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Zovirax Ointment Side Effects

Generic Name: acyclovir topical

Note: This document contains side effect information about acyclovir topical. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Zovirax Ointment.

For the Consumer

Applies to acyclovir topical: topical cream, topical ointment

Along with its needed effects, acyclovir topical (the active ingredient contained in Zovirax Ointment) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Some side effects of acyclovir topical may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common
  • Mild pain, burning, or stinging
Less common
  • Itching
Rare
  • Itching, stinging, or redness of the genital area
  • skin rash

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to acyclovir topical: topical cream, topical ointment

General

Acyclovir topical (the active ingredient contained in Zovirax Ointment) has been generally well tolerated and adverse effects are uncommon.[Ref]

Local

Local side effects associated with the ointment have included mild pain (including transient stinging and burning) and local pruritus. Dryness of skin, flakiness of skin, dry lips, cracked lips, burning skin, pruritus, and stinging on skin have been reported at the site of topical application in less than 1% of patients using acyclovir topical (the active ingredient contained in Zovirax Ointment) cream. Edema and/or pain at the application site have been reported during postmarketing experience with acyclovir topical ointment. The pain is generally due to manipulation of the herpetic lesions rather than a reaction to the drug itself. Application site reactions (including signs and symptoms of inflammation) have been reported during postmarketing experience with acyclovir topical cream.[Ref]

Dermatologic

Dermatologic side effects have included rash and pruritus during postmarketing experience with acyclovir topical (the active ingredient contained in Zovirax Ointment) ointment. Contact dermatitis and eczema have been reported during postmarketing experience with acyclovir topical cream.[Ref]

Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitivity side effects have included angioedema and anaphylaxis during postmarketing experience with acyclovir topical (the active ingredient contained in Zovirax Ointment) cream.

References

1. "Product Information. Zovirax (acyclovir)." Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc, Morgantown, WV.

2. Gnann JW Jr, Barton NH, Whitley RJ "Acyclovir: mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, safety and clinical applications." Pharmacotherapy 3 (1983): 275-83

3. Reichman RC, Badger GJ, Guinan ME, Nahmias AJ, Keeney RE, Davis LG, Ashikaga T, Dolin R "Topically administered acyclovir in the treatment of recurrent herpes simplex genitalis: a controlled trial." J Infect Dis 147 (1983): 336-40

4. Yeo JM, Fiddian AP "Acyclovir in the management of herpes labialis." J Antimicrob Chemother 12 Suppl B (1983): 95-103

5. Fiddian AP, Kinghorn GR, Goldmeier D, Rees E, Rodin P, Thin RN, de Konig GA "Topical acyclovir in the treatment of genital herpes: a comparison with systemic therapy." J Antimicrob Chemother 12 Suppl B (1983): 67-77

6. Corey L, Benedetti J, Critchlow C, Mertz G, Douglas J, Fife K, Fahnlander A, Remington ML, Winter C, Dragavon J "Treatment of primary first-episode genital herpes simplex virus infections with acyclovir: results of topical, intravenous and oral therapy." J Antimicrob Chemother 12 Suppl B (1983): 79-88

7. Wagstaff AJ, Faulds D, Goa KL "Aciclovir: a reappraisal of its antiviral activity, pharmacokinetic properties and therapeutic efficacy." Drugs 47 (1994): 153-205

8. Corey L, Nahmias AJ, Guinan ME, Benedetti JK, Critchlow CW, Holmes KK "A trial of topical acyclovir in genital herpes simplex virus infections." N Engl J Med 306 (1982): 1313-9

9. Koch P "No evidence of contact sensitization to acyclovir in acute dermatitis of the lips following local application of zovirax cream." Contact Dermatitis 33 (1995): 255-7

10. Gola M, Francalanci S, Brusi C, Lombardi P, Sertoli A "Contact sensitization to acyclovir." Contact Dermatitis 20 (1989): 394-5

Some side effects of Zovirax Ointment may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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