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Aciclovir herpes treatment

Aciclovir tablets
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Aciclovir is an oral antiviral treatment for genital herpes and contains the active ingredient aciclovir. This treatment is suitable for those who have been previously diagnosed with genital herpes.

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What are Aciclovir tablets used for?

Aciclovir tablets are antivirals used to prevent the herpes virus from multiplying. If you experience more than 6 outbreaks in a year of herpes you can also the treatment regularly to reduce the number of outbreaks you experience.

Genital herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of this virus – type 2 is the most common cause of genital herpes (type 1 tends to cause sores on the lips or mouth).

It’s harder to diagnose genital herpes than some other STIs because the symptoms often look similar to other conditions. Not everyone who has contracted genital herpes will know they have it because symptoms do not always appear. Genital erpes is easiest to diagnose when you have an active blister.

Always visit your GP or GUM clinic if you have had unprotected sex and notice any of the following:

  • Itchy or tickly genitals
  • Pain whilst urinating
  • Small, painless red bumps or rashes near genitals
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Painful ulcers and sores
  • Headaches and backaches

Unfortunately, genital herpes cannot be cured, but can be managed with treatments such as Aciclovir that work to lessen the severity of outbreaks.

How does Aciclovir work?

Aciclovir is an antiviral drug that works to slow the spread and growth of the herpes virus in the body. The drug does not cure genital herpes, but it will lessen the symptoms experienced during an outbreak. Aciclovir can be prescribed for acute outbreaks, as well as pre-emptively for recurring outbreaks to suppress symptoms before they arise.

For acute outbreaks, if taken within 5 days of the start of the outbreak, Aciclovir may shorten your symptoms by 1-2 days. When taken regularly as a suppression course, treatment may result in fewer, less severe or even no outbreaks. You will need to consult a clinician to determine the best course of treatment for you.

How to take Aciclovir?

For an acute outbreak, start taking the tablets as soon as you experience symptoms. You will need to take 1 tablet 3 times a day for 5 days.

As a suppression course, 1 Aciclovir tablet will need to be taken 2 times a days. The usual recommended course of treatment is a year.

Do I need a prescription for Aciclovir?

Yes, you cannot purchase Aciclovir over the counter, so you will need to consult a clinician before being prescribed. Visit LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor to begin your free consultation.

If you haven't been diagnosed with herpes previously but think you may have herpes, use the Online Doctor photo assessment service.

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Aciclovir frequently asked questions

  • Can you drink on Aciclovir?

    Yes, it is safe to drink alcohol whilst taking Aciclovir. Alcohol does not interfere with the way Aciclovir work.

  • How effective is Aciclovir?

    Aciclovir can effectively lessen the severity of your symptoms but will not cure you of genital herpes.

  • Can pregnant or breastfeeding women use Aciclovir?

    Pregnant women are sometimes prescribed Aciclovir. However, this is not something our Online Doctor clinicians can do. You should go to your GP or GUM clinic to find out about taking Aciclovir if you’re pregnant. 

  • Can Aciclovir be used alongside other medications?

    It’s important to let your prescribing doctor know about any prescribed, over-the-counter or recreational drugs that you may be taking as Aciclovir has some known interactions.