Acyclovir Cream 5%: An Effective Antiviral Medicine
Acyclovir cream 5% is an antiviral medication that is used to treat skin symptoms caused by the herpes virus.
When is it used?
The cream is used to treat viral infections caused by Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2, including herpes of the lips and facial skin (recurrent herpes of the lips).
Can you get this cream over the counter?
The cream is available over-the-counter (OTC).
What does Acyclovir cream do?
This antiviral drug is highly active in vitro against the Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2. It has low toxicity to mammalian host cells. After entering cells infected with the herpes virus, acyclovir is phosphorylated to the active compound acyclovir triphosphate. The first step in this process depends on the presence of the HSV-encoded enzyme thymidine kinase. It acts as an inhibitor and substrate of herpes-specific DNA polymerase, interfering with the further synthesis of viral DNA, while not affecting normal cellular processes.
How do you use this cream?
The cream is intended for external use.
It is applied 5 times a day (every 4 hours, except at night) in a thin layer on the affected and adjacent areas of the skin. The cream is applied with a cotton swab or with clean hands to avoid additional infection of the affected areas. It is important to start treatment as early as possible, preferably when the first signs and symptoms appear. Treatment can also start at later stages (papules or blisters).
The therapy should be continued until a crust forms on the vesicles, or until they completely heal. The duration of treatment is at least 5 days, the treatment can be continued up to 10 days. If symptoms persist for more than 10 days, consult a doctor.
Who should not use the cream?
Do not use this cream if you have hypersensitivity to acyclovir, valacyclovir, propylene glycol or other components of the cream.
What are the side effects of Acyclovir cream?
In rare cases, the medicine can cause soreness, burning, itching, skin rash, and vulvitis.
Are Aciclovir tablets better than cream?
What’s the difference? This medicine is available as tablets and cream. The cream is used to treat milder herpes infections, such as cold sores, but more severe infections are treated with tablets.
Can I overdose on this medicine?
Do not use this cream more often than recommended by a doctor as it can cause an overdose.
Symptoms: headache, neurological disorders, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, renal impairment, lethargy, convulsions, coma.
Treatment: maintenance of vital functions, hemodialysis.
What happens if I stop using Acyclovir?
Use this cream until you finish the treatment prescribed by a doctor even if you feel better. If you stop taking this medicine too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated or may become more difficult to treat.
Can I use it when pregnant or breastfeeding?
Use this drug with caution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Use during pregnancy and during breastfeeding is indicated only in cases where the intended benefit to the mother outweighs the potential risk to the fetus and child. There have been no adequate and well-controlled clinical studies on the safety of the drug during pregnancy. Post-marketing studies have shown that the use of acyclovir in women during pregnancy does not lead to an increase in the number of birth defects in newborns. Animal studies have not revealed embryotoxic and teratogenic effects of the drug. In experimental studies on animals when the drug was administered subcutaneously in high doses, fetal developmental defects were revealed. The medicine is found in breast milk after the systemic use of the drug by a nursing mother.
Can the cream interact with other drugs?
There were no clinically significant interactions with external use.
Are there any special recommendations?
Acyclovir cream 5% should not be applied to the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, eyes and vagina. The earlier the treatment is started (at the first signs of infection), the higher the effectiveness of treatment. To realize the therapeutic effect of the drug, the state of the body’s immune system is important. Patients with reduced immunity (with HIV / AIDS or after bone marrow transplantation) against the background of topical application of the cream should be prescribed systemic administration of the drug, as well as in the case of a severe and recurrent course of herpes infection. A strip of ointment 1.25 cm should be applied to 25 cm2 of the affected skin. To prevent autoinoculation on other areas of the skin, it is necessary to use fingertips or rubber gloves. The drug does not prevent sexual transmission of herpes, therefore, during the period of treatment, it is necessary to refrain from sexual intercourse, even in the absence of clinical manifestations.