Zovirax & Valtrex Treatments for Herpes


Risks, Side Effects and Interactions of Zovirax

Use with Concurrent Medicines:
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in many cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, changes in dose or other precautions may be necessary.

If you are taking Acyclovir it is especially important that your health care professional knows if you are taking any of the following:

  • Carmustine (e.g., BiCNU)
  • Cisplatin (e.g., Platinol)
  • Combination pain medicine containing acetaminophen and aspirin (e.g., Excedrin)
  • Other salicylates or Cyclosporine (e.g., Sandimmune)
  • Deferoxamine (e.g., Desferal - with long-term use)
  • Gold salts (medicine for arthritis)
  • Inflammation or pain medicine, except narcotics
  • Lithium (e.g., Lithane)
  • Methotrexate (Mexate)
  • Other medicine for infection
  • Penicillamine (e.g., Cuprimine)
  • Plicamycin (e.g., Mithracin)
  • Streptozocin (e.g., Zanosar)
  • Tiopronin (Thiola)

Concurrent use of these medicines with Acyclovir may increase the chance for side effects, especially when kidney disease is present.

Other Medical Problems:
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of Acyclovir.

Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Dehydration or Kidney disease.
    Dehydration or kidney disease may increase blood levels of Acyclovir, increasing the chance of side effects.

Other side effects have been:

  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of skin
  • Changes in facial skin color
  • Changes in vision
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions (seizures)
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing
  • Dizziness or feeling faint, severe
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Muscle cramps, pain, or weakness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
  • Sense of agitation or uneasiness
  • Skin rash, itching, or hives
  • Sore throat, fever, or chills
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots in mouth or on lips
  • Swelling of eyelids, face, feet, hands, lower legs or lips
  • Swollen, painful, or tender lymph nodes (glands) in neck, armpit, or groin

If any of these side effects become present, see your Doctor as soon as possible.


In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make.

For Acyclovir, the following should be considered.

Acyclovir has been used in pregnant women and has not been reported to cause birth defects or other problems. However, studies have not been done in humans. Studies in rabbits have shown that Acyclovir given by injection may keep the fetus from becoming attached to the lining of the uterus (womb). However, Acyclovir has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in mice given higher doses than the usual human dose, or in rats or rabbits given several times the usual human dose.

Breast Feeding:
Acyclovir passes into breast milk. However, it has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

A limited number of studies have been done using oral Acyclovir in children, and it has not caused different effects or problems in children than it does in adults.

Older adults:
Acyclovir has been used in the elderly and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults. However, some of the side effects involving the central nervous system, for example, agitation, confusion, dizziness, and drowsiness, may be more severe in older adults.

If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

The areas affected by herpes, chickenpox, or shingles should be kept as clean and dry as possible. Also, wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid irritating the sores.

It is important to remember that Acyclovir will not keep you from spreading herpes to others.

Herpes infection of the genitals can be caught from or spread to your partner during any sexual activity. Even though you may get herpes if your partner has no symptoms, the infection is more likely to be spread if sores are present. This is true until the sores are completely healed and the scabs have fallen off. Therefore, it is best to avoid any sexual activity if either you or your sexual partner has any symptoms of herpes. The use of a latex condom may help prevent the spread of herpes. However, spermicidal (sperm-killing) jelly or a diaphragm will not help.

Please consult your doctor for your specific dosage or if you have any questions or concerns.

NOTE: The above information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist, or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that the use of the product is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before taking the product


This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure disease.
Please consult a licensed health care provider regarding your medical condition.
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