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Aciclovir is an antiviral tablet, which is used to prevent or treat infections from the herpes simplex virus (HSV). It cannot completely cure herpes but will stop the growth of the virus and suppress the symptoms. Aciclovir can also be used as a means to prevent recurrent outbreaks. It is one of the most popular treatments in the UK for genital herpes.
Genital herpes is a common infection that causes painful blisters on the genitals and nearby areas. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The herpes virus can impact any mucous membrane on the body; this includes the moist lining of the mouth, where HSV manifests as cold sores. Genital herpes is most often transmitted through sexual contact, and so is commonly classified as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Like many STIs, HSV is highly contagious and can be spread by any direct contact with the affected areas.
Two types of HSV exist, type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). Genital herpes is caused by one of two strains of HSV, type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). Aciclovir will help to treat both strains of the virus.
If you begin to take Aciclovir as soon as symptoms appear, the outbreak will often disappear within one to two days. Recurrent outbreaks are usually preceded by a tingling or itching sensation. If you take Aciclovir as soon as you notice these signs, blisters may not occur at all. Aciclovir targets the enzyme that is necessary for the HSV to replicate and grow. By stopping further production of this enzyme, the virus cannot reproduce and create more blisters. This allows the immune system to fight the remaining virus and end the outbreak.
After taking Aciclovir, you should wait until the affected area has healed before resuming sexual activity. Once the virus has fully gone into remission, it will no longer be contagious. Aciclovir is the generic version of the brand Zovirax.
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Begin taking Aciclovir as soon as you notice symptoms of the herpes virus, which include visible blisters and a burning sensation. Each tablet is 400mg – take one tablet twice a day for five days, or for as long as is prescribed. If you are taking Aciclovir to prevent future recurrences of herpes, you will likely be prescribed two tablets per day for a period of up to three months.
Swallow each tablet whole with a sip of water.
HSV infections are contagious and can be spread even if you are taking Aciclovir. So, be sure to frequently wash your hands and do not allow the infected area to make contact with others.
Aciclovir can put stress on the kidneys, so ensure that you remain thoroughly hydrated while taking the tablets.
If you have forgotten to take a tablet, have it as soon as possible. Never double a dose to make up for
Not everyone will experience side effects when they take Aciclovir, however, if you do they may include:
Dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhoea, allergic reaction, rash, stomach pain, fatigue, fever, heightened sensitivity to light
If you are concerned about these effects, or if the product affects you in any other way, stop using it and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Reading the following warnings carefully will help to ensure you are selecting an appropriate product.
Before you take Aciclovir, inform your doctor of any kidney problems or nervous system abnormalities. Remaining fully hydrated while taking. Aciclovir will minimise the effect on the kidneys.
Inform your doctor of any medicines you are taking or intend to take, especially:
Please read all packaging and the Product Information Leaflet before taking any new medicine.
The active ingredient contained in Aciclovir tablets is:
Aciclovir tablets also contain the following inactive ingredients to make up the complete product:
Colloidal anhydrous silica, magnesium stearate, polyvidone, sodium starch glycollate, E172, E460.
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