Uses of Zovirax
Zovirax for shingles, cold sores, and genital herpes is prescribed to improve symptoms and speed up healing, but it does not cure herpes. This medication contains acyclovir, an antiviral agent that inhibits the herpes virus DNA polymerase to prevent multiplying, reducing the severity and length of the infection, and stopping it from spreading to other parts of the body, causing severe conditions.
Shingle is a single blister wrapped around the torso’s caused by herpes zoster virus, which is the same virus causing chickenpox; cold sores are also called fever blisters that are caused by herpes simplex virus that causes tiny fluid-filled blisters on and around the lips followed by a scab that lasts for several days. At the same time, genital herpes is also caused by the herpes simplex virus that causes pain, itch, and soreness around the genitalia.
Zovirax works in these infections by interfering with the viral replication by being converted to an active form used by the virus rather than the usual nucleoside they usually used, and the incorporation stops the DNA production. This activity leads to fewer outbreak episodes, decreased length of pain after sores are healed, and reduced itchiness. Zovirax should be taken as soon as the outbreak starts as your doctor prescribes, for delayed treatment may not be effective.
Read the drug information of this antiviral drug before starting the treatment; doses are based on the medical condition, response to the treatment, other medicines taken, and weight is also considered for children. It is available in 200mg, 400mg, and 800mg tablets taken two to five times daily or as prescribed by your doctor without regard to food. The number of drugs should be at a constant level; it is recommended to take it regularly at an evenly spaced time daily at the same time of the day every day.
Usual prescriptions are listed here; if prescribed differently, follow it:
- 12 years old to adults with genital herpes are given 200mg five times a day for ten days.
- Children and adults over 40kg with chickenpox are given 800mg four times a day for five days.
- 12 years old to adults with shingles are given 800mg five times a day for seven to ten days.
- A doctor determines doses for 11 years old and below.
Continue to take the entire prescription of Zovirax; do not change, skip or stop taking Zovirax without consulting your doctor or pharmacist; drinking plenty of water is required while taking Zovirax. If a dose is missed, take it as soon as remembered, but if it is almost the time of the following intake, skipping the missed dose for double dosing is discouraged.
Zovirax Side Effects
Vomiting, headache, diarrhea, and nausea are the common side effects of this medication; call your doctor for medical advice about these side effects if they persist or worsen. Please keep in mind that the negative effects described here are not exhaustive.
Severe side effects may also occur; tell your doctor immediately if any of the lists is experienced:
- Kidney problems
- Mood changes such as confusion/hallucinations
- Unsteady movements
- Troubled speaking
- Severe allergic reactions
Zovirax is excreted in the kidneys; older adults and patients with chronic kidney disease are vulnerable to drug toxicity. Tell your doctor if a change in urine and back pain is experienced.
Zovirax vs Valtrex – Both medications are antiviral drug that interferes with DNA replication of the herpes virus, but Valtrex provides a longer duration of action and is taken less frequently.
Zovirax contains acyclovir with a treatment period of 5-10 days, applicable in neonates, infants, children, adolescents, and adults. It is available in a topical cream, ointment, injection, oral tablet, oral capsule, dissolving tablet, and oral suspension.
In contrast, Valtrex contains valacyclovir with a treatment period of 2-10 days, applicable in children, adolescents, and adults; available in an oral tablet only. There is no clinically significant difference between these two medications in one clinical trial. At the same time, another study found out that Valtrex is significantly more accelerated in reducing pain in shingle rash than Zovirax.
Zovirax vs Abreva – Both are antiviral medications are used to treat infections due to the herpes virus. Zovirax is an oral nucleoside analog converted in an active form to inhibit replication of the virus; available only with a prescription, while Abreva is a topical medication available over the counter, it penetrates the skin to block the virus and provides a barrier to healthy cell resulting to a shorten healing time of the sores.
There are many drugs available in treating herpes infections; your doctor will be the one to help you decide which is better for your condition.
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