Medically reviewed on Sep 5, 2018
Uses of Zovirax:
- It is used to treat herpes infections.
- It is used to treat shingles.
- It is used to treat chickenpox.
- It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Zovirax?
- If you have an allergy to acyclovir, valacyclovir, or any other part of Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Zovirax?
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- This medicine is not a cure for herpes infections. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have genital herpes, Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets) will not stop it from spreading. Do not have any kind of sex when you have sores or other signs of genital herpes. Genital herpes can also be spread if you do not have any signs. Do not have any kind of sex without using a latex or polyurethane condom. Talk with your doctor.
- If you are 65 or older, use Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets) while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
How is this medicine (Zovirax) best taken?
Use Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Keep taking Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Drink lots of noncaffeine liquids unless told to drink less liquid by your doctor.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
- If you are taking Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets) for an infection that came back, start Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets) as soon as you can.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- Change in the way you act.
- Mood changes.
- Feeling confused.
- Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not there).
- Very bad and sometimes deadly kidney problems have happened with Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets). Call your doctor right away if you are unable to pass urine or if you have blood in the urine or a change in the amount of urine passed.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly blood problems like thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS) have happened with Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets) in some people. Call your doctor right away if you feel very tired or weak or have any bruising or bleeding; dark urine or yellow skin or eyes; pale skin; change in the amount of urine passed; change in eyesight; change in strength on 1 side is greater than the other, trouble speaking or thinking, or change in balance; or fever.
What are some other side effects of Zovirax?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Feeling tired or weak.
- Feeling sleepy.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Zovirax?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Protect from light.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Zovirax (acyclovir capsules and tablets), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about Zovirax (acyclovir)
- Zovirax Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- 14 Reviews
- Generic Availability
- Drug class: purine nucleosides
- FDA Alerts (1)
- Zovirax (Acyclovir Injection)
- Zovirax (Acyclovir Suspension)
- Zovirax Oral, Intravenous (Advanced Reading)
Other brands: Sitavig