Zovirax (Acyclovir)

Zovirax (Acyclovir)
Zovirax is an antiviral drug which is active in vitro against Herpes simplex (HSV) types I and II and Varicella zoster virus (VZV). Aciclovir triphosphate acts as an inhibitor of, and substrate for, the herpes specified DNA polymerase, preventing further viral DNA synthesis.
Active Ingredient: Acyclovir
Dosage Form: Tablet
Dosage: 200 mg; 500 mg; 1000 mg; 800 mg; 400 mg; 200 mg/5 mL; 50 mg/mL; 25 mg/mL; 50 mg
Minimum Market Price: 0.16

About 90% of global population is infected with herpes virus. Medical disorder in 80% of infected patients is asymptomatic. A person may not know about it and infects other people. Scientists identify 8 types of herpes virus. Despite the fact that most people are sure that the herpes virus is quite harmless, this is in fact completely wrong. Different variations of the herpes virus can affect almost the entire body and cause a number of very serious diseases.

Neglecting the treatment of herpes can lead to damage to the brain, heart, eyes. Herpes can be transmitted to the fetus in utero.
Effects of herpesvirus types 6, 7 and 8 were not fully studied.

Anything that weakens the immune system can lead to a relapse of the disease (for example, physical and mental stress, fatigue, colds).

Viruses can hit:

  • oral cavity (stomatitis, gingivitis);
  • visual tract (keratitis, iridocyclitis, chorioretinitis, optic neuritis, phlebothrombosis);
  • skin and mucous coats (herpes of the face, lips, genital herpes, etc.);
  • gastrointestinal tract (hepatitis, ileocolitis, proctitis);
  • lungs (bronchopneumonia);
  • ENT-organs (pharyngitis, herpetic angina, laryngitis, otitis, sudden deafness, vestibular disorders);
  • cardiovascular system (myocarditis, myocardiopathy, HSV is involved in the processes underlying atherosclerosis);
  • psycho-emotional sphere (depression, an aggravating effect of HSV on the course of senile dementia and schizophrenia);
  • female genital organs (genital herpes-colpitis, intrauterine device HSV infection: endometritis, amnionitis, chorionitis, metroendometritis, impaired fertility function);
  • male genital organs (genital herpes-prostatitis, urethritis, sperm infection);
  • lymphatic apparatus (HSV-lymphadenopathy);
  • cerebrospinal axis (encephalitis, sympathogangleoneuritis, nerve plexus lesion).

Antiviral drugs are effective in different cases of herpes. They quickly block the multiplication of the virus and make it to “fall asleep” for a while. Zovirax is one of these medicines. It quickly removes symptoms, facilitates the healing of ulcers, skin regeneration or mucous coats.

What is Zovirax?

Zovirax, also known as acyclovir, is an antiviral medication used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses. It is commonly used for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infections, shingles, and chickenpox.

How does Zovirax work?

Zovirax works by interfering with the replication of the herpes virus. It inhibits the viral DNA synthesis, preventing the virus from spreading and helping to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms.

What forms does Zovirax come in?

Zovirax is available in several forms, including oral tablets, capsules, liquid suspension, and topical cream or ointment. The form prescribed depends on the type and severity of the infection being treated.

What are the common side effects of Zovirax?

Common side effects of Zovirax include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and fatigue. When used topically, it may cause mild pain, burning, or itching at the application site.

Can Zovirax prevent the spread of herpes?

While Zovirax can help reduce the severity and frequency of herpes outbreaks, it does not cure the virus and cannot completely prevent the spread of herpes to others.

How should Zovirax be taken?

Zovirax should be taken according to the directions provided by your healthcare provider. The dosage and length of treatment depend on the specific condition being treated.

Can pregnant women take Zovirax?

Pregnant women should only take Zovirax if clearly needed, as it can pass into breast milk. It's important to discuss the risks and benefits with a healthcare provider.

Can Zovirax be used for cold sores?

Yes, Zovirax is effective in treating cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. The cream form is commonly used for this purpose.

Is it necessary to finish the entire course of Zovirax?

Yes, it is important to complete the full course of Zovirax as prescribed, even if symptoms improve before the medication is finished. Stopping early can result in a return or worsening of the infection.

How should Zovirax be stored?

Zovirax should be stored at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Keep the medication in its original container, and out of reach of children and pets.

Components and features

The active ingredient of the preparation is Acyclovir. Active substance integrates into the DNA of herpes and stops reproduction of the virus. The active ingredient is partially absorbed after oral exposure. The rest of the substance is discharged unchanged through the kidneys. The active substance has a high selectivity of action and low toxicity for humans.
People suffering from immunity disorders should not use this medicine for a long time. It is addictive and becomes useless in the future. In this case the doctor must decide how long a patient can apply the medicine.

History of the medicine

The active substance of the medicine (Acyclovir) was first synthesized in 1974 by Howard Scheffer, an employee of Wellcome Research Laboratories. This was one of the biggest global pharmaceutical companies, which held a lot of various researches and created several medicines, which are currently recognized in many countries of the world as on optimal solution to treat various disorders.
Among its products one will find some treatments for oncology, cardiac and vascular systems etc.

However, the glory of the inventor of the world's first antiviral drug stuck not to Howard Scheffer, but to another laboratory employee, Gertrude Bell Elion. Together with James Blake and other colleagues from the laboratory of Gertrude, Elion conducted a lot of clinical blind trials, covering 2 group of patients – reference and placebo every time. Several years of hard work produced an effective and needed result – the product, which has recently become a bestseller in its product category.

Release forms of the medicine

Intravenous injections

  • The treatment of medical conditions provoked by the herpesvirus includes a dosage of 5 mg/kg of the weight.
  • Persons with overweight are prescribed нthe same dosage as people with standard weight.
  • No-adverse-effect medicine dose should be increased to 10 mg/kg every 8 hours if the patient has zoster or herpetic encephalitis.
    Required condition is healthy internal organs, e.g. kidneys.
  • Zovirax is used after the operation for at least a month in the same dosage.
  • One dose to cure herpesvirus in infants who are breastfed should be 10 mg/kg.
  • Intravenous unit of the drug for children from 3 months to the teenage is calculated according to the weight of the person.

Acyclovir pills

This form of the medicine is taken when the cream would not help, and a doctor prescribes pills. The action of these tablets is stronger compared to ointment or cream. The medicine falls into the GI, the intestine, absorbs and kills majority of the harmful bacteria. The virus cannot leave the body but falls asleep (be aware that it is impossible to get rid of herpes completely).

  • Acyclovir pills have a white color. There are letters GXCL3 on it. The package contains 25 tablets. Each pill contains 200 mg of Acyclovir.
    They are designed to treat the virus of herpes simplex genitalia and labial herpes.
  • Daily dose is 1000 mg split into 5 intakes.
  • Active-treatment period can be 5- 10 days.
  • Patients with good immunity have to take 200 mg of active substance every 6 hours. That is 800 mg per day.
  • There are cases when zovirax pills yields better result at lower doses.
  • The single dosage for the treatment of chickenpox and zoster is normally 800 mg.
  • It is not more than 3200 mg/day which are divided into 4 parts.
  • Children over 2 years are given usual doses. Children up to 2 years are given a half of usual doses.
  • Oral administration has a systemic antivirus effect. In this case the active substance destroys pathogenic microorganisms inhabiting the cells of human systems and organs.

Eye ointment 3%

  • The ointment has a soft consistency. It is translucent and homogeneous.
  • It is recommended to use it according to the instructions for eliminating keratitis caused by herpes simplex.
  • The patient will have to give contact lenses up at the time of treatment if he wears them.
  • The period of validity after opening a tube is a month.

Zovirax cream or gel

  • These forms of the medicine are intended for external use only. It is used as an additional therapy to heal rashes appearing at the skin or mucous coats caused by HSV (intimate disorder, shingles).
  • Cream or gel is to be applied several times per day.
  • Apply the cream or gel before rashes become visible as soon as a characteristic itch in the genital area or on the lip occurs.
    It is to be performed for a period of 5 to 10 days.
  • Sexual intercourses are prohibited while you use the medicine.

Limitations and acyclovir side effects

The medicine may cause the following side effects:

  • headache;
  • vomiting,
  • anemia;
  • diarrhea;
  • skin itch, less often it is puffiness (replace the medicine with another one);
  • development of local inflammation and, consequently, necrosis (when medicine ingested under the skin). For this reason intramuscular injections are not practiced;
  • neurological disorders may appear if the medicine is administered intravenously;
  • burning and conjunctivitis may appear after using ointment for eyes.

Side effects pass after drug withdrawal or dose reduction.

Pregnancy and lactation

  • The medicine administration within the period of the pregnancy and lactation is undesirable.
  • The medicine is prescribed during the pregnancy if the benefits for the mother exceed the risk for the baby.
  • Zovirax manifests itself in breast milk.
  • Breasts can receive about 0.3 mg/kg of medication per day if the nursing mother takes the meds in the form of tablets.
  • Cream, gel or ointment is also not recommended during lactation.
  • If it is absolutely necessary to take this medicine temporarily transfer the baby to artificial feeding.

Patient's Reviews

James: Zovirax copes with my problem pretty good. The cream is thick and I apply it comfortably. I used it in a wrong way before. I started to smear herpes after he already showed up. Start as soon as you feel itching until the bubbles appear.

As soon as there are bubbles of herpes on the skin do not tamper with it and do not scratch it. It will only get worse. I smear such places on the body and I do it strictly several times a day. In 2 days the inflammation subsides and a crust is formed which can not be torn off. In a couple of days the crust will fall off itself and there will be a red speck that will quickly disappear. Do not apply ointment too often otherwise there will be a burn. By the way, if herpes showered a lot of places on your face or body try medicine in tablets. It treats the virus from the inside.

Ashley: I have such organism that the herpes appears very often and it was necessary to live a week or more with “beautiful” lips. Once the itching on the lip started (itched for two days) but the herpes has not appeared at that time yet. I decided to try Zovirax. It is produced in a small tube in which there is only 2 g of ointment, but it is enough actually. It helped me. The itch disappeared after 2 applications. I was very happy. I apply one or two times as soon as the itching appears and everything passes.

Candy: I'm ill with herpes since the childhood. I'm constantly on the lookout for a fast-acting remedy for this disease. I applied Gerpevir earlier. I was advised to buy Zovirax this time. I used this medication for a day. My lip was swollen in the morning. A lot of bubbles appeared on it. The itch was very strong. I do not recommend Zovirax to those who have long used the means in which the concentration of the active substance is greater than in this medicine. Most likely, your body, like mine, has become accustomed to a greater concentration and there will be no effect from Zovirax.

Jonathan: Herpes for me was a big disaster until I started using Zovirax. I have been using this medicine for more than three years. It works quickly and efficiently. I give a high score to this medicine.

Jim: I just do not know the better medicine. I tried many preparations including folk medicine. But everything is weak. Herpes, unfortunately, is a companion in my life. I do not know how to live without this medicine. The drug is always with me. By the way, it removes pre-herpes itching and the flaking of the lips very well.

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