Herpevir

By Medically reviewed by hellodoktor

Generic Name: Herpevir Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Herpevir® (acyclovir) used for?

Herpevir® is commonly used for treatment infections caused by herpes viruses, such as genital herpes, cold sores, shingles, and chicken pox. Acyclovir will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.

Acyclovir may also be used for purposes, ask your doctor for more information.

How should I take Herpevir® (acyclovir)?

Drink plenty of water while you are taking acyclovir to keep your kidneys working properly.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely treated.

How do I store Herpevir® (acyclovir)?

Herpevir® is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Herpevir® in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Herpevir® that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Herpevir® down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Herpevir® (acyclovir)?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to acyclovir.
  • You are allergic to milk proteins.

Treatment with acyclovir should be started as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms (such as tingling, burning, blisters).

Lesions caused by herpes viruses should be kept as clean and dry as possible. Wearing loose clothing may help to prevent irritation of the lesions.

Tell your doctor if you have any changes in weight. Acyclovir doses are based on weight (especially in children and teenagers), and any changes may affect the dose.

Herpes can be passed to your baby during childbirth if you have a genital lesion when your baby is born. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during pregnancy. Take your medicine as directed to best control your infection.

Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even while you are being treated. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Avoid touching an infected area and then touching your eyes. Wash your hands frequently to prevent passing the infection to others.

Taking this medicine will not prevent you from passing genital herpes to your sexual partner. Avoid sexual intercourse while you have active lesions or the first symptoms of an outbreak. Genital herpes may still be contagious through “viral shedding” from your skin, even if you have no symptoms.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using Herpevir® during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Herpevir®. Herpevir® is pregnancy risk category B, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Acyclovir passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing infant. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Side effectsMouth pain

What side effects can occur from Herpevir® (acyclovir)?

Common acyclovir side effects may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • General ill feeling
  • Headache
  • Mouth pain (while using an acyclovir buccal tablet)

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to acyclovir such as hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin
  • Signs of a kidney problem such as little or no urinating, painful or difficult urination
  • Swelling in your feet or ankles
  • Feeling tired or short of breath

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Herpevir® (acyclovir)?

Herpevir® may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Herpevir® (acyclovir)?

Herpevir® may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Herpevir® (acyclovir)?

Herpevir® may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

To make sure acyclovir is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • Kidney disease
  • A weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine)

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using Herpevir® (acyclovir).

What is the dose of Herpevir® (acyclovir) for an adult?

Genital herpes

Initial treatment is 200 mg orally q4hr while awake (5 times daily) for 10 days or 400 mg orally q8hr for 7-10 days.

Intermittent treatment for recurrence is 200 mg orally q4hr while awake (5 times daily) for 5 days; initiate at earliest sign or symptom of recurrence.

Chronic suppression for recurrence is 400 mg orally q12hr for up to 12 months; alternatively, 200 mg 3-5 times daily.

Herpes Simplex Virus Encephalitis

The recommended dose is 10-15 mg/kg IV q8hr for 10 days; up to 14-21 days reported.

In obese patients, use IBW.

Mucocutaneous Herpes Simplex Virus Infection

Treatment in immunocompromised patients

IV: The recommended dose is 5 mg/kg q8hr for 7 days; dosing up to 14 days reported.

In obese patients, use IBW.

PO (off-label): The recommended dose is 400 mg q4hr while awake (5 times daily) for 7 days.

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

Acute treatment: The recommended dose is 800 mg PO q4hr while awake (5 times daily) for 7-10 days.

Immunocompromised patients

  • The recommended dose is 10 mg/kg IV q8hr for 7 days.
  • In obese patients, use IBW.
  • CrCl 25-50 ml/min: Full recommended IV dose is q12hr.
  • CrCl 10-25 ml/min: Full recommended IV dose is once daily.
  • CrCl 0-10 ml/min: 50% of recommended IV dose is once daily.

Varicella Zoster (Chickenpox)

>40 kg (immunocompetent): The recommended dose is 800 mg orally q6hr for 5 days.

Immunocompromised patients: The recommended dose is 10-15 mg/kg IV q8hr for 7-10 days.

In obese patients, use IBW.

What is the dose of Herpevir® (acyclovir) for a child?

Neonatal Herpes Simplex Virus Infection

The recommended dose is 30 mg/kg/day IV divided q8hr for 14-21 days; alternatively, 20 mg/kg IV q8hr for 14-21 days.

In obese patients, use IBW.

Herpes Simplex Virus Encephalitis

3 months-12 years: The recommended dose is 20 mg/kg IV q8hr for 10 days; up to 14-21 days reported.

>12 years: The recommended dose is 10-15 mg/kg IV q8hr for 14-21 days.

In obese patients, use IBW.

Mucocutaneous Herpes Simplex Virus Infection

Treatment in immunocompromised patients

<12 years: The recommended dose is 10 mg/kg IV q8hr for 7 days.

>12 years: The recommended dose is 5-10 mg/kg/day IV divided q8hr for 5-7 days; up to 14 days reported.

In obese patients, use IBW.

Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

<12 years (immunocompromised): The recommended dose is 20 mg/kg IV q8hr for 7 days.

>12 years (immunocompetent): The recommended dose is 800 mg PO q4hr while awake (5 times daily) for 7-10 days

>12 years (immunocompromised): The recommended dose is 30 mg/kg/day IV divided q8hr for 7-10 days

In obese patients, use IBW.

Varicella Zoster (Chickenpox)

≥2 years and <40 kg: The recommended dose is 20 mg/kg/dose PO q6hr for 5 days; not to exceed 800 mg/dose.

>40 kg: The recommended dose is 800 mg PO q6hr for 5 days.

In obese patients, use IBW.

Immunocompromised patients

  • <12 years: The recommended dose is 20 mg/kg/dose IV q8hr for 7 days.
  • >12 years: The recommended dose is 10 mg/kg/dose IV q8hr for 7 days.

How is Herpevir® (acyclovir) available?

Herpevir® is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablets; Oral; Acyclovir 200 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Herpevir®, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: March 18, 2017 | Last Modified: September 12, 2019

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