Acyclovir

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acyclovir (ay-SY-kloh-veer) is a substance used to prevent or treat cytomegalovirus and herpes simplex infections that may occur when the body is immunosuppressed. It belongs to the family of drugs called antivirals.

Information about Acyclovir

Acyclovir is a nucleoside analogue and antiviral agent used in therapy of herpes and varicella-zoster virus infections.

Liver safety of Acyclovir

Acyclovir has not been associated with clinically apparent liver injury.

Mechanism of action of Acyclovir

Acyclovir (ay sye' kloe vir) is an acyclic purine nucleoside analogue (acycloguanosine) which has antiviral activity against many herpes viruses, including herpes simplex 1 and 2, cytomegalovirus, Ebstein-Barr virus and varicella-zoster. Acyclovir is phosphorylated intracellularly by viral kinases, and the resultant triphosphate competes with guanosine for incorporation into viral DNA blocking viral DNA polymerase activity.

Clinical use of Acyclovir

Acyclovir is indicated for therapy of localized as well as disseminated herpes simplex infections, both type 1 and 2. It is also used for varicella-zoster infections (chickenpox and shingles).

FDA approval information for Acyclovir

Acyclovir was approved for use in herpes virus infections in the United States in 1982, and is still widely used in treatment and prophylaxis of genital and mucocutaneous herpes simplex infection with almost 5 million prescriptions filled yearly.

Dosage and administration for Acyclovir

Acyclovir is available as capsules of 200 mg, tablets of 400 and 800 mg, oral suspensions, creams, ointments, and parenteral preparations in several generic forms, as well as under the brand name of Zovirax. The typical recommended oral dose in adults for genital or oral herpes simplex is 200 to 800 mg three to five times daily for 5 to 10 days; the usual prophylactic dose is 400 mg twice daily. The typical intravenous doses for severe infections is 5 to 10 mg/kg every 8 hours for 5 to 10 days. Side effects are uncommon with oral formulations, but can include myalgias, rash, temors, lethargy and confusion. Rare side effects include bone marrow toxicity and Stevens Johnson syndrome. Drugs for HIV Infection, in the Subclass Antiretroviral Agents

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Acyclovir, Cidofovir, Famciclovir, Foscarnet, Ganciclovir, Valacyclovir, Valganciclovir

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