Aciclovir (ACV) is an antiviral medication primarily used for treatment of herpes simplex virus, chickenpox and shingles. It acts by stopping the spread of the virus in the infected patient’s body.

What is Aciclovir?

Aciclovir is used most commonly to treat two types of infections – the ones caused by viruses varicella-zoster and herpes simplex. The varicella-zoster virus is responsible for the outbreak of chickenpox and shingles. Herpes simplex viruses cause cold sores and genital herpes.

How does it work?

As an antiviral drug, its main use is to stop the spread and rapid multiplication of viruses in the infected patient. It slows down the spread of the virus, lessening the symptoms or completely making them disappear. However, it does not cure the herpes virus, it only helps keep it in check.

What is it used for?

Aciclovir works by stopping the virus from multiplying, thus reducing the severity of the infecion and stops it from spreading. As well as treating infections, Aciclovir can also be prescribed to prevent some viral infections from occurring. This is a common prevention method prescribed to people with lowered immune systems.

Most commonly it is used to stop and contain the spread of the varicella-zoster and the herpes simplex virus. Aciclovir can be used to treat an outbreak of chickenpox in children, or shingles in adults, both caused by the varicella-zoster virus. It can also be used to treat cold sores, genetal herpes, or lessen the discomfort caused by blisters, or sores, all of which are caused by the herpes simplex virus.

However, when it comes to the herpes virus, especially genital herpes, it cannot cure it or stop the spreading to other people. It can only help keep it in check and to lower or completely reduce its symptoms.

Dosages and usage

Aciclovir may be taken by mouth, intravenously, or as an eye ointment. But, it’s most commonly taken in the form of a tablet, capsule, or a suspension.

Your dose will depend on the type of infection that you have, so take aciclovir exactly as your doctor tells you to. Typically, doses range from 200mg to 800mg, and these doses are either taken three, four or five times a day.

Space out your doses evenly throughout the day. You can take Aciclovir with or without food.

Even if your infection has cleared up, keep taking Aciclovir until your course has finished, unless your doctor tells you to stop sooner. This way you will prevent the infection from coming back. The treatment period can last anywhere from 2 to 10 days. If you still feel unwell after the medication period, go back to see your doctor.

If you’ve been given an Aciclovir suspension, remember to give the bottle a nice shake before taking the medication. Alternatively, if you’ve been prescribed a dispersible tablet – these can be stirred into a small glass of water to make them easier to swallow or they can be taken normally. 

If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember and then continue as before. Try to take the correct number of doses each day, however, if you miss one do not take two doses to make up for the missed one.

If your symptoms do not subside by the end of the treatment or if they get worse, see your doctor immediately.

Side effects

Do not, under any circumstance, take Aciclovir if you are allergic to any of its components. You can find a full list of Aciclovir’s active ingredients in the manufacturer’s printed information leaflet supplied with the medicine. 

The common Aciclovir side-effects include:

  • Headache or migraine
  • Itchy rash 
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling hot
  • Nausea or being sick (vomiting)
  • Feeling tired or dizzy

Speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome. If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to the medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacists for further advice.

Can I buy Aciclovir online?

The best and easiest way for you to purchase it online is through TruMedical. However, an online consultation with a professional is required before you can be supplied with the medicine. Consultation is necessary to ensure that Aciclovir is the correct medicine for you.