The Independent Pharmacy

Aciclovir Dosage: What Dose Should You Be Taking?

Andy Boysan
Andy BoysanBPharmDirector & Superintendent Pharmacist

Reviewed on 24 May 2024

Aciclovir is an antiviral medication that can be used to prevent or treat infections from the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which includes genital herpes and cold sores. It can also be used to treat infections like chickenpox and shingles which are caused by viruses that belong to the same family.

However, Aciclovir can come in a range of dosages so the correct dose for you will depend on the condition you’re treating, as well as if it’s an initial infection or a recurrence.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the different Aciclovir dose amounts available and what they are used for so that you can get a quick overview of which is the right dosage for you.

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Why it’s important to get the Aciclovir dose right

Using the wrong Aciclovir dose for whatever reason is not recommended.

You should always take this medicine — and any other — exactly as your doctor or pharmacist tells you, or follow the directions on the patient information leaflet as advised.

Taking Aciclovir doses that are too high for your condition or the infection that you’re trying to treat may result in an increased chance of Aciclovir side effects or an adverse reaction to the medication. It also won’t help to speed up your treatment and get rid of infections quicker.

Taking too much Aciclovir by accident is unlikely to harm you unless you take too much over several days — so it is highly recommended that you do not do this.

Conversely, taking an Aciclovir dose that is too low may mean that you’re not getting a strong enough dosage to effectively treat your infections. If you’re taking this medication to prevent flare-ups of your infection, then a certain level needs to be maintained in your body at all times. Otherwise, it may not work as well, or stop working completely.

If you're worried that you have taken too much Aciclovir or you’re not sure exactly which dosage you should be on, you should speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

What’s the difference between the different Aciclovir dosages?

There are multiple different Aciclovir dosages that are used to treat a range of infections and conditions. You can find out more about what this prescription treatment can do on our ‘What Is Aciclovir Used For?’ page.

There are three main Aciclovir doses that are available in tablet or capsule form: 200mg, 400mg and 800mg.

There are also other different forms of Aciclovir: creams, oral suspension (a liquid that you drink), or injection. Injections are usually only done in a hospital.

Here at The Independent Pharmacy, we offer Aciclovir 400mg tablets. These can be used to treat an outbreak treatment or as ongoing suppression treatment for genital herpes.

Below you can find some more information about the different Aciclovir dosages available:

Aciclovir 200mg

Aciclovir 200mg is the weakest dose of Aciclovir that is available in tablet or capsule form. It can be used for a number of different things.

If you have contracted genital herpes and you have never had it before, you may be prescribed an initial Aciclovir dosage of 200 mg. You will probably be advised to take this treatment every four hours (five times a day) for 10 days.

You may also be prescribed this dosage if you are suffering from a flare-up of the infection. In this case, you will probably be advised to take 200 mg every four hours (five times per day) for five days. This is also the dose that is generally used to treat cold sores.

Aciclovir 400mg

The Aciclovir 400 mg dosage is the version that we offer at The Independent Pharmacy. You can buy Aciclovir tablets here after completing a short online consultation.

This is the typical Aciclovir dosage for the prevention of recurrent herpes. You should start taking Aciclovir tablets as soon as you notice symptoms of the herpes virus, which include blisters and a burning sensation.

For recurring herpes, you should take one 400mg tablet three times 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 probably be prescribed two 400mg tablets per day for a period of three to six months.

Your doctor will decide how long you should take Aciclovir to avoid a flare-up of the infection.

Aciclovir 800mg

Aciclovir 800 mg can be used to treat a number of viral infections, including shingles and chickenpox.

A typical shingles dosage will be 800 mg of Aciclovir every 4 hours, five times per day for seven to ten days.

A typical chickenpox dosage of Aciclovir will be 800 mg four times per day for five days. It is best to start taking Aciclovir as soon as your first signs of chickenpox appear; it may not be effective if your treatment is started more than 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.

How many Aciclovir tablets should I take?

The number of Aciclovir tablets you should take will vary, depending on the strength of the tablets and what you’re using them for.

At The Independent Pharmacy, we offer the Aciclovir 400 mg dosage, which is used to treat recurring flare-ups of herpes.

If you are using this drug for this purpose, then you will probably be told to take one 400 mg tablet three times a day for five days, or for as long as is prescribed.

If you are taking it to prevent future recurrences, you will probably have to take two tablets a day for approximately three to six months.

Your doctor will be able to advise you further.


Aciclovir is a prescription-only antiviral medication that is used to prevent or treat infections from the herpes simplex virus (HSV).

The medication usually comes in the form of tablets, which are available in three Aciclovir doses: 200mg, 400mg and 800mg.

It’s always important to take your medication exactly as your doctor or pharmacist recommends to avoid any negative side effects and to ensure that you are treating your condition as effectively as possible.

Failure to take the right Aciclovir dose may result in an increased risk of adverse side effects, or that the medication may not work as well to treat your infections (or not work at all).

At The Independent Pharmacy, we offer the Aciclovir 400 mg dosage. If you think that this may be the right treatment for you, you can buy Aciclovir here — you just need to complete a short online consultation first.

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