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ZOVIRAX - a patient's guide


This medicine is used to treat shingles and genital herpes. This article profiles the drug and how it should be used.



USE: Antiviral: (genital herpes, shingles)

This medicine is used for the treatment of Herpes Simplex recurrences including genital herpes, shingles and chickenpox. Zovirax works by stopping the production of the herpes virus reducing the length and severity, however it does not eradicate the infection.

It may also be prescribed long-term to prevent the reoccurrence of infection in people who experience these conditions often.


  • Previous allergy to acyclovir
  • Kidney or liver impairment
  • Dehydration
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding

Side effects:

Occasional: nausea, vomiting, headache.

Rarely: weight loss, sore throat, cramps, irritability, liver and blood problems, skin rash.


Probenecid reduces the excretion of acyclovir (increased effect), however there is little clinical evidence of other drug interactions with this medicine.

Patient information:

  • Follow the instructions carefully on the label of this medicine
  • Do not stop taking this medicine unless directed by your doctor
  • Increase fluid intake to prevent dehydration
  • Missed dose: take as soon as possible (do not double dose)
  • See your doctor if you feel your condition is not improving or worsened
  • Contact your doctor if side effects are ongoing or severe (skin rash).

See also:

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