Acyclovir (Zovirax)

Acyclovir is a synthetic analogue of purine nucleosides. After entering viral thymidine kinase-containing cells, acyclovir is phosphorylated and converted to acyclovir monophosphate, which is converted to diphosphate under the influence of cell guanylate kinase and then to triphosphate under the influence of several cellular enzymes.


Acyclovir is taken during or immediately after a meal and washed down with enough water. The dosage regimen is set individually depending on the severity of the disease.
The recommended dose is 200 mg 4 times / day (every 6 hours) or 400 mg 2 times / day (every 12 hours). In some cases, lower doses are effective – 200 mg 3 times / day (every 8 hours) or 2 times / day (every 12 hours).

Acyclovir side effects

From the digestive system: often – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; very rarely – hepatitis, jaundice, in isolated cases – abdominal pain.

From the hemopoietic system: rarely – a transient slight increase in the activity of liver enzymes, a slight increase in the concentration of urea and creatinine, hyperbilirubinemia; very rarely – leukopenia, erythropenia, anemia, thrombocytopenia.

From the side of the central nervous system: often – headache, dizziness; very rarely – agitation, confusion, tremors, ataxia, dysarthria, hallucinations, psychotic symptoms, cramps, drowsiness, encephalopathy, coma.

From the respiratory system: rarely – shortness of breath.

Allergic reactions: anaphylactic reactions, skin rash, itching, urticaria.

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