Acyclovir is a prescription medication that is used to treat various forms of the herpes virus, such as cold sores, shingles, chickenpox, and genital herpes. For most adults and children weighing more than 88 pounds, the most common dosage is 800mg, which is taken four times a day for a period of five days. However, these dosages may be different than what your doctor prescribes, and will depend on the condition being treated. Always follow your doctor's advice over anything you find online.
The dose that your doctor will prescribe will vary, depending on your age and weight, the condition that's being treated, other medications that you are taking, and other conditions that you might have. Never adjust the amount that you're prescribed unless your doctor specifically tells you to.
Acyclovir Dosages When Treating Shingles
The most common Acyclovir treatment for shingles is 800mg five times every day, about once every four hours, for a period of 7 to 10 days. If this is different from what your doctor prescribes, follow what he says to do.
Acyclovir Doses When Treating Genital Herpes
The amount that your doctor prescribes will depend on whether the herpes outbreak is your first, or if it's a recurring one. For the first infection, the recommended dose for dealing with genital herpes is 200mg five times every day, about once every four hours, for a period of 10 days. For recurring outbreaks, it is the same dosage for a period of 5 days, which start at the first signs of an upcoming outbreak. Of course, the earlier it is started, the better the medication will work. To prevent future outbreaks (herpes suppression), your doctor may prescribe 400mg twice a day for a period of up to a year. After the first year is over, you should check with your doctor to see if it's necessary to continue treatment. If any of these dosages are different from what your doctor tells you to do, follow what he says over what is listed here.
Acyclovir Doses When Treating Chickenpox
Dosing guidelines as based on weight when dealing with children who are over 2 years of age. The most common amount is 9mg of Acyclovir per pound (20mg per kg) four times a day for a period of five days. As stated before, children and adults over 88 pounds usually take 800mg four times a day for a period of five days.
General Dosing Information
This medication can come in tablet, capsule, or liquid form. Creams and ointment are also available, as well as injections for most severe infections.
Acyclovir can be taken without food, but if you experience an upset stomach, it is a good idea to take the medication with a meal when possible.
Health conditions affecting the kidneys may cause your doctor to prescribe a lower dosage of Acyclovir.
If your medication comes in liquid form, be sure to shake the bottle well before each dose. As always, take the medication exactly as prescribed. Do not increase or decrease the dosage amount, and continue the treatment for the full period that your doctor has prescribed, even if your symptoms seem to be getting better or disappearing.