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Acyclovir (Topical) (ay SYE kloe veer)

Brand Names: U.S.

Zovirax

Brand Names: Canada

Zovirax®

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat cold sores.
  • It is used to treat genital warts.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to acyclovir, valacyclovir, or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
This drug may interact with other drugs or health problems.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

All products:

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Ointment:

  • This drug is not a cure for herpes simplex infections. Do not have sex when genital signs or lesions are present. This will help you from infecting your partner. This drug will not stop you from passing herpes to others.

All other products:

  • This drug will not cure cold sores. Talk with your doctor.

Buccal tablets:

  • If you are allergic to milk, talk with the doctor.
  • Do not give this drug to younger children. The chance of choking may be raised.

Cream, ointment:

  • Talk with your doctor before you use other drugs or products on your skin.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Very bad irritation where this drug is used.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:

Cream, ointment:

  • Skin irritation.
  • Burning.
  • Stinging.
  • Dry skin.
  • Itching.

Cream:

  • Dry lips.

Buccal tablets:

  • Headache.
  • Pain where it was placed.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

Cream, ointment:

  • Use as you have been told, even if you feel well.
  • Do not take this drug by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
  • Wash your hands before and after use.
  • Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
  • Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.

Cream:

  • Use at the first sign of a cold sore.
  • Avoid putting on healthy skin.
  • Do not rub the cold sore. Rubbing the cold sore may make it worse. It may also cause the cold sore to spread to other areas around the mouth.

Ointment:

  • Use a rubber glove to put on the ointment. This helps to prevent the spread of infection.

Buccal tablets:

  • Use within 1 hour after the first signs of a cold sore. Put on the same side of the mouth as the cold sore.
  • Dry your hands and place the tablet in your mouth above the incisor tooth between the upper cheek and gum. Let it melt during the day.
  • Do not swallow whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
  • Do not suck on this product.
  • Do not remove the tablet from the tablet pack until you are ready to put in this drug. Put in the tablet right away after opening the blister pack. Do not store the removed tablet for future use.
  • You may eat and drink when using this drug. Avoid doing things that may knock the tablet loose like chewing gum, touching the tablet, wearing upper dentures, and brushing your teeth.
  • If your mouth gets dry when using this drug, drink more liquids.
  • If the drug does not stick or falls out within the first 6 hours, put the same tablet back in. If you cannot do this, put in a new tablet.
  • If the drug is swallowed within the first 6 hours, drink a glass of water and put in a new tablet.
  • If the drug falls out or is swallowed after the first 6 hours, you do not need to re-apply a tablet.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Put on a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not put on 2 doses or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

  • Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.
  • Protect from heat.
  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your healthcare provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

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