prescribed aciclovir, if the potential benefits outweigh the risks involved. If you have developed 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.
Can I still have sex whilst taking aciclovir?
You are still able to 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 is increased when you are experiencing an outbreak.
Am I contagious if I am using aciclovir?
If you have genital herpes, you are contagious and can pass on the virus at any time. You are more likely to pass the virus on when experiencing symptoms such as sores, irrespective of whether or not you are taking aciclovir. 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. In those taking aciclovir to suppress herpes, you are less likely to infect someone else when taking aciclovir as it helps to suppress outbreaks (you are most contagious when experiencing an outbreak).
Is it safe to drink alcohol with these tablets?
There is no direct interaction between aciclovir and alcohol, and you are able to drink whilst taking aciclovir. However, your immune system may be affected by excess alcohol and it is generally advised to refrain from consuming large amounts of alcohol whilst taking aciclovir, to ensue that your immune system is functioning at full capacity.
Buy aciclovir online
You can buy aciclovir tablets online to treat genital herpes, after you have completed an online questionnaire. This helps our clinical team determine whether or not it is safe to prescribe aciclovir tablets.