Contains the active ingredient : Acyclovir, which is an antiviral medicine. It is used to treat skin infections with the herpes simplex virus, for example cold sores and genital herpes (caused by herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2).
Acyclovir works by stopping the herpes simplex virus from reproducing and infecting more cells.
Acyclovir is converted to a more active form inside cells of the body that are infected with herpes simplex. The activated acyclovir then works by blocking the action of a viral enzyme called DNA polymerase.
The herpes virus needs the DNA polymerase enzyme to copy its genetic material from RNA to DNA. This process is necessary for the virus to multiply and continue to survive. By blocking the action of DNA polymerase, acyclovir prevents the herpes virus from multiplying. This controls the infection and helps the immune system to deal with it.
This medication 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.
What is it used for?
Genital herpes (herpes simplex infection).
Cold sores (herpes simplex infection).