Generic Name: acyclovir (ay-SYE-kloe-veer)
Brand Name: Zovirax
Acyclovir ointment is used for:
Treating the symptoms of the first episode of genital herpes and limited non-life-threatening herpes simplex viral infections of the skin, lips, and genitals in patients with weakened immune systems.
Acyclovir ointment is a purine nucleoside analogue. It works by stopping the virus from multiplying.
Do NOT use acyclovir ointment if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in acyclovir ointment
- you are allergic to valacyclovir
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using acyclovir ointment:
Some medical conditions may interact with acyclovir ointment. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with acyclovir ointment. Because little, if any, of acyclovir ointment is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.
Ask your health care provider if acyclovir ointment may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use acyclovir ointment:
Use acyclovir ointment as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Wash and completely dry the affected area.
- Apply enough medicine to thoroughly cover all lesions. A one-half inch ribbon of ointment will cover about 4 square inches.
- Use a finger cot or rubber glove when applying the ointment to avoid spreading infection.
- Gently rub the medicine in until it is evenly distributed.
- Wash your hands immediately after using acyclovir ointment.
- Start therapy as soon as possible after the onset of signs and symptoms of herpes.
- To clear up your infection completely, take/use acyclovir ointment for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
- If a dose is missed, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use acyclovir ointment.
Important safety information:
- Acyclovir ointment is not a cure for herpes simplex infections. Avoid sexual intercourse when symptoms or lesions are present to prevent infecting your partner. Acyclovir ointment will not prevent you from transmitting herpes to others.
- Acyclovir ointment is for external use only. Do not use acyclovir ointment in or near the eyes or on the inside of the nose or mouth. If acyclovir ointment gets in your eyes, flush them with cool tap water.
- Do not use acyclovir ointment to prevent future infections.
- Acyclovir ointment may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
- Use acyclovir ointment with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness have not been established.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using acyclovir ointment while you are pregnant. It is not known if this medicine is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use acyclovir ointment, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of acyclovir ointment:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Swelling, pain, burning, stinging, or itching at the application site.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; itching; dizziness).
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.Proper storage of acyclovir ointment:
Store acyclovir ointment at room temperature, between 59 and 77 degrees F (15 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly capped container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not leave it in a car in cold or hot weather. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep acyclovir ointment out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about acyclovir ointment, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Acyclovir ointment is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take acyclovir ointment or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about acyclovir ointment. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to acyclovir ointment. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using acyclovir ointment.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
More about acyclovir topical
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Interactions
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- Drug class: topical antivirals