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What Is Acyclovir?


Acyclovir is primarily used to treat infections caused by herpes viruses. Some of these viruses cause cold sores (herpes labialis), shingles (herpes zoster), chicken pox (varicella zoster) and genital infections (herpes simplex type I and Type II). Acyclovir works by the conversion of a herpes virus enzyme into a molecule that inhibits the synthesis of DNA molecules in infected cells, thereby inhibiting replication. Herpes infections are contagious even while being treated. The best way to avoid infecting others is by frequent washing of hands.

Acyclovir is most commonly available under the trade name Zovirax, and can be administered orally, topically, or intravenously.

Acyclovir is available in several forms - Capsules: 200 mg, Tablets: 400 mg, 800 mg, Cream: 5% in 2-g tube, Ointment: 5% in 15-g tube, Injection: 50 mg/ml, Powder for injection: 500 mg/vial, 1,000 mg/vial, Suspension: 200 mg/5 ml. Acyclovir capsules, tablets/pills and oral suspension may be taken with meals or on an empty stomach


200mg Oral; Indicated for the treatment of initial episode of genital herpes. Adults and children above 12: 200 mg 5 times a day for ten days. For children under 12, use and dosage is required to be permitted and supervised by their doctor. Intermittent therapy for prevention of recurrent genital herpes infections
Adults: 200 mg P.O. q 4 hours while awake (five times/day) for 5 days, initiated at first sign or symptom of recurrence or up to twelve months, depending on frequency of outbreaks. Children under 12 - use and dosage must be determined by a doctor.
400mg Oral; Used as treatment in chronic suppressive therapy for episodes of recurrent genital herpes. Dosage : 400 mg P.O. or 200 mg P.O. three to five times daily for up to 12 months.
800mg Oral; Used in the acute treatment of herpes zoster (shingles). Typical dosage for adults is 800 mg P.O. q 4 hours (five times/day) for 7 to 10 days.


Creams such as Zocovin are prescribed for topical use in ophthalmology in particular keratitis and other eye damage caused by the Herpes Simplex virus; for external use such as infections of the skin and mucous membranes, genital herpes (primary and recurrent); and in support therapy.

Vilerm cream belongs to the class of topical antivirals used in the treatment of dermatological diseases and as such is used in the treatment of herpes simplex and herpes zoster viral infections of the skin & mucous membranes including initial & recurrent episodes of herpes genitalis and herpes labialis infections. Dose and duration is local and external application 5 times a day for 5 days or as indicated by a doctor.

What Is Acyclovir Used For In Children?

Acyclovir represents a significant advance in the treatment of herpes viral infections and appears to be safe and well-tolerated in children.
For treatment of shingles: Children above 12; 800 mg five times a day for seven to ten days. Children below 12?Use and dose must be determined by the doctor.
For treatment of chickenpox: Children who weigh over 88 pounds (40 kilograms), 800 mg four times a day for five days. Children aged 2 and older and weighing 88 pounds (40 kilograms) or less. Therapeutic dosage is based on body weight and must be determined by the doctor. The usual dose is 20 mg per kilogram (kg) of body weight, up to 800 mg, four times a day for five days. Children up to 2 years of age. Use and dose must be determined by the doctor.
Used to treat the condition caused by recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores) - Adolescents above 12: The cream is to be applied on the critical area for four days at the rate of five applications daily.
Mucosal and cutaneous HSV-1 and HSV-2 in immune-compromised patients. Children above 12: 5 mg/kg I.V. infusion over 1 hour given q 8 hours for 7 days. Children below 12: 10 mg/kg I.V. infusion over 1 hour given q 8 hours for 7 days
Herpes simplex encephalitis- Children above 12: 10 mg/kg I.V. over 1 hour given q 8 hours for 10 days. Children between 3 and 12: 20 mg/kg I.V. over 1 hour given q 8 hours for 10 days. Children younger than 3: 10 mg/kg I.V. over 1 hour given q 8 hours for 10 days
Varicella zoster infections in immune-compromised patients - Adolescents above 12: 10 mg/kg I.V. over 1 hour given q 8 hours for 7 days. Children under 12: 20 mg/kg I.V. over 1 hour given q 8 hours for 7 days

Acyclovir (ACV), CAS number 59277-89-3 is a medicine used to treat infections caused by herpes viruses. As one of the most commonly used antiviral drug, Acyclovir is supposed to bring down the rate at which the herpes virus spreads in the body so the body can better combat the infection. Acyclovir can help lessen the intensity of the symptoms of herpes but it has not been known to put an end to the condition.


Acyclovir is made of a synthetic purine nucleoside analogue derived from guanine (originally found in guano or bird droppings and in fish such as sturgeon but also since synthesized). Along with adenine, cytosine and thymine, guanine is one of the four main nucleobases found in DNA and RNA.


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What Is Acyclovir?