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Acyclovir Information Article:
Renal toxicity; precipitation of acyclovir crystals can occur in renal tubules if the maximum solubility of free acyclovir (2.5mg/ml at 37° C in water) is exceeded or if the drug is given by bolus injection. Serum creatinine and BUN rise and creatinine clearance decreases.
2. Encephalopathic changes: Approximately 1% of patients receiving IV acyclovir manifested encephalopathic changes characterized by lethargy, obtundation, tremors, confusion, hallucinations, agitation, seizures or coma.
3. Other: transient elevation of serum creatinine; rash or hives; diaphoresis; hematuria; hypotension; headache and nausea; thrombocytosis.
Oral: (GI side effects reduced if take with meals)
Short-term therapy: nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, fatigue, skin rash, edema. inguinal adenopahty, anorexia, leg pain, medication taste, sore throat.
Long-term: nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, headache, vertigo, insomina, irritability, depression, skin rash, acne. accelerated hair loss, arthralgia, fever, palpitations, sore throat, muscle cramps, mestrual abnormalities.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Acyclovir is used to treat herpes infections of the skin, lip, and genitals; herpes zoster (shingles); and chickenpox. It does not cure herpes infections but decreases pain and itching and promotes healing.
Topical acyclovir does not prevent the recurrence of sores but may decrease pain and itching if applied when the earliest symptoms first appear.
Oral acyclovir decreases the frequency and severity of recurrent sores, but it is used only by people with severe herpes infections because of possible adverse effects. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Acyclovir comes as an ointment for use on the skin and as a tablet, capsule, and liquid to take by mouth. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
Take acyclovir exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Use this medication as soon as possible after symptoms appear. Clean and dry the skin area before applying the ointment.
Wear protective gloves when applying it to prevent the spread of infection. Rub the ointment in gently. Use enough ointment to cover all sores completely. Do not apply acyclovir ointment to the eyes. Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly. Continue to take acyclovir even if you feel well. Do not stop taking acyclovir without talking to your doctor
Preventing Drug Reactions: People who have had an adverse drug reaction in the past are more likely to have adverse reactions to other drugs.
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