Acyclovir is an antiviral agent that is active against herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2, shingles virus (Varicella zoster), Epstein-Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus.
Synthetic analog of acyclic purine nucleoside, which has a highly selective effect on herpes viruses. Inside virus-infected cells, under the action of viral thymidine kinase, a series of successive reactions of transformation of acyclovir into mono-, di-, and acyclovir triphosphate take place. Acyclovir triphosphate is incorporated into the viral DNA chain and blocks its synthesis through competitive inhibition of viral DNA polymerase.
In vitro, acyclovir is effective against herpes simplex virus – Herpes simplex type I and II, against Varicella zoster virus. Higher concentrations are required to inhibit Epstein-Barr virus.
In vivo acyclovir is therapeutically and prophylactically effective primarily for viral infections caused by Herpes simplex.
When herpes prevents the formation of new elements of the rash, reduces the likelihood of skin dissemination and visceral complications, accelerates the formation of crusts, reduces pain in the acute phase of herpes zoster. It has an immunostimulating effect.
Indications for use
What helps acyclovir? According to the instructions, the drug is prescribed in the following cases:
- Herpetic infections of the skin caused by herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 types;
- Herpes of the genital tract;
- Herpetic eruptions on the skin and mucous membranes of the oral cavity in patients with severe immunodeficiency;
- Shingles in the complex therapy.
Instructions for use Acyclovir, dosage tablets
Tablets are taken orally during a meal or immediately after a meal. The drug is recommended to drink plenty of fluids. The dosage of the drug and the duration of the course of therapy are determined by the doctor on the basis of blood tests and the clinical picture of the disease.
For the treatment of herpes simplex mucous membranes and skin – 1 tablet Acyclovir 200 mg \ 4 to 5 times a day, at regular intervals. According to the instructions for use, the duration of coursework from 5 to 10 days.
As part of complex therapy for severe immunodeficiency, including with a developed clinical picture of HIV infection (including the early clinical manifestations of HIV infection and the AIDS stage), after bone marrow implantation, 400 mg is administered 5 times a day.
For the prevention of recurrence of infections caused by Herpes simplex type I and II viruses, 200 mg / 4 times a day every 6 hours is prescribed to patients with a normal immune status and with a relapse of the disease.
For the prevention of infections caused by Herpes simplex type I and II viruses, adults and children over 3 years old with immunodeficiency, Acyclovir is recommended to be prescribed 200 mg \ 4 times a day every 6 hours, the maximum dose – up to 400 mg of acyclovir 5 times a day depending on the severity of the infection.
In the treatment of infections caused by Varicella zoster, adults are prescribed 800 mg / 5 times a day every 4 hours during the day and with an 8-hour interval for the night. Duration of treatment is 7-10 days. Children over 3 years old are prescribed 20 mg / kg 4 times a day for 5 days, children weighing more than 40 kg are prescribed the drug in the same dosage as adults.
In the treatment of infections caused by Herpes zoster, the instructions for use recommend the dosage of Acyclovir – 800 mg / 4 times a day every 6 hours for 5 days.
With chickenpox Acyclovir, children up to 2 years old are prescribed at a dose of 200 mg, from 2 to 6 years old – 400 mg, over 6 years old – 800 mg 4 times a day for 5 days (on average, 20 mg / kg body weight per reception but not more than 800 mg).
Prolonged use of Acyclovir or repeated courses in patients with reduced immunity can lead to the emergence of virus strains that are not sensitive to the action of the drug.
In case of oral administration of the drug in high doses, you need to monitor the flow of sufficient amount of fluid into the body.
The use of the drug does not prevent the transmission of herpes through sexual intercourse, so during therapy, even in the absence of clinical manifestations, you should refrain from sexual intercourse.
The instruction warns about the possibility of the development of the following side effects in the appointment of acyclovir tablets:
- From the side of the central nervous system – headache, dizziness, convulsions, hand tremor, depression of consciousness or, conversely, mental and emotional over-stimulation, drowsiness, apathy to what is happening, indisposition and general weakness;
- On the part of the cardiovascular system – increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure, shortness of breath;
- On the part of the urinary organs – the development of acute renal failure in the use of the drug in high doses;
- Oral administration: nausea, diarrhea, abdominal tenderness, vomiting, fatigue, skin rash, headaches, dizziness, hallucinations, insomnia or drowsiness, fever. Rarely observed hair loss and changes in the blood picture.
It is contraindicated to appoint Acyclovir in the following cases:
- lactase deficiency, lactose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption (for the dosage form, which includes lactose monohydrate as an auxiliary component);
- age up to 3 years;
- lactation period.
Prescribe under medical supervision:
- neurological disorders / reactions to cytotoxic drugs (including aggravated history);
- impaired renal function;
- the use of large doses of acyclovir, especially on the background of dehydration;
- elderly age;
Overdose symptoms – neurological disorders, headache, shortness of breath, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, kidney dysfunction, convulsions, coma.
Required hospital treatment.
Analogs Acyclovir, price in pharmacies
If necessary, you can replace Acyclovir with an analogue for the active substance – these are drugs:
Choosing analogues it is important to understand that the instructions for use of Acyclovir tablets, price and reviews, do not apply to drugs of similar action. It is important to consult a doctor and not to make an independent replacement of the drug.
Price in Russian pharmacies: Acyclovir tablets 200 mg, 20 pcs. – from 26 rubles, the cost of Acyclovir-Akrihin tablets 400 mg, 20 pcs. – from 260 rubles, according to 491 pharmacies.
Keep out of the reach of children at a temperature not exceeding 25 ° C. Shelf life – 2 years.