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  • Treats outbreaks of genital herpes
  • Reduces the number of future episodes
  • Helps sores to heal faster
  • Genuine medication
  • All drugs sourced in the UK
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Aciclovir is an antiviral medication taken to treat the infections caused by the viruses herpes simplex and herpes zoster. Aciclovir is sometimes known as acyclovir.

Herpes simplex can cause cold sores and genital herpes, whereas herpes zoster can cause chickenpox and shingles. Aciclovir can be used to treat the symptoms caused by each of these infections.

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Read up

    About Aciclovir

    • Aciclovir is an antiviral medication
    • The tablet form of aciclovir is often taken to treat genital herpes, shingles or severe chickenpox
    • Aciclovir is also available as a cream that can be used to treat cold sores directly
    • Some people with weakened immune systems take aciclovir every day to prevent them from getting an infection caused by herpes
    • It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.

    How does Aciclovir work?

    The herpes virus can cause blistering of the skin, lips or genital area. These blisters can be very painful.

    The antiviral properties of aciclovir prevent the herpes virus from multiplying in your body. This prevents the infection from getting worse so that the pain resolves, and the blisters start to get better.

    However, the herpes virus can continue to live in your body, meaning that your symptoms may recur later in the future. This is true even if all signs of the infection have cleared up. 

    This is why some people get cold sores regularly despite treating them each time. It is also one of the reasons why it is better to avoid direct contact with someone when they have a cold sore or genital herpes, as they may pass the herpes virus on to you.

    How is Aciclovir Taken?

    Aciclovir is available as a tablet or a liquid for those who find swallowing difficult. Dispersible tablets are also available to make the medication easier to take. Aciclovir is usually taken orally (by mouth) for shingles, chickenpox and genital herpes. 

    Tablets should be taken with some water and can be taken with or without food.

    Aciclovir cream is available to treat a cold sore on the lip. 

    Dosage of Aciclovir

    Aciclovir tablets are available in the following strengths: 200mg, 400mg and 800mg. 

    Your dose of aciclovir will vary depending on what you are taking the medication for. 

    For genital herpes, you may be prescribed 400mg of aciclovir 3 times a day for 5 days or more. You may also be prescribed a topical aciclovir cream to apply to the blisters.

    For shingles or chickenpox in adulthood, you may require 800mg of aciclovir 5 times a day for 7 days. 

    Your prescriber will recommend the right dose for you based on your symptoms and medical history.

    Are there any side effects?

    As with all medications, some people may experience mild side effects. Most people who get side effects find that they subside within a few days. However, if you are bothered by side effects then continue taking the medication but take advice from a healthcare professional. 

    Common side effects include:

    • Headaches
    • Nausea or vomiting (feeling sick or being sick)
    • Dizziness
    • Diarrhoea
    • Sensitivity of your skin to the sunlight.

    People using aciclovir cream may notice a burning or stinging sensation when applying it. The cream can also cause dry or itchy skin in the area. This should resolve once you have completed the course of treatment.

    If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, you should call 999 immediately.

    Aciclovir Warnings

    Aciclovir can be taken by most people, however, at UK Meds we will ask you to complete a health questionnaire as part of your Consultation to check that aciclovir is suitable for you.

    Your prescriber will need to know if you:

    • Are aged 65 or older
    • Have kidney problems
    • Are pregnant, trying to conceive a baby, or breastfeeding
    • Have ever had an allergic reaction to any medication.

    This is because aciclovir may not be suitable for some people who fall into the above categories.

    A prescriber from UK Meds will review your current medications, including any herbal remedies or supplements, to ensure that aciclovir will not interact with them. 

    Once prescribed, you can order aciclovir online for home delivery.

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