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What is the medication?

Aciclovir 200mg tablets


What is acyclovir?

Anti viral medication - stops the herpes simplex virus from spreading (cold sore)


what is herpes simplex?

Very contagious virus (a cold sore) - affects many people & activated by many things e.g stress, fatigue, menstrual cycle, kissing


Dosage regimen

200mg (1 tablet), 5 times a day for 5 days


Missed dose advice

If miss a dose - don't double up to make up for the missed dose. If forget - take the tablet as soon as remember and then take the next dose at the right time.


Side effects

Dizziness, headache, nausea, stomach pain, photosensitivity, drowsiness - may not affect but to be aware of (ensure drowsiness not affected before driving/operating machinery). Also potential for allergic reaction i.e swelling of the lips, tongue, face, rash - stop taking and see Dr asap (to provide different medication) but worse case.


Drug interactions

Theophylline - severe asthma
Methotrexate - Rheu arthritis
(all increase risk of nephrotoxicity)


Check for medical conditions

Renal impairment (kidneys) - caution taken, drink plenty of water and maintain adequate hydration. How severe? if severe then dose changed.
Immunocompromised (increase dose)



Food & medicinal



Avoid dehydration!!!! - always drink plenty of water whilst on this medication


Lifestyle advice

Do they know what makes it flare up? Remove triggers, wash hands, don't touch eyes or cold sore, reduce kissing, avoid picking scabs, avoid sharing medication/cutlery. If a woman=change cosmetic as it has probably spread. If it is sun - use an SPF lip balm.
For the pain they can also use paracetamol/ibuprofen.
Also - do not use anti itch products on the skin e.g crotamiton - all will do is spread the infection.


Other medication interactions - warnings

Cimetidine- peptic ulcers, probenecid - gout - these 2 increase the concentration of acyclovir in the blood leading to overdose.
Mycophenolate mofetil - if high doses of aciclovir they can increase the levels of these in blood.
Ciclosporin- immunosuppressant drug - dr needs to monitor kidney function
Theophylline- severe asthma
- Zidovudine- HIV


Dosage -2

take with or without food with water. 5 times a day at approx 4 hourly intervals for 5 days.
If they have difficulty swallowing tablets - can disperse them in a glass of water at least 50ml which should be stored before drinking.


How to start the consultation?

Check they're picking up for themselves, check patient details (name and address) - explain the purpose of the consultation e.g you've been prescribed acyclovir 200mg tabs - just want to take a few mins of time to go over some information regarding the medicine to ensure you get the best out of it. Is that ok?
Also - do you have anything you want to talk about with me or any concerns?
Have you had this medication before?