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Package leaflet: Information for the user




United Kingdom-GBR

Tablets 800 mg


Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start
taking this medicine because it contains
important information for you.




• Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.
• If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or
• This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do
not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if
their signs of illness are the same as yours.
• If you get any side effects talk to your doctor or
pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not
listed in this leaflet. See section 4.

In this leaflet:

What Zovirax is and what it is used for
What you need to know before you take Zovirax
How to take Zovirax
Possible side effects
How to store Zovirax
Contents of the pack and other information

1 What Zovirax is and what it is used for
Zovirax Tablets 800 mg (called ‘Zovirax’ in this leaflet)
contain a medicine called aciclovir. This belongs to a
group of medicines called antivirals. It works by killing
or stopping the growth of viruses.
Zovirax can be used to:
• treat chickenpox and shingles.

2 What you need to know before you
take Zovirax
Do not use Zovirax:

• if you are allergic to aciclovir or valaciclovir or any of
the other ingredients of this medicine (listed in
Section 6).
Do not take Zovirax if the above applies to you. If you
are not sure, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before
taking Zovirax.

Warnings and precautions
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Zovirax if:
• you have kidney problems
• you are over 65 years of age.
If you are not sure if the above apply to you, talk to your
doctor or pharmacist before taking Zovirax.
It is important that you drink plenty of water while
taking Zovirax

Other medicines and Zovirax
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have
recently taken or might take any other medicines. This
includes medicines obtained without a prescription,
including herbal medicines.
In particular tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are
taking any of the following medicines:
• probenecid, used to treat gout
• cimetidine, used to treat stomach ulcers
• mycophenolate mofetil, used to stop your body
rejecting transplanted organs.

Pregnancy, breast-feeding and fertility
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, think you may be
pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor
or pharmacist for advice before taking this medicine.

Driving and using machines
Some side effects such as feeling drowsy or sleepy may
impair your ability to concentrate and react. Make sure
you are not affected before you drive or operate

3 How to take Zovirax
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor has
told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you
are not sure.

Taking this medicine

• Take this medicine by mouth.
• Dissolve the tablet in a glass of water and stir before
• If you prefer, the tablet can also be swallowed whole
with a little water.
• Start to take Zovirax as soon as possible.
The dose that you should take will depend on what you
have been given Zovirax for. Your doctor will discuss this
with you.

Treatment of chickenpox and shingles

• The usual dose is one 800 mg tablet five times a day.
• You should space each dose by 4 hours.
Suggested times are: 7am, 11am, 3pm, 7pm and
• You should take Zovirax for seven days.

Your doctor may adjust the dose of Zovirax if:
• it is for a child
• you are over 65 years of age
• you have kidney problems. If you have kidney
problems, it is important to drink plenty of water
while you are being treated with Zovirax.
Talk to your doctor before taking Zovirax if any of the
above apply.

If you take more Zovirax than you should
Zovirax is not usually harmful, unless you take too much
over several days. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if
you take too much Zovirax. Take the medicine pack with

If you forget to take Zovirax

• If you forget to take Zovirax, take it as soon as you
remember. However, if it is nearly time for your next
dose, skip the missed dose.
• Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten


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4 Possible side effects

5 How to store Zovirax

Like all medicines, this medicine can cause side effects,
although not everybody gets them. The following side
effects may happen with this medicine:

• Keep this medicine out of the sight and reach of
• Do not store above 30°C.
• Store in the original package.
• Do not use this medicine after the expiry date which
is stated on the carton after Exp. The expiry date
refers to the last day of that month.
• Do not throw away any medicines via wastewater or
household waste. Ask your pharmacist how to throw
away medicines you no longer use. These measures
will help protect the environment.

Allergic reactions (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
If you have an allergic reaction, stop taking Zovirax
and see a doctor straight away. The signs may include:
• rash, itching or hives on your skin
• swelling of your face, lips, tongue or other parts of
your body
• shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing
• collapse.



Other side effects include:






Common (may affect up to 1 in 10 people)
• headache
• feeling dizzy
• feeling or being sick
• diarrhoea
• stomach pains
• rash
• skin reaction after exposure to light (photosensitivity)
• itching
• feeling tired
• unexplained fever (high temperature) and feeling
faint, especially when standing up.
Uncommon (may affect up to 1 in 100 people)
• itchy, hive-like rash
• hair loss.
Rare (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)
• effects on some blood and urine tests
• increases in the enzymes that work in the liver.
Very rare (may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people)
• reduced numbers of red blood cells (anaemia)
• reduced numbers of white blood cells (leukopenia)
• reduced numbers of blood platelets (cells that help
blood to clot) (thrombocytopenia)
• feeling weak
• feeling agitated or confused
• shaking or tremors
• hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t
• fits
• feeling unusually sleepy or drowsy
• unsteadiness when walking and lack of coordination
• difficulty speaking
• inability to think or judge clearly
• unconsciousness (coma)
• paralysis of part or all of your body
• disturbances of behaviour, speech and eye
• stiff neck and sensitivity to light
• inflammation of the liver (hepatitis)
• yellowing of your skin and whites of your eyes
• kidney problems where you pass little or no urine
• pain in your lower back, the kidney area of your back
or just above your hip (renal pain).
Reporting of side effects
If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or
pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not
listed in this leaflet.
You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow
Card Scheme at: By
reporting side effects you can help provide more
information on the safety of this medicine.

6 Contents of the pack and other
What Zovirax Tablets 800 mg contain

• The active substance is aciclovir.
• The other ingredients are microcrystalline cellulose,
aluminium magnesium silicate, sodium starch
glycollate, povidone K30, magnesium stearate,
hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 400, titanium
dioxide, polyethylene glycol 8000.

What Zovirax looks like and contents of the pack
Zovirax Tablets 800 mg are supplied to you in cartons
containing 35 tablets in aluminium foil strips. They are
white, oval tablets marked “GXCG1” on one side.
Each 800 mg tablet contains 800 mg aciclovir.

Marketing authorisation holder and
Marketing authorisation holder
The Wellcome Foundation Ltd, Stockley Park West,
Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB11 1BT

GlaxoWellcome SA, Aranda de Duero, Burgos, Spain

Other formats:
To listen to or request a copy of this leaflet in Braille,
large print or audio please call, free of charge:

0800 198 5000 (UK Only)
Please be ready to give the following information:
Product name
Zovirax Tablets 800 mg
Reference number
This is a service provided by the Royal National Institute
of Blind People.

This leaflet was last revised in February 2015.
Zovirax is a registered trade mark of the GSK group of
© 2015 GSK group of companies. All rights reserved.


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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. This information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. If you have questions about the substances you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.