Zovirax is the brand name for acyclovir. Acyclovir is medication that is injected and used to treat the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can defeat the infection. Acyclovir is an antiviral drug, it does not cure herpes, but decreases the unpleasant symptoms and course of an infection.
This drug must be used exactly as prescribed by your doctor, the dosage and length of time of treatment must be adhered to. Treatment should begin with the first symptoms of an outbreak, which are tingling, burning or blisters. Herpes is infectious. Treatment with Zovirax does not prevent spreading this infection. Avoid touching an outbreak, especially do not rub your eyes after touching the infected area. Wash your hands often to prevent infecting others.
Zovirax is used to treat severe infections that are caused by the herpes virus, such as herpes encephalitis, genital herpes, and shingles and herpes infections in patients with a compromised immune system. Zovirax can be used to treat other conditions that are not described here.
Before taking this drug it is important to discuss with your doctor the following information if it applies to you: any drug allergies, kidney disease or if you receive dialysis, liver disease, brain or nervous disorders such as Parkinson’s, schizophrenia or tardive dyskinesia, electrolyte imbalances (low or high calcium, potassium or sodium) or breathing difficulties. If any of these conditions apply to you, you may not be able to use Zovirax, may need a reduced dosage or be closely monitored during treatment.
The US FDA categorizes drugs based on safety for pregnant women. Zovirax is categorized as B. This indicates that this drug is not EXPECTED to cause harm to an unborn child, but you should discuss all risk factors with your doctor before taking this medication if you are expecting. Zovirax can pass through breast milk to an infant. Do not take Zovirax if you are nursing; discuss the safety with the pediatrician and your physician first. If you have an outbreak on your genitals during child birth, you may pass the infection to your child and a cesarean may be necessary to deliver the baby.
This medication is administered as an injection into a vein. Your healthcare provider will administer this medicine. It may be administered over one hour via IV infusion. Sometimes patients may be given instructions to administer this medication at home. Follow the instructions carefully, always dispose of the needle and syringe properly and use a new needle for each dose. Make sure you use this medicine for the entire time directed by your doctor, even If the symptoms improve, continue for the entire treatment time. Herpes lesions should be kept clean and dry, wear loose clothing for comfort. Zovirax should be stored at room temperature and away from moisture.
A missed dose should be taken as soon as it is remembered. If it is almost time for the regularly scheduled dose, do not double the dose, simply take the regularly scheduled does.
A severe reaction indicates an allergy which may be life-threatening, seek emergency medical intervention. Allergic reaction presents as shortness of breath, hives, swelling of lips, throat, face or tongue, fainting or rash. An overdose presents as symptoms of agitation, seizure or convulsions, hallucinations and decreased or failure to urinate. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms.
During an outbreak you can infect others, even while taking Zovirax. Avoid intercourse or use a latex condom to prevent transmission.
Serious side affects that require you to contact your doctor immediately are infrequent urination, fever, chills, flu symptoms, jaundice, swelling or pain where the injection occurred. If these symptoms occur stop using Zovirax until you have spoken to your doctor. You may continue using this medication, but still should talk to your doctor if you experience, muscle pain, tingling, numbness, lack of coordination, headache, light headedness, edema in extremities, sleep disturbances or gastrointestinal upset.
Make sure all of your doctors are aware that you are taking Zovirax. This medication can interact with Benemid (probenecid) and you may not be able to take both drugs, simultaneously. Over-the-counter medications and prescriptions should be discussed with your doctor.
Further questions or information needed can be obtained and answered by your pharmacists or medical practitioner.
ZOVIRAX is the brand name for acyclovir, a synthetic nucleoside analogue active against herpesviruses. ZOVIRAX Capsules, Tablets, and Suspension are formulations for oral administration. Each capsule of ZOVIRAX contains 200 mg of acyclovir and the inactive ingredients corn starch, lactose, magnesium stearate, and sodium lauryl sulfate. The capsule shell consists of gelatin, FD&C Blue No. 2, and titanium dioxide. May contain one or more parabens. Printed with edible black ink. Zovirax is a white, crystalline powder with the molecular formula C8H11N5O3 and a molecular weight of 225. The maximum solubility in water at 37° C is 2.5 mg/mL. The pka’s of acyclovir are 2.27 and 9.25. Each 800-mg tablet of ZOVIRAX contains 800 mg of acyclovir and the inactive ingredients FD&C Blue No. 2, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, and sodium starch glycolate. Each 400-mg tablet of ZOVIRAX contains 400 mg of acyclovir and the inactive ingredients magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, and sodium starch glycolate. Each teaspoonful (5 mL) of ZOVIRAX Suspension contains 200 mg of acyclovir and the inactive ingredients methylparaben 0.1% and propylparaben 0.02% (added as preservatives), carboxymethylcellulose sodium, flavor, glycerin, microcrystalline cellulose, and sorbitol.
Zovirax has the following structural formula: