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Acyclovir cream: what is it for, composition and side effects

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Acyclovir is a drug that has antiviral action. It is used in virus infections such as herpes zoster and herpes simplex, among others. We can find it available in different presentations such as creams, tablets, intravenous ampoules, and ophthalmic ointments.

If you have already heard of or even used Acyclovir, you may have had a lot of questions. In this FastlyHealarticle, we are going to help answer them. We will explain everything about Acyclovir cream, how and when you should use it, its side effects, and contraindications.

What is Acyclovir?

It is an antiviral that belongs to the class of drugs known as nucleoside analogs and is responsible for preventing the DNA of the virus from reproducing in the body, thus acting selectively on infected cells without altering normal cellular processes. Therefore, it is a drug that has low toxicity.

It has activity against the herpes simplex viruses (HSV), both labial and genitalthe varicella-zoster virus (VZV), Epstein-Barr (EBV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV), and the virus that causes infantile roseola.

It is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is dispensed with medical clearance.

What is Acyclovir cream for?

The cream presentation is used mainly to treat cold and genital herpes (caused by herpes simplex) in both adults and adolescents. It is also used in localized infections on the skin of immunocompromised patients. For best effect, d be used when the outbreak starts, within the first 48 hours.

You must bear in mind that Acyclovir cream or any of its presentations does not cure you definitively of herpes, does not prevent recurrences in the future, and does not prevent transmission by contact to other people.

This drug will only stop the growth of the virus. It will accelerate the healing process of the outbreak and help reduce symptoms such as itching and burning.

How to use Acyclovir cream

To make the results appear better, you must apply its notes as the first symptoms, such as redness and tingling, before the outbreak of blisters.

Some tips that can help you use Acyclovir cream and get the best results are the following:

  • Before applying the cream, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Wash the area of ​​the skin where you are going to apply it.
  • Dry the affected area and proceed to apply the cream.
  • The cream should be applied gently to the lesions without rubbing or breaking the blisters. It is advisable to do it up to 5 times a day, every 4 hours, for a minimum of 4 days or whatever your specialist tells you.
  • Place the cream only on the affected skin, avoiding the mucous membranes. Do not apply to the eyes, nose, mouth, or inside the vagina. If the cream does come into contact with these areas, you should wash it with plenty of water immediately.
  • It is best to apply the cream at the exact times each day for the best benefit. Thus, a constant level of the amount of medicine absorbed into the skin is maintained.
  • Avoid using other creams, sunscreen, or cosmetics in the herpes area mixed with Acyclovir cream, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Once the cream is applied, you should wash your hands very well. If you use gloves, discard them. The herpes simplex virus, both labial and genital, is easily spread, and the cream does not prevent its spread to other people.
  • Avoid having sexual intercourse if the genital herpes outbreak is active, and remember that you should always use protection to avoid transmitting it to your partner.
  • It would be best if you did not use the cream for longer than indicated by your doctor.

Acyclovir cream side effects

Few people have side effects with Acyclovir ointment. However, you should be aware if any of its products appear to communicate it to your doctor and stop the treatment.

If you have an allergy to Acyclovir, you will notice itching and swelling of the face, tongue, and throat and difficulty breathing. This is a severe and rare reaction that needs immediate medical attention.

The most common adverse effects are flaky or cracked skin in the area where it is applied, burning, redness and itching.

Contraindications of Acyclovir cream

It would be best if you did not use Acyclovir ointment:

  • If you are allergic to Acyclovir, you should not use it.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, there are not enough studies that demonstrate its side effects during these stages. Therefore, you should always consult with your specialist before applying the cream to indicate what is most advisable in your particular case.
  • If you take other medications, you must inform your doctor, although there is no evidence of interactions with other drugs and topical Acyclovir.
  • If you have sensitive and irritated skin, you should inform your doctor if it is advisable to use it.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Acyclovir cream: what it is for, composition, and side effects, we recommend that you enter our category of Medication and medical tests.

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