Compare Zovirax vs. Famvir

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Treats viral infections.

Zovirax (Acyclovir) is good for treating viral infections like herpes, chickenpox, and shingles. It won't cure the disease, but it'll shorten the length of a breakout.

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  • Used as a first-choice treatment for herpes, chickenpox, and shingles infections and breakouts.
  • Most people (including pregnant women) usually take the oral medication without experiencing any side effects.
  • Available as a generic, so it's relatively cheap.
  • Most people generally don't develop a resistance to Zovirax (Acyclovir).
  • Works well for most people to shorten the duration of outbreaks.
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  • Zovirax (Acyclovir) is not a cure for herpes, chickenpox, or shingles. It will only shorten the time you have a breakout.
  • If you're taking Zovirax (Acyclovir) for herpes, you should use barrier methods (condoms) when you're having sex since you can still pass it on to other people, even if you're taking the medication and you're not in a breakout.
  • You need to take this up to five times a day, so it can be inconvenient.
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Used for
  • Herpes zoster
  • Shingles Recurrent genital herpes simplex Recurrent genital herpes simplex
  • Suppression Recurrent herpes simplex labialis
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Oral suspension
  • Dissolving tablet extended release
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
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Side effects
1possible side effects
  • Diarrhea
See more detailed side effects
The Famvir (Famciclovir) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Kidney damage
  • Blood disorders
    • Weakened immune system
  • Confusion
    • Elderly
See more detailed risks and warnings
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Disclaimer: We don't provide medical advice. If you think you might have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.