Conditions

Aciclovir

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Reviews
About Product
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator GPhC: 2060586 Updated on: 10/11/2020 Next review: 10/05/2021

What is Aciclovir?

Aciclovir is an antiviral treatment for genital herpes - a condition caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2).

It is important to understand that Aciclovir is not a cure for herpes, but it can treat the symptoms of herpes faster and prevent the virus from spreading.

Where can I buy treatment for genital herpes?

When you have an outbreak of herpes, you need treatment as soon as possible. With Prescription Doctor, you could get your treatment delivered as soon as the next day, if your order is approved by one of our doctors before 3pm, Monday to Friday.

To buy Aciclovir for genital herpes online, simply click on the green button and proceed to the medical form.

Our online doctor will assess your suitability and if appropriate, issue a prescription for our UK based pharmacy to fulfil.

We take your privacy seriously at Prescription Doctor, which is why our pharmacy will package your item in discreet packaging which gives no indication of its contents.


How does Aciclovir work?

Contrary to popular belief, viruses are not living micro-organisms. They are made up of genetic material (such as DNA or RNA) packaged within a shell of protein.

Unlike bacteria, viruses are incapable of living and replicating outside of a host, such as the human body.

In order to survive in the body, the virus hijacks a cell and uses it to replicate. Once the replication is complete, the virus leaves the cell to hijack another, resulting in the cell's death.

Aciclovir works by inhibiting a protein in the body which the virus uses to replicate itself and cause further infection.

By limiting the virus's ability to multiply, the immune system can fight the infection more effectively, treating the symptoms faster.

It's important to understand that Aciclovir is not a cure for herpes and does not kill or destroy the virus. Once the number of viruses are diminished, the immune system takes over to beat the virus into remission.

Even if you treat genital herpes with Aciclovir, you may still experience future outbreaks which will require further treatment.


What is herpes?

Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection which is estimated to affect one in ten people in the UK.

There are two variations of the herpes simplex virus, HSV-1 and HSV-2; HSV-2 is mainly associated with genital herpes.

Once a person is infected with herpes, the virus lies dormant in their body and may cause episodic outbreaks of symptoms from time to time. Though these outbreaks may not be predictable and may happen months or years apart from one another.

During acute infection, unpleasant symptoms may appear. After this initial outbreak, future outbreaks tend to produce less severe symptoms.

For recurrent herpes infections, treatments such as Aciclovir can be used to supress the virus and beat it into remission, improving symptoms and preventing the virus from spreading.

Based on figures from 2018, it is estimated that more than two-thirds of adults under the age of 50 carry the herpes simplex virus. Some people may not know they have herpes as they may not show symptoms, and therefore are unlikely to visit their doctor to get diagnosed.

How do you get genital herpes?

Genital herpes can be passed on through skin-to-skin contact with the infected area during anal, oral and vaginal sex. Direct transmission can occur if your genitals come into contact with a cold sore.

You can also contract genital herpes indirectly, through intimate contact and sharing sex toys. For example, a person could transfer the virus to their hands after touching an infected area and then pass it on to you by touching your genitals.

Even when symptoms are not present, herpes can be passed on.

You cannot get genital herpes by sharing towels, cutlery or glassware. However, herpes associated with cold sores on the mouth can be passed on through kissing, sharing utensils and glassware.

HSV-1, the strain of herpes which causes oral herpes (cold sores), can cause genital herpes.

How can I prevent genital herpes?

You can protect yourself from genital herpes by practising safe sex. This means:

  • Always wearing a condom.
  • Refraining from sex if your partner has blisters or sores, or any indication that than outbreak is coming on.
  • Avoid sharing sex toys.

While condoms offer adequate protection against most STIs, they may not be as effective at preventing genital herpes unless they cover the affected area.

Once you have been infected with herpes, the virus may lay dormant in your body. You may not notice any symptoms for weeks, month or sometimes even years.

However, you may experience recurrent outbreaks, where your symptoms worsen for a short while.

These outbreaks can be triggered by:

  • Friction around the genitals (from tight clothing or sex)
  • Having a period
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Illness
  • Surgery around the genital area
  • Ultraviolet light exposure

If you are unsure what steps are most appropriate for you to take to prevent an outbreak of genital herpes, speak to your doctor for advice.

What are the symptoms of genital herpes?

Symptoms of genital herpes are:

  • Blisters around genitals, anus, thighs or buttocks
  • Itching or burning sensation around your genitals
  • Pain when urinating
  • Vaginal discharge in women

If you are experiencing these symptoms for the first time, it's important that you speak to your doctor in person. They will be able to advise the most suitable treatment for you, based upon your medical history.

If you are experiencing a recurrent infection, you can buy Aciclovir for genital herpes online from Prescription Doctor following a short online consultation. One of our online doctors can ensure Aciclovir is safe for you and issue a prescription for our UK based pharmacy to fulfil.


How do I take Aciclovir?

Aciclovir is available in 400 mg tablets. These should be taken 3 times a day, spread apart by 4 hours.

Swallow each tablet whole with a glass of water, with or without food.

The tablets are taken over a course of 5 days, starting as soon as you notice symptoms of an outbreak.

If you miss a dose, do not take another tablet to compensate for the missed dose. Always follow the instruction of the doctor or pharmacist.

If you are unsure how to take Aciclovir, speak to your doctor or a pharmacist.


Aciclovir side effects and cautions

All medicines carry the risk of side effects. It is important to read the patient information leaflet, which is enclosed in the packaging of your medication, before you begin taking any medication.

If you are concerned about any of the side effects associated with the treatment you are prescribed, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Some side effects of Aciclovir include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Sore throat
  • Vertigo
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

This is not an exhaustive list of side effects. Further information regarding the safety of Aciclovir can be found within the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medicine.

If you experience any side effects, regardless of whether they are listed above or in the patient information leaflet, inform your doctor or ask a pharmacist for assistance.

Do not take more Aciclovir than is recommended by a doctor. 

Allergic reaction

Do not take Aciclovir if you are allergic to aciclovir or any of the other ingredients listed in the patient information leaflet.

If you experience the signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction after taking Aciclovir, go straight to your nearest casualty department. Remember to take the packaging and any remaining medication with you so the doctors know exactly what you have taken.

Signs of an allergic reaction include:

  • Chest tightening
  • Dry, red and cracked skin
  • Itchy, red watery eyes
  • Raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, eyes or face
  • Tummy pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Wheezing

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant in the near future or are breastfeeding, speak to your doctor before taking Aciclovir for genital herpes.

Other safety information

Always seek your doctor's advice before you buy genital herpes treatment online.

Please inform our prescriber of all medicines you are currently taking, including those prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter from a pharmacy, as well as any health or herbal supplements you are currently taking.

Do not use Aciclovir past the expiry date printed on the packaging. The date refers to the last day of the indicated month.

Never throw away medicines via household or water waste. Take any unwanted or expired medication to your local pharmacy and ask them to dispose of it safely on your behalf.

Always store Aciclovir out of sight and reach from children and pets.

Never share your medication with anybody else, even if they are experiencing the same symptoms or have been diagnosed with the same condition as you.


Frequently asked questions

What should I do if I forget to take Aciclovir when I should?

If you forget to take Aciclovir when you should, take it as soon as you remember.

If it is almost time for your next dose of Aciclovir, skip the missed dose and continue to take Aciclovir as prescribed by your doctor.

Do not take more Aciclovir to make up for the dose you missed.

What should I do if I take more Aciclovir than I should?

Accidentally taking more Aciclovir than you should is unlikely to cause you serious harm, unless you continue to take more than prescribed.

If you accidentally take more Aciclovir than you should, speak to your doctor or pharmacist. Take the packaging of the medicine with you so that the healthcare professional knows exactly what you have taken.

Will Aciclovir affect my ability to drive or operate machinery?

Aciclovir may affect your ability to drive or operate machinery. It is important to see how Aciclovir affects you before you attempt to drive or operate machinery.

If you notice any side effects of Aciclovir which may impact your concentration, such as drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue or visual disturbances, avoid driving or operating machinery until you feel it is safe to do so.

Can I drink alcohol while taking Aciclovir for genital herpes?

Alcohol is unlikely to interact with Aciclovir. Avoid drinking more than the recommended weekly 14 units of alcohol while taking Aciclovir.

Will Aciclovir affect my contraception?

Aciclovir should not interfere with the combined contraceptive pill or emergency contraception.

If you experience vomiting or diarrhoea after taking Aciclovir, the effectiveness of your contraceptive pill may be reduced. If this occurs, speak to your GP about what next to do regarding your contraceptive pill.

How long does Aciclovir take to work?

For genital herpes, Aciclovir usually takes 5 to 10 days to clear up an outbreak.

For the prevention of genital herpes, you may need to take Aciclovir for longer.

What should I do if my partner has genital herpes?

If your partner has an outbreak of herpes, you should avoid sexual contact until the infection has cleared.

If you suspect you may have caught herpes from your partner, seek advice from your GP or a sexual health clinic.

What should I do if Aciclovir does not work for my genital herpes?

If you notice little or no improvement after your course of Aciclovir, speak to your doctor. They may be able to increase your dose or prescribe something else which might be more effective for you.

How many hours apart should I take Aciclovir for genital herpes?

You should take each Aciclovir dose at least 4 hours apart from each other.

Try to take the tablets at the same time each day. If you often forget when to take your medication, consider storing your medicine where you will be reminded to take it or set an alarm on your phone to remind you.

Can genital herpes be cured?

While there is no cure for genital herpes, there are treatments available such as Aciclovir, which help to reduce the symptoms by suppressing the virus. The virus will still remain dormant in the body.

Can genital herpes kill you?

While genital herpes is unlikely to kill you, it can increase your risk of contracting more serious and life threatening diseases such as HIV.

When you have an outbreak of herpes, you should refrain from sexual contact until the area affected has cleared. This will also prevent you from contracting more serious infections.


Table of contents

What is Aciclovir?

Where can I buy treatment for genital herpes?

How does Aciclovir work?

What is herpes?

How do you get genital herpes?

How can I prevent genital herpes?

What are the symptoms of genital herpes?

How to take Aciclovir?

Aciclovir side effects and cautions

Frequently asked questions

References

NHS, 2017. Genital herpes.

NHS, 2019. Aciclovir

Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., 2020. Aciclovir 400mg Tablets: Summary of Product Characteristics

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Aciclovir
  • Manufacturer: Accord
  • Active Ingredient(s): Aciclovir
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Tablets
  • Available Strength: 400 mg
  • Exemption: Prescription Only Medicine
  • Application: Men and women over 18 with herpes
  • Dosage: Take 1 tablet 3 times daily for 5 days
  • Description: Antiviral medication to treat herpes
  • Drug Class: Antiviral
  • Alcohol Consumption: Avoid or limit alcohol consumption
  • When Pregnant: Tell your prescriber if you are pregnant or intend on becoming pregnant
  • When Breastfeeding: Tell your prescriber if you are breastfeeding
Click here to view the Aciclovir - Patient Information Leaflet

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