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What is Aciclovir?

Aciclovir (also known as Acyclovir) is one of the most commonly used antiviral medications to treat herpes simplex viruses, including genital herpes (herpes simplex strain 2, HSV-2) and cold sores (herpes simplex strain 1, HSV-1). It also treats varicella zoster virus (VZV, herpes zoster), which causes chickenpox and shingles. It is an oral prescription medicine in the form of capsules that can offer relief from unpleasant blisters within 24 hours, as well as significantly reduce the duration of your outbreak.

Aciclovir can help to stop infections from getting worse and can also help to reduce the chances of an infection returning, making it a preventative treatment useful for those who are more susceptible, such as those who have weakened immune systems from chemotherapy or from an autoimmune disorder.

Aciclovir is available to order online from euroClinix for the treatment of genital herpes, shingles and cold sores. The sooner you take it, the better the medication will be at minimising the occurrence of uncomfortable symptoms. To purchase this medication, you must complete an online consultation. The consultation will be reviewed by one of our doctors, to ensure that it is suitable for you before dispatching it.

How does Aciclovir work?

Aciclovir belongs to a class of antiviral drugs called synthetic nucleoside analogues, alongside valaciclovir (Valtrex) and famciclovir (Famvir). They work by directly attacking the viral DNA to prevent it from spreading. It does this by influencing the DNA polymerase enzymes that are vital when helping the virus multiply and spread. This allows your body's immune system to combat the STI or viral infection effectively.

This is why taking this treatment when the infection hasn't been active for a long time is so important. At maximum effectiveness, Aciclovir will reduce the infection to around one week and significantly decrease the problematic symptoms within one day, resulting in minimum disturbance to your life.

Who can take Aciclovir?

Aciclovir tablets are safe for most adults. However, if you have any preexisting conditions you should speak to your doctor before taking it. In particular, if you have a history of kidney problems, then consult with a healthcare professional.

Whilst it has no known neonatal complications, it is still recommended you consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking Aciclovir. If you are over the age of 65, you should also speak with your doctor before taking this.

If you have previously had an allergic reaction to either Aciclovir, Famvir or Valtrex in the past, you should not take this medication.

What dose of Aciclovir should I take?

The dose you need will depend on the severity and type of herpes infection. Aciclovir is available to buy from euroClinix in two doses; 200 mg and 800 mg tablets. The 200mg dose is more frequently used because it is a lower dosage, meaning it can be taken multiple times throughout the week with minimal risk of side effects. The 800mg is usually prescribed to people with shingles, or severe bouts of the herpes virus.

You can also be prescribed a 400mg dose to treat genital herpes and cold sores, however a lower dose of 200mg is effective for the majority of people and a higher dosage taken daily has an unnecessary risk of side effects.

How do I take Aciclovir?

Aciclovir is taken in different doses in a different quantity, depending on the strain of herpes virus it's required to treat. Although a doctor may adjust the dosage slightly, below is the guideline to follow. Your prescribed course of Aciclovir may also differ depending on whether you are taking it to treat symptoms or as a preventative.

Below are the typical dosages for different herpes viruses:

  • for genital herpes and cold sores, you should take one 200 mg Aciclovir tablet five times a day, every four hours for 5 days
  • for a recurrent genital herpes infection, you should take one 800 mg tablet 3 times a day
  • as a preventative treatment for genital herpes and cold sores, one Aciclovir 200 mg tablet should be taken four times a day at six-hour intervals for six to twelve months
  • for shingles, one 800mg Aciclovir tablet should be taken five times a day, every four hours for seven days

Whilst above are the typical doses for each purpose, make sure to always take the exact course as prescribed by your doctor. This is because your doctor may need to adjust your dose to work more suitably for you.

To take, swallow tablets whole. Do not crush, split or break them

If you miss a scheduled dose, take it as soon as you remember and then take your next dose at your usual time. If it is nearly time for your next dose however, wait for that dose and then continue with your course as normal. Taking one extra dose is unlikely to harm you, but do not take multiple additional doses throughout your course.

What are the side effects of Aciclovir?

Just like all prescription medications, Aciclovir can cause side effects, however, this is generally rare and if so, the side effects tend to be manageable.

Common side effects include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach pains
  • Rash
  • Photosensitivity (skin reaction to light exposure)
  • Itching
  • Tiredness

More severe side effects such as paralysis, jaundice, renal (kidney) pain or hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), have been documented but are extremely rare, affecting up to 1 in 10,000 people. If you experience any severe side effects seek immediate medical attention.

For a more comprehensive list of side effects, please refer to the patient information leaflet that will be in the box with your medication and is available to download from this page.

Does Aciclovir interact with other medications?

You should always disclose any medication you are taking when being prescribed Aciclovir, including prescription, herbal and over-the-counter medicines.

The following medications are more likely to react with Aciclovir:

  • probenecid - for gout
  • cimetidine - for stomach ulcers
  • mycophenolate mofetil - for prevent organ rejection after a transplant

If you are not sure whether you take any of these medications, please consult your GP before taking this medication.

How do I buy Aciclovir tablets online?

You can buy Aciclovir tablets online to treat genital herpes here at euroClinix. All you have to do is fill out an online consultation form which will be reviewed by one of our registered doctors. If they find you suitable for treatment, our pharmacy will dispense and dispatch your medication discreetly with next-day delivery.

Can I buy Aciclovir over-the-counter?

Aciclovir tablets for genital herpes or shingles are only available on prescription. However, Aciclovir is available in topical forms to treat cold sores over-the-counter. It is sold as a cream under several brand names, Zovirax being the most notable, and contains 5% of Aciclovir. It can be bought in pharmacies or supermarkets.

Note: You must complete a short online consultation so that our doctor can ensure that the treatment is suitable for you. The above pricing should only be used as a reference. The final decision to issue this treatment lies with the prescribing doctor.

Aciclovir information
Product nameAciclovir
Active ingredient(s)Aciclovir
ManufacturerDelcor Asset
Trustpilot rating4.6/5
Trustpilot reviews164
AvailabilityOut of stock
DescriptionAciclovir is an antiviral drug that is used to treat the symptoms of herpes including genital herpes, cold sores and shingles
ExemptionSubject to medical prescription
Available dosage200mg, 800mg
ApplicationMen and women over 18 with genital herpes, cold sores and/or shingles
UsageFor herpes and cold sores take 200mg 5 times a day for 5 days, for shingles take 800mg 5 times a day for 7 days
Drug classAntivirals
Alcohol consumptionNo known influence
When breastfeedingCaution is recommended, ask your doctor beforehand
When pregnantCaution is recommended, ask your doctor
Aciclovir reviews
The pack contains 25 tablets of Aciclovir 200mg Excellent 4.6 164 patients have reviewed Aciclovir on Trustpilot

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All you need to know about herpes (HSV) testing

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