It is an anti-viral drug used for the treatment of herpes virus infections in the body. The drug contains acyclovir as the active ingredient. Glaxo Smith Kline is the Manufacturer of the medicine and the brand-name Zovirax comes under the proprietorship of this company. There are other medicine making companies which are manufacturing acyclovir and the drug is also available in form of generic medicine.
How this medicine works?
Acyclovir can work in the body by preventing the proliferation of viruses causing herpes infection. It is converted into a more active form inside the cells which are affected with herpes virus. The enzyme called DNA polymerase is necessary for the viruses to copy their RNA to DNA.
It is the process of multiplication through which the viruses continue to grow in number and in fact as many cells in the body as possible. The DNA polymerase is necessary for the process of proliferation and to multiply. Acyclovir will prevent the action of viruses by controlling the enzyme DNA polymerase and thus in turn, the medicine controls the spread of infection.
There are of 2 types of herpes virus. Herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2 and there are viruses that will cause infections like chickenpox that is varicella zoster virus. This medicine is effective against all these types of herpes viruses. It is given orally for the treatment of chickenpox, shingles, herpes simplex infection of skin and mucous membranes.
What are the indications?
Acyclovir is anti-viral medicine is used for the treatment of varicella zoster infection, herpes zoster infection, herpes simplex infection of genitalia which is also known as genital herpes, infection of skin like cold sores and indeed treatment of herpes infections occurring in people with compromised immune system.
What are the contraindications for the use of this medicine?
Do not use acyclovir if the patient has a history of allergy to anti-viral drugs. In case one suffers from allergic reaction, contact your doctor immediately.
Indications of this medicine in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Always take this medicine under medical supervision and only few Doctor prescribes. The anti-viral drug should be considered in pregnancy if the expected benefit to the mother is more than the possible risk to the fetus. The medicine is known to pass into mother’s milk, therefore, use it with due care when nursing your child.
What are the side effects of this medicine?
People taking acyclovir may suffer from common side effects of this medicine like headache, dizziness, fever, fatigue, and diarrhoea, vomiting and skin rashes. Some uncommon and rare and very rare side effects may occur like difficulty in breathing, altered results of liver function tests, allergic reactions on lips and throat, tremors, confusion, anaemia and confusion.
What are the drug interactions of acyclovir?
There are chances of increased side-effects on the kidneys if the medicine is used in combination with cyclosporin and Tacrolimus. The time interval for the removal of acyclovir may increase when this medicine is combined with drugs like cimetidine and probenecid.