How To Use Acyclovir Cream
Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
Use this medication at the first sign of infection . Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying this medication. Clean and dry the affected areas before applying the medication. Apply to the affected area and rub in gently, usually 5 times a day for 4 days for cold sores, or as directed by your doctor. Apply enough cream to cover all affected areas .
Dosage is based on your medical condition, type of infection, and response to treatment. Do not use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. This medication works best when the amount of drug absorbed by the skin stays at a constant level. Therefore, use this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.
To prevent washing off the medication, do not bathe, shower, or swim right after applying it.
If applying to genital herpes sores, use a finger cot or rubber gloves to avoid spreading the infection.
Do not apply other skin products unless told to do so by your doctor. Do not cover the area with plastic or waterproof bandages unless told to do so by your doctor.
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Topical Genital Herpes Treatment Using Acyclovir Ointment
One of the drugs most widely used to fight genital herpes is Acyclovir. It has antiviral functions that stop the reproduction of the virus and it is available in varied forms: tablets, injections, creams and ointments. Tablets and injections are used for the internal treatment of herpes and the creams and ointments for external treatment. Acyclovir cream is contraindicated for the treatment of herpes genitalis in this case, the application of the ointment is recommended.
Many people ignore the differences between cream and ointment. Which are the differences between these mixtures?
At 77 Fahrenheit degrees the pharmaceutical forms are divided in liquid forms, solid forms and semisolid forms. The ointments and creams are semisolid forms that differ in their content of water. Ointments dont contain water or they contain it in minimum quantity. The creams contain more water than the ointments their content of water sometimes overcomes 50%.
Acyclovir Ointment heads the topical genital herpes medication it should be applied in the areas affected by genital herpes three times a day for seven days. It is more effective if we begin its use when an outbreak is beginning. You can apply this ointment in the genital organs and in their near areas.
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Genital Herpes Hiv And Sexual Health
Genital herpes is one of the most common co-infections for people living with HIV and can be a more serious condition if youre HIV positive meaning that outbreaks may last longer and blisters can be more severe. If youre having recurrent outbreaks of genital herpes, you should have an HIV test, as this may be a sign of a weakened immune system caused by HIV.
Having an STI such as genital herpes can increase your risk of getting and passing on HIV, as the blisters and sores provide an easy way for HIV to get into your body and cause an infection. People living with HIV who arent on treatment or who have a lower CD4 count are especially vulnerable to other infections, like herpes.
If youre taking antiretroviral treatment for HIV, its important to discuss with your doctor how treatment for herpes may interact with your HIV drugs.
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When Is Preventive Treatment Considered
Some people have outbreaks of genital herpes very often or experience especially severe symptoms. Then it may be a good idea to take antiviral medication for a longer time including during symptom-free phases. The goal is to prevent further outbreaks and to keep the symptoms from becoming so severe. Also, the antiviral medication reduces the likelihood of infecting others. As preventive treatment, the WHO recommends the following:
- aciclovir: 400 mg two times per day,
- famciclovir: 250 mg two times per day or
- valaciclovir: 500 mg once per day.
Research shows that preventive treatment can considerably lower the risk of further outbreaks. The people participating had four or more herpes outbreaks per year before the start of the studies, and then took an antiviral medication or a fake treatment for up to one year. A comprehensive analysis of the study results shows that
- 96 out of 100 people who took a placebo had at least one further outbreak of genital herpes.
- 46 out of 100 people who were given antiviral medication had at least one further outbreak of genital herpes.
In other words, the medication prevented further outbreaks in 50 out of 100 people within one year.
People with very frequent herpes outbreaks also benefited from preventive treatment: In one study involving people with very frequent outbreaks, the medication lowered the number of episodes in one year from 11 to 2.
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Types Of Genital Herpes Treatments
Treatments for genital herpes, according to the origin of the used remedies, can be divided into two big groups. To the first group belong the treatments that are based on the use of chemical drugs, to the second group, methods that use alternative procedures.
Genital herpes treatments can also be divided into internal, external or topical, and combined, according to their area of application. Internal treatments are those that are applied to the entire organism and they rely on taking tablets or the use of injections. External or topical treatments are those in which the remedy is applied only on the skin, while the combined treatments include procedures of both types.
Genital herpes is more difficult to treat externally than cold sores and other types of herpes that attack the upper part of the body. This is because the genital organs are more delicate than the lips and other organs where the virus tends to attack. For this reason we must be very careful when it comes to fight herpes genitalis with topical treatments.
What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture .
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
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When You Must Not Take Them
- Do not take Valtrex tablets if you have ever had an allergic reaction to valaciclovir, aciclovir or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
- Symptoms of an allergic reaction may be mild or severe. They usually include some or all of the following: wheezing, swelling of the lips/mouth, difficulty in breathing, hay fever, lumpy rash or fainting.
- Do not take Valtrex tablets if you are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or breast-feeding, unless your doctor says you should.
- Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of using Valtrex tablets when pregnant and during breast-feeding.
- Do not take Valtrex tablets after the expiry date printed on the pack.
- If you take it after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.
- Do not take Valtrex tablets if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
- If you are not sure whether you should be taking Valtrex, talk to your doctor.
Treatment For Genital Herpes
There are three antiviral medications that are FDA-approved for the treatment of genital herpes:
- Acyclovir: The oldest antiviral medication for herpes is acyclovir. It has been available since 1982 in a topical form and sold since 1985 in pill form. Acyclovir has been shown to be safe in persons who have used it continuously for as long as 10 years.
- Valacyclovir: A newer drug, valacyclovir, actually uses acyclovir as its active ingredient. This medication delivers acyclovir more efficiently so that the body absorbs much of the drug, which has the advantage of taking the medication fewer times during the day.
- Famciclovir: Famciclovir uses penciclovir as its active ingredient to stop HSV from replicating. Like valacyclovir, it is well absorbed, persists for a longer time in the body, and can be taken less frequently than acyclovir.
Antiviral medication is commonly prescribed for patients having a first episode of genital herpes, but they can be used for recurrent episodes as well. There are two kinds of treatment regimens: episodic therapy and suppressive therapy.
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Avoid The Following While You Are Using Acyclovir Buccal Delayed
- Do not chew gum, touch, or press the buccal tablet after it has been applied.
- Do not wear upper dentures.
- Do not brush your teeth until it dissolves. If your teeth need to be cleaned while the tablet is in place, rinse the mouth gently.
Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
Your symptoms should improve during your treatment with acyclovir. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
Take or use acyclovir until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop taking acyclovir too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated or may become more difficult to treat. The delayed-release buccal tablet is applied as a one-time dose.
Find A Doctor You Feel Comfortable With
While some doctors have a special interest in sexual health, others may not be familiar with, or comfortable discussing, these issues. Finding a doctor with whom you can openly and comfortably discuss these issues is important. There are doctors who specialise in this area: some are in private clinics, while others belong to sexual health services. There are also sexual health services in country areas. All sexual health services are strictly confidential.
Talk to your doctor if you are feeling worried about the impact of genital herpes on your sex life, relationship or future relationships. Your doctor can give you advice on how to discuss sexually transmitted infections with your partner, and can recommend support groups.
1. Genital ulcer disease . In: eTG complete. Melbourne: Therapeutic Guidelines Limited 2016 Jul.http://online.tg.org.au/complete/ .2. BMJ Group. Patient information from the BMJ Group: Genital herpes . http://bestpractice.bmj.com/best-practice/pdf/patient-summaries/532420.pdf 3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Genital herpes CDC fact sheet . http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/stdfact-herpes.htm .4. Australian STI Management Guidelines for use in primary care. Herpes . http://www.sti.guidelines.org.au/sexually-transmissible-infections/herpes .
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Acyclovir May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:
- upset stomach
- numbness, burning, or tingling in the arms or legs
- temporary inability to move parts of your body
- shaking of a part of your body that you cannot control
- loss of consciousness
Acyclovir may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking or using this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
How To Cope With Side Effects
What to do about:
- headaches make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Paracetamol is safe to take with aciclovir if you need a painkiller. Speak to your doctor if this does not help or your headaches are severe.
- feeling dizzy if aciclovir makes you feel dizzy, stop what youre doing and sit or lie down until you feel better. Do not drive, ride a bike, or use tools or machinery if you feel dizzy.
- feeling or being sick stick to simple meals and do not eat rich or spicy food. It might help to take your medicine after you have eaten. If youre being sick, try small, frequent sips of water to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee.
- diarrhoea drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash, to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhoea without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.
- skin being sensitive to sunlight stay out of bright sun and use a high factor sun cream even on cloudy days. Do not use a sun lamp or sun beds.
- burning or stinging feeling after applying the cream this usually goes away after a short time. Ask a pharmacist or your doctor for advice if it continues to be a problem.
- itchy, dry or flaking skin try using an unscented moisturiser. Do not apply the moisturiser at the same time as your aciclovir cream.
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Treatment The First Time You Have Genital Herpes
You may be prescribed:
- antiviral medicine to stop the symptoms getting worse you need to start taking this within 5 days of the symptoms appearing
- cream for the pain
If you have had symptoms for more than 5 days before you go to a sexual health clinic, you can still get tested to find out the cause.
Can I Use Femiclear Products If Im Trying To Conceive Am Pregnant Or Am Breastfeeding
Its important to talk with your doctor or health care provider before using any new product while pregnant/breastfeeding. They know you best, and can provide guidance on whether or not certain ingredients could interfere with medications you already take, or are safe for pregnancy and/or breastfeeding.
As a friendly reminder, its ALWAYS important to talk to your doctor or health care provider before taking any new OTC medication or supplement if you are pregnant and/or breastfeeding.
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Talk With Your Doctor About Herpes Medications
Its important to first talk with your doctor before using over-the-counter products like docosanol or other home remedies.
If this is the first time you have symptoms of HSV with blisters or sores, your doctor will first diagnose if you have HSV, the type and discuss options to manage your condition. They will tell you about prescription and nonprescription alternatives to treat your HSV infection.
Tell your doctor if you have any serious health conditions including if you have a weakened immune system.
Your doctor will also tell you what you can expect with an HSV infection, how long it may last, and what do to prevent spreading HSV to others while you have an active infection.
Here are answers to a few commonly asked questions about herpes simplex virus.
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Are There Side Effects From Treating Genital Herpes With Antiviral Drugs
Antiviral drugs are very well-tolerated by most people because they target the virus, not healthy cells. Side effects are rare. Specialist guidelines state that regular kidney function tests for people taking aciclovir long-term are no longer required. The drug has now been used for without problem for over thirty years treating genital herpes. It can be used in pregnancy, indeed it is even recommended that women take it from week 36. See our pregnancy page.
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When Treatments For Genital Herpes Are Given
- Initial treatment. If you have symptoms such as sores when you’re first diagnosed with genital herpes, your doctor will usually give you a brief course of antiviral therapy to relieve them or prevent them from getting worse. Your doctor may keep you on the drugs longer if the sores don’t heal in that time.
After the first treatment, work with your doctor to come up with the best way to take antiviral therapies. There are two options:
- Intermittent treatment. Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug for you to keep on hand in case you have another flare-up this is called intermittent therapy. You can take the pills for two to five days as soon as you notice sores or when you feel an outbreak coming on. Sores will heal and disappear on their own, but taking the drugs can make the symptoms less severe and make them go away faster.
- Suppressive treatment. If you have outbreaks often, you may want to consider taking an antiviral drug every day. Doctors call this suppressive therapy. For someone who has more than six outbreaks a year, suppressive therapy can reduce the number of outbreaks by 70% to 80%. Many people who take the antiviral drugs daily have no outbreaks at all.
There is no set number of outbreaks per year that doctors use to decide when someone should start suppressive therapy. Rather, more important factors are how often the outbreaks happen and if they are severe enough to interfere with your life.