Acyclovir (Zovirax®) Uses and Side Effects

What Is Acyclovir?

Acyclovir (Zovirax®) is an antiviral drug often used after a transplant.

Acyclovir medication uses

It is used to prevent and treat herpes infections of the skin, mouth, and mucous membranes; herpes zoster (shingles); chicken pox; and genital herpes.

Acyclovir does not cure herpes, but it does relieve the pain and make the infection clear up faster.

Acyclovir Dosage

Acyclovir is taken by mouth, given by injection, or applied to the skin. The oral medication is available in 400- and 800-mg tablets and 200-mg capsules.

How to Properly Take Acyclovir

Your child should take this medication as directed, with dosing times spaced evenly throughout the day. This medication can be taken with or without food. Acyclovir is best taken with a full glass of water.

Missed doses

If your child misses a dose of acyclovir, do not double the dose, but give it as soon as you or your child remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, however, skip the missed dose and resume the regular dosing schedule.

Acyclovir Side Effects

Common acyclovir side effects include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms usually disappear as your child's body adjusts to the medication. Other common side effects include loss of appetite and headache. If these symptoms persist, please tell your transplant coordinator.

Rare side effects include:

  • Numbness or tingling of the hands or feet
  • Leg pain
  • Sore throat
  • Skin rash
  • Dizziness or weakness

Notify your coordinator if your child experiences these effects.

Acyclovir Drug Interactions

Tell your local doctor or pharmacist and coordinator about any other prescription or over-the-counter medication your child is taking, so you can be warned of interactions and prevent them.

Acyclovir Storage

Store at room temperature.

Precautions for Pediatric Patients

Take this medication exactly as prescribed.

Acyclovir Availability

Most local pharmacies keep acyclovir as a stock drug.

Drug information changes periodically. For the most updated information on drugs, visit

Learn more about other Liver Transplant Drugs.