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Last Updated on June 3, 2023

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The active ingredient Acyclovir is one of the best known and most widely used means against viral infections. He revolutionized the treatment of herpes virus infections, after it was patented 1979th Acyclovir has a good and selective activity. comes Severe Acyclovir side effects of the treatment are rare. Here you can read all you need to know to Acyclovir, Dosage and administration.

How Acyclovir works

Viruses consist only of a shell and her long, thread-like genetic material inside. They are therefore not able to reproduce autonomously. For multiplication they use so-called host cells (such as human cells), which are infected by them. Once they have penetrated the cells, they use the cell’s machinery to reproduce her heritage and its case. Herpes viruses such as the causative agent of cold sores (herpes simplex), chicken pox and (varicella zoster virus), take along an enzyme that ensures rapid multiplication of the virus genome. Thus, the herpes virus multiplied rapidly in the host organism.

The drug Acyclovir penetrates the infected cells is selectively activated by the viral enzyme and incorporated into the viral genome. Due to its chemical structure but no further component can then be appended to the filamentous virus genome – it comes to so-called “chain termination” of genetic propagation. The incomplete genetic material can not be enclosed with an envelope – it can therefore no new viruses emerge. Since the active ingredient will not be activated in uninfected cells, it comes during therapy rarely cause serious side effects Acyclovir.

Pharmacokinetics and metabolismof aciclovir

After absorption into the body the drug is almost completely excreted via the kidneys. About one tenth of them will advance to metabolizes a better water-soluble degradation product. After about three to five hours half of the drug is excreted.

When is Acyclovir used?

The drug Acyclovir is used against infections caused by herpes viruses. These include:

  • cold sores (herpes labialis)
  • Genital Herpes (genital herpes)
  • Shingles (Herpes Zoster)
  • neonatal herpes (herpes neonatorum)
  • inflammation of the brain due to a herpes infection (herpes encephalitis)
  • Herpes-related inflammation of the cornea of ​​the eye (herpes Keratinitis) orthe eyelid (blepharitis herpes)
  • chickenpox (varicella zoster infection) in patients with a weakened immune system, for example, HIV-infected
  • precaution

In addition, Acyclovir is used for prevention of herpes infections in patients with weakened immune systems, for example, before organ transplants or chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

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They are used in acute infections usually only a few days. For preventive use in recurrent herpes infections or vorerkrankten patients the therapy can also be carried out in the long term, sometimes up to twelve months.

How aciclovir is taken?

In the self-medication exclusively aciclovir cream is used for cold sores. At the first sign of a cold sore, the cream should be applied five times a day every four hours to the affected area, also in the “bubble phase”. Before and after applying the hands should be thoroughly washed to prevent further spread of infection. Alternatively, a cotton swab can be used. Treatment should be carried out until all the blisters are crusted or healed, what lasts four days on average. For longer course of disease, the cream can also be applied for longer, but a maximum of ten days.

The prescription therapy with aciclovir tablets are directed by the physician. The Acyclovir dosage ranges from twice to five times daily each 200 to 800 milligrams of the active ingredient.

In addition, available for the treatment of herpes-related eye infections, Acyclovir ointment and harder for the therapy, stationary-to-treat infections Acyclovir infusion solutions.

What are the side effects Acyclovir?

The Acyclovir side effects at a local treatment (such as the application of Acyclovir cream for cold sores) is very rare. When taking pills occur in one out of ten to one hundred patients treated.

Rare (one out of a thousand to ten thousand patients) also leads to allergic reactions and respiratory distress. When these occur, a doctor should be informed immediately.

What should I watch for while taking Acyclovir?

In other medications previously No clinically relevant interactions were found.

The active ingredient is largely excreted through the kidneys. Therefore needs in renal power (renal failure), as partially occurs in elderly patients, the dose should be adjusted accordingly by the doctor.

Since its launch no damage to the child have been documented in a large number of pregnant patients, when they have taken during pregnancy Acyclovir. Nevertheless, should be carefully weighed against each other before the start of application benefits and risks of treatment and assessed individually. The topical application of Acyclovir (about a cream for cold sores) is in the pregnancy without any problems.

Even during lactation may Acyclovir, if necessary, be applied – both externally (such as a cream for cold sores) and internally by doctor’s orders

How to get aciclovir

For self-medication of cold sores can be no prescription buy Acyclovir cream at the pharmacy. For all other areas of application and forms an accurate diagnosis the doctor must be done, which is why the drug is only available on prescription.

Since when Acyclovir is known?

The drug Acyclovir is a further development of antiviral substances, which have undergone a Caribbean sponge Cryptotethya crypta. The scientist Howard Schaffer the pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome made a major contribution to the development and was listed on the 1979 filed patent for Acyclovir as an inventor. The scientist Gertrude B. Elion researched with Howard at Burroughs Wellcome, and in 1988 awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine, among others because of their work on the drug Acyclovir .