What is Aciclovir?
Aciclovir is an antiviral medicine, which acts on infected cells by stopping the virus growing. This reduces the severity of the infection and stops it from spreading. In additional to clearing up an outbreak, Aciclovir can be prescribed to prevent herpes outbreaks from occurring. Aciclovir 400mg tablets are used to: • treat or prevent herpes simplex infections of the skin and mucous membranes e.g. cold sores and genital herpes (except in children whose immune system workless well and they are unable to fight infections)
For more information about Genital herpes, click here.
How do you take Aciclovir?
Always take this medicine exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has told you. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure. It is important to start treatment as soon as possible. Swallow the tablets with water, with or without food.
Herpes simplex infection (e.g. cold sores, genital herpes) Adults
treatment – 400mg 3 times a day at 6 hourly intervals for 5 days
prevention – 400mg 2 times a day at 8 hourly intervals for upto 6-12 months
How long does it take for it to work?
The sooner aciclovir is taken the better the chance of easing symptoms, aciclovir needs to be started within 5 days of the symptoms appearing. The severity and length of an outbreak can be greatly reduced if taken within this time frame and you may notice an improvement within two or three days. Outbreaks usually last around one week.
Aciclovir can be used to treat both oral and genital herpes.
Recurrent outbreaks are usually milder than the first episode of genital herpes. Over time, outbreaks tend to happen less often and be less severe. Some people never have outbreaks.
Some people who have more than 6 outbreaks in a year may benefit from taking antiviral medicine for 6 to 12 months. If you still have outbreaks of genital herpes during this time, you may be referred to a specialist.
See our other genital herpes treatments here.