Acyclovir Shingles Treatment

acyclovir shingles treatment

Acyclovir is an antiviral drug that treats infections caused by certain types of viruses, including the shingles virus. Although acyclovir cannot cure shingles (there is no cure for shingles), it can help ease the pain experienced by shingles. Acyclovir works by reducing the severity and length of a shingles outbreak. It works to heal sores faster, stop new sores from forming, and decrease the pain and itching caused by sores. For those with a weakened immune system, acyclovir can also decrease the risk of the shingles virus spreading to other parts of the body not yet affected.

Acyclovir is an oral medication that can be taken with or without food. It is usually taken 2-5 times a day, but your doctor will discuss with you the best treatment course for you. When taking acyclovir, you should drink plenty of fluids (unless otherwise directed by a doctor).

In some cases, acyclovir comes in liquid form. The bottle needs to be shaken well before each dose. It then needs to be measured out carefully with a special measuring device/spoon (not a household spoon).

Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dosage for you based on your medical condition and response to the treatment.

You will need to take acyclovir at evenly spaced intervals throughout the day to ensure that the amount in your body remains at a constant level. Taking acyclovir at the same time every day will help to regulate this.

Acyclovir needs to be taken until your entire prescribed amount is finished. Do not change dosages, skip doses, or stop using it early.

Potential side effects include:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • headaches
  • vomiting

More serious side effects may include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • signs of kidney problems, such as a change in the amount of urine or unusual back/side pain
  • mental/mood changes, such as agitation, confusion, and hallucinations
  • shaky/unsteady movement
  • trouble speaking

Seek medical help immediately if you experience any of these side effects.

Featured image: lbrfzhjpf via DepositPhotos

Posted on May 5, 2023