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Acyclovir is a prescription custom drug that prevents viruses from progressing by stopping them from dividing and multiplying. Acyclovir treats viral infections and it is commonly used to treat the viral infections of the varicella virus that lead to chicken pox, shingles, cold sores, and infections from the virus that produces genital herpes. While acyclovir does not cure viral infections, it is beneficial as an agent to shorten the length of the infection and decrease the severity of infection in some patients.

How to Use Acyclovir

Acyclovir can be taken orally with or without food at a dosage directed by your physician. Unless advised otherwise by your physician, patients should consume plenty of water or fluids while taking acyclovir. Acyclovir should be taken at regular intervals to allow the body to maintain a consistent level of the drug throughout the course. Never take less than the prescribed dosage or discontinue use before completing the entire course.

Potential Side Effects

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting

NOTE: If any of the above persist or worsen, contact your compounding pharmacist or physician.


Persons with a weakened immune system, kidney problems or disease should not take acyclovir before first consulting with their physician. While a severe negative reaction to acyclovir is rare, you should seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects: bloody or dark urine, severe rash, swelling of the face or other areas, difficulty breathing, bruising or bleeding that happens easily, extreme exhaustion, severe abdominal pain, yellowing eyes or skin, seizures, trouble speaking, or abrupt vision changes.

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