Zovirax

DRUG DESCRIPTION

ZOVIRAX is the brand name for acyclovir, a synthetic nucleoside analogue active against herpesviruses. ZOVIRAX (acyclovir) Capsules, Tablets, and Suspension are formulations for oral administration. Each capsule of ZOVIRAX contains 200 mg of acyclovir and the inactive ingredients corn starch, lactose, magnesium stearate, and sodium lauryl sulfate. The capsule shell consists of gelatin, FD&C Blue No. 2, and titanium dioxide. May contain one or more parabens. Printed with edible black ink.

Each 800-mg tablet of ZOVIRAX contains 800 mg of acyclovir and the inactive ingredients FD&C Blue No. 2, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, and sodium starch glycolate.

Each 400-mg tablet of ZOVIRAX contains 400 mg of acyclovir and the inactive ingredients magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, and sodium starch glycolate. Each teaspoonful (5 mL) of ZOVIRAX Suspension contains 200 mg of acyclovir and the inactive ingredients methylparaben 0.1% and propylparaben 0.02% (added as preservatives), carboxymethylcellulose sodium, flavor, glycerin, microcrystalline cellulose, and sorbitol.

Acyclovir is a white, crystalline powder with the molecular formula C8H11N5O3 and a molecular weight of 225. The maximum solubility in water at 37°C is 2.5 mg/mL. The pka's of acyclovir are 2.27 and 9.25.

The chemical name of acyclovir is 2-amino-1,9-dihydro-9-[(2-hydroxyethoxy)methyl]-6H-purin-6-one; it has the following structural formula:

ZOVIRAX®(acyclovir) Capsules Structural Formula Illustration

What are the possible side effects of acyclovir (Zovirax)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • pain in your lower back;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • easy bruising or bleeding; or
  • unusual weakness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach pain;
  • ...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Zovirax »

What are the precautions when taking acyclovir (Zovirax)?

Before taking acyclovir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to valacyclovir; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems, conditions related to a weakened immune system (such as HIV disease, bone marrow transplant, kidney transplant).

This drug may rarely make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication...

Read All Potential Precautions of Zovirax »


Zovirax Consumer (continued)

SIDE EFFECTS: Nausea may occur. If nausea persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

Tell your doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: dizziness, drowsiness, signs of kidney problems (such as a change in the amount of urine, unusual back/side pain), mental/mood changes (such as agitation, confusion, hallucinations), shaky/unsteady movement, trouble speaking.

This medication may rarely cause a life-threatening disorder that affects the blood cells, kidneys, and other parts of the body. This disorder is more likely to occur if you have conditions related to a weakened immune system (such as HIV disease, bone marrow transplant, kidney transplant). Seek immediate medical attention if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: extreme tiredness, slow/fast/irregular heartbeat, easy bruising/bleeding, new fever, bloody/dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, sudden vision changes, loss of consciousness, seizures.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

PRECAUTIONS: Before taking acyclovir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to valacyclovir; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney problems, conditions related to a weakened immune system (such as HIV disease, bone marrow transplant, kidney transplant).

This drug may rarely make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of the drug, especially kidney problems (change in the amount of urine, back/side pain), dizziness, drowsiness, and mental/mood changes (such as confusion, hallucinations, loss of consciousness).

Acyclovir does not protect against the spread of genital herpes. To lower the chance of giving herpes to your partner, do not have sexual contact during an outbreak or if you have symptoms. You can spread genital herpes even if you do not have symptoms. Therefore, always use an effective barrier method (latex or polyurethane condoms/dental dams) during all sexual activity. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

This medication passes into breast milk. However, this drug is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


Zovirax Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Zovirax

Generic Name: acyclovir (oral) (Pronunciation: a SYE klo veer)

  • What is acyclovir (Zovirax)?
  • What are the possible side effects of acyclovir (Zovirax)?
  • What is the most important information I should know about acyclovir (Zovirax)?
  • What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking acyclovir (Zovirax)?
  • How should I take acyclovir (Zovirax)?
  • What happens if I miss a dose (Zovirax)?
  • What happens if I overdose (Zovirax)?
  • What should I avoid while taking acyclovir (Zovirax)?
  • What other drugs will affect acyclovir (Zovirax)?
  • Where can I get more information?

What is acyclovir (Zovirax)?

Acyclovir is an antiviral drug. It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. Acyclovir will not cure herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of the infection.

Acyclovir is used to treat infections caused by herpes viruses. Illnesses caused by herpes viruses include genital herpes, cold sores, shingles, and chicken pox.

Acyclovir may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of acyclovir (Zovirax)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:

  • pain in your lower back;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • easy bruising or bleeding; or
  • unusual weakness.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach pain;
  • headache, feeling light-headed; or
  • swelling in your hands or feet.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about acyclovir (Zovirax)?

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated.

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

Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even while you are being treated with acyclovir. 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.

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