is also used to treat outbreaks of genital herpes
. In people with frequent outbreaks, acyclovir is used to help reduce the number of future episodes.
Acyclovir is an antiviral drug. However, it is not a cure for these infections. The viruses that cause these infections continue to live in the body even between outbreaks. Acyclovir decreases the severity and length of these outbreaks. It helps the sores heal faster, keeps new sores from forming, and decreases pain/itching
. This medication may also help reduce how long pain remains after the sores heal. In addition, in people with a weakened immune system, acyclovir can decrease the risk of the virus spreading to other parts of the body and causing serious infections.
How to use acyclovir
Take this medication by mouth
with or without food, usually 2 to 5 times a day as directed by your doctor. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication unless your doctor directs you otherwise.
If you are using the liquid form of this medication, shake the bottle well before each dose. Carefully measure the dose using a special measuring device/spoon. Do not use a household spoon because you may not get the correct dose.
This medication works best when started at the first sign of an outbreak, as directed by your doctor. It may not work as well if you delay treatment.
Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, dosage is also based on weight
This medication works best when the amount of drug in your body is kept at a constant level. Therefore, take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same times each day.
Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished. Do not change your dose, skip any doses, or stop this medication early without your doctor’s approval.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
2. Case Report
Acyclovir Nephrotoxicity: A Case Report Highlighting the Importance of Prevention, Detection, and Treatment of Acyclovir-Induced Nephropathy
1Internal Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
2Division of Hospital Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA
Received 9 March 2010; Revised 22 July 2010; Accepted 16 August 2010
Academic Editor: Thomas Quaschning
Copyright © 2010 Raymond Fleischer and Michael Johnson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Acute kidney injury is an unfortunate complication of acyclovir therapy secondary to crystal-induced nephropathy. It is characterized by a decrease in renal function that develops within 24–48 hours of acyclovir administration indicated by a rapid rise in the serum creatinine. Failure to quickly realize this as an etiology of acute kidney injury can lead to excessive morbidity to the patient. The case described in this vignette is an example of the clinical manifestation of acyclovir crystal obstructive nephrotoxicity. We will briefly discuss the pathophysiology, diagnosis, prevention, and management of patients that present with acyclovir nephrotoxicity.