Wednesday, October 5, 2022

How Do Herpes Antivirals Work

Aciclovir Tablets And Liquid

Mayo Clinic Q& A podcast: How do antiviral drugs work?

Doses will vary, depending on why youre taking aciclovir. Your doctor will tell you how much to take and how often.

A single dose is generally between 200mg and 800mg, and may be lower for children.

Youll usually take aciclovir 2 to 5 times a day. Try to space the doses evenly throughout the day.

If you take aciclovir:

  • 4 times a day you could take it first thing in the morning, at midday, in the late afternoon and at bedtime
  • 5 times a day for example, you could take it at 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm and 11pm

You can take aciclovir with or without food. Drink plenty of water while taking this medicine to help keep your kidneys working well.

Keep taking the medicine until its all finished or until your doctor or pharmacist tells you to stop taking it.

For treating a viral infection, youll usually take aciclovir for 5 to 10 days. For prevention, you may need to take it for a long time.

Tablets: swallow the tablets whole with some water. If you find tablets difficult to swallow, you can dissolve them in water. Add a tablet to a small glass of water and stir. Drink all the liquid to make sure you get the full dose.

Liquid: use the measuring spoon or plastic syringe that came with your medicine. If you do not have a measuring spoon or syringe, ask your pharmacist for one. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as you will not get the right amount of medicine.

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How Are Topical Antivirals Used

Topical antivirals are used to treat:

  • Cold sores/fever blisters on the face or lips
  • Shortens healing time
  • Reduces pain, burning, and itching
  • Herpes simplex virus infection of the skin, mucous membranes, and genitals
  • Topical antivirals should be used several times a day .
  • Follow these simple steps:
  • Wash your hands before and after application
  • Clean and dry the affected area
  • Use a rubber glove this will help avoid spreading of infection to other areas
  • Apply the cream to the affected area gently
  • Apply enough to cover all the sores/blisters
  • If you miss a dose, apply as soon as you remember and then continue at usual times
  • Do not apply in the eyes, nose, or inside the mouth
  • Do not bathe/shower right after applying it
  • Topical antivirals do not prevent the spread of herpes avoid close contact with others
  • What Other Drugs Could Interact With This Medication

    There may be an interaction between valacyclovir and any of the following:

    If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:

    • stop taking one of the medications,
    • change one of the medications to another,
    • change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
    • leave everything as is.

    An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.

    Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter , and herbal medications that you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.

    All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 2022. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Valtrex

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    What Is Bidens Test

    On March 7, the Biden administration launched a nationwide initiative to ensure rapid, on-the-spot access to antiviral medication. Run by the Department of Health and Human Services, the program ensures that people who test positive for COVID-19 will be able to visit hundreds of local pharmacy-based clinics, long-term-care facilities, and federally qualified community health centers to be assessed by a qualified health care provider who can prescribe antiviral pills immediately.

    What Form Does This Medication Come In

    acyclovir action

    500 mg Each blue, film-coated, capsule-shaped tablet printed with edible white ink with “VALTREX 500 mg” contains valacyclovir HCl equivalent to 500 mg valacyclovir. Nonmedicinal ingredients: carnauba wax, cellulose, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, Indigotine Aluminum Lake, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, povidone, silicon dioxide, and titanium dioxide.

    1,000 mg Each white, film-coated, capsule-shaped tablet printed with edible blue ink with “GX CF2” contains valacyclovir HCl equivalent to 1,000 mg valacyclovir. Nonmedicinal ingredients: carnauba wax, cellulose, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, magnesium stearate, polyethylene glycol, polysorbate 80, povidone, silicon dioxide, and titanium dioxide.

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    Treatment Of Common Cutaneous Herpes Simplex Virus Infections

    DAVID H. EMMERT, M.D., Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

    Am Fam Physician. 2000 Mar 15 61:1697-1704.

    Herpes simplex virus infection is increasingly common in the United States. New antiviral medications have expanded treatment options for the two most common cutaneous manifestations, orolabial and genital herpes. Acyclovir therapy remains an effective and often less expensive option. Famciclovir and valacyclovir offer improved oral bioavailability and convenient oral dosing schedules but are more expensive than acyclovir. Patients who have six or more recurrences of genital herpes per year can be treated with one of the following regimens: acyclovir, 400 mg twice daily valacyclovir, 1 g daily or famciclovir, 250 mg twice daily. These regimens are effective in suppressing 70 to 80 percent of symptomatic recurrences. Episodic treatment of recurrent genital herpes is of questionable benefit, but it may be helpful in appropriately selected patients. There is little evidence indicating benefit from treatment of recurrent orolabial herpes, which tends to be mild and infrequent.

    Are There Any Other Precautions Or Warnings For This Medication

    Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.

    Genital herpes: To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, wash your hands immediately after touching your skin sores. You should avoid intimate contact when live lesions are visible on your skin. The herpes virus can still be spread even when you do not have blisters or sores.

    Immunosuppression : People who have a weakened immune system should only use valacyclovir if the benefits outweigh the risks. If you have had an organ transplant, are infected with HIV, or otherwise have a weak immune system, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

    Kidney disease: Valacyclovir may cause decreased kidney function or kidney failure. People with kidney disease may need a lower dose of this medication. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.

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    Can Antivirals Prevent The Spread Of Viral Infections

    Yes, antiviral drugs can keep you from getting certain viral infections after a suspected or known exposure. For instance, taking specific antivirals:

    • During pregnancy lowers the risk of a mother passing HIV to her newborn .
    • Daily lowers the risk of giving herpes or HIV to others or getting HIV from an infected partner.
    • Within 72 hours of a potential HIV exposure can lower the chances of getting infected.
    • Within 48 hours of exposure to the flu virus may keep you from getting sick.

    What Is The Most Important Information I Should Know About Acyclovir

    Anti-Herpetic Drugs – How They Work

    You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to acyclovir or valacyclovir . You should not take acyclovir buccal tablets if you are allergic to milk proteins.

    Tell your doctor if you have ever had:

    • kidney disease or
    • a weak immune system .

    Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

    Herpes can be passed to your baby during childbirth if you have a genital lesion when your baby is born. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during pregnancy. Take your medicine as directed to best control your infection.

    It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

    Acyclovir should not be given to a child younger than 2 years old.

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    Neurological Signs In Long Term Survivors

    Orientation in time and place and short term memory were evaluated in 27 of the 29 patients the two children could not be assessed. Two patients were disoriented in time and two patients were disoriented in time and place. Orientation was normal in the others. Short term memory was normal in eight patients , mildly impaired in 13 patients and severely affected in six patients . The score for the mini mental state examination was less than 25 in five of 27 patients tested.

    Unilateral or bilateral anosmia was found in 65% of the patients. Eleven had a mild non-fluent dysphasia, but only one had a severe global aphasia. Four patients had a pseudobulbar palsy secondary to an anterior opercular syndrome. Minor upper motor neuron signs were noted in five patients. Two had a homonymous hemianopia, but in one this preceded herpes simplex encephalitis. One patient developed acute HSV retinitis two years after treatment for herpes simplex encephalitis.

    Can I Take Acyclovir If Im Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

    Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

    Herpes can be passed to your baby during childbirth if you have a genital lesion when your baby is born. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during pregnancy. Take your medicine as directed to best control your infection.

    It may not be safe to breastfeed while using this medicine. Ask your doctor about any risk.

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    How Long After Starting Acyclovir Are You Contagious

    HSV is always contagious. Remember that acyclovir does not cure HSV-1 or HSV-2 and therefore the infection can be spread to other people via contact with the skin, genitals, lips or body fluids at all times.

    However, carriers are much more contagious during times when they are having active breakouts . During those times, you must take extra precaution not to spread your viral infection to others. Avoid sexual intercourse, oral sex, kissing, sharing toothbrushes or cutlery with others for at least 3 days after your blisters have completely healed.

    Types Of Antiviral Drugs

    How Do Herpes Drugs Work?

    There are three oral antivirals recommended for the treatment of oral or genital herpes:

    Famvir, 250 mg Twice daily

    Preventing genital herpes recurrence is important as it reduces the risk of HIV. According to the CDC, having an active genital herpes infection increases the risk of HIV by 200% to 300%.

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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.

    About Herpes Suppressive Therapy

    If you opt for suppressive therapy, one of the most common antiviral medications is Valtrex, or valacyclovir. Another commonly prescribed medication goes by the name of Zovirax, or acyclovir. Valacyclovir and acyclovir can be considered close cousins as they are chemically similar.

    Read on for the details about how effective suppressive therapy is and how it can affect transmission rates. Well also go over dosing and side effects of this medication. Note: This isnt a substitute for medical advice. You should always consult your doctor to determine whats right for your health.

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    When To See A Medical Provider

    If you notice any serious adverse effects while taking Valtrex, seek medical advice immediately. You should also see a medical provider if:

    • You have frequent cold sore outbreaks
    • The cold sores dont heal within ten days of taking Valtrex
    • There are sores in your mouth, or you have swollen gums
    • You have a weakened immune system
    • You think your cold sores might be something else
    • You have questions concerning your medication

    For Children 11 Years And Younger

    Pharmacology – ANTIVIRAL DRUGS (MADE EASY)

    Valtrex is not recommended for treating cold sores in children of this age group. But it can be used to treat chickenpox in children ages 2 years and older.

    • Take Valtrex at the first sign of a cold sore.
    • You can take it with or without food.
    • Dont take more than the prescribed number of caplets each day.
    • If your child cant swallow caplets, ask your pharmacist to make the caplets into an oral suspension .
    • Be sure to drink lots of water. Since your kidneys help remove the metabolized drug from your body, its important to stay hydrated to lower the risk of serious side effects, such as kidney damage.

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    Hsv Infections Of Skin And Mucous Membranes Including Initial And Recurrent Genital Herpes

    Adult: 200 mg po 5 x daily for 5 days

    400 mg po 5 x daily or 5 mg/kg IV q8h for 5 days in severely infected or immunocompromised patients

    Initial genital: 400 mg po tid x 7 10 days or 200 mg po 5 x daily x 7 10 days

    Recurrent genital: 400 mg po tid x 5 days or 200 mg po 5 x daily x 5 days or 800 mg po bid x 5 days

    Pediatric: Age 2 years = adult dose

    Age < 2 years = half adult dose

    Neonates and infants = 20 mg/kg IV q8h for 14 days

    Treatment Of Primary Infection

    Antiviral therapy is recommended for an initial genital herpes outbreak, especially if the patient has systemic symptoms or is immunocompromised.2 Oral acyclovir is effective in reducing symptoms1 . Intravenous administration may be required in immunocompromised patients and those with severe disseminated infection.1 Topical acyclovir reduces the duration of viral shedding and the length of time before all lesions become crusted, but this treatment is much less effective than oral or intravenous acyclovir.1

    Effect of Acyclovir Treatment on Primary Genital Herpes

    Symptom/sign

    Time until all lesions are crusted

    Time until all lesions are healed

    *Dosage = 200 mg five times daily for 10 days, given within six days of lesion onset.

    Information from Mertz GJ, Critchlow CW, Benedetti J, Reichman RC, Dolin R, Connor J. Double-blind placebo-controlled trial of oral acyclovir in first-episode genital herpes simplex virus infection. JAMA 1984 252:114751.

    Effect of Acyclovir Treatment on Primary Genital Herpes

    Symptom/sign

    Time until all lesions are crusted

    Time until all lesions are healed

    *Dosage = 200 mg five times daily for 10 days, given within six days of lesion onset.

    Information from Mertz GJ, Critchlow CW, Benedetti J, Reichman RC, Dolin R, Connor J. Double-blind placebo-controlled trial of oral acyclovir in first-episode genital herpes simplex virus infection. JAMA 1984 252:114751.

    Famciclovir is not FDA-labeled for this indication.

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    Is There A Cure Or Treatment For Genital Herpes

    There is no cure for genital herpes. However, daily use of antiviral medicines can prevent or shorten outbreaks. Antiviral medicines also can reduce the chance of spreading it to others.

    Though several clinical trials have tested vaccines against genital herpes, there is no vaccine currently available to prevent infection. One vaccine trial showed efficacy among women whose partners had HSV-2, but only among women not infected with HSV-1. Efficacy was not observed among men whose partners had HSV-2. Another trial testing the same vaccine showed some protection from genital HSV-1 infection, but none from HSV-2.

    Does Valacyclovir Cause Hair Loss

    ANTIVIRAL AGENTS

    In very rare cases people taking valacyclovir have experienced some hair thinning and hair loss. In clinical trials it happened so rarely it wasnt possible to estimate the percentage of people that will likely experience hair loss as a side effect. Talk to your doctor if youre concerned about valacyclovir and hair loss.

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    Where Can I Get Medications For Herpes

    The most common antiviral medications used to manage herpes simplex symptoms are available by prescription. If you have symptoms such as a cold sore or genital herpes, call your doctors office. They will first diagnose if you have herpes simplex. Then they will prescribe an appropriate medication to manage your symptoms.

    Only docosanol is an antiviral medication available over the counter as a cream to manage oral symptoms such as cold sores or fever blisters.

    If you have mild symptoms from a recurring oral herpes infection, you may be able to use nonprescription methods or some home remedies to manage your symptoms.

    Examples include:

    • pain relievers such ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with pain
    • cold compress or ice to soothe burning or itching
    • zinc oxide topical cream, which may help soothe itching or burning

    Before trying over the counter medications or supplements, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist about your symptoms.

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