Compare Zovirax vs. Famvir

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

Zovirax
(Acyclovir)

Famvir
(Famciclovir)

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.Coming soon.
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Reviews & ratings
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Side effects
ZoviraxFamvir
  • Nausea 3%
  • Nausea and/or vomiting 2%
  • Diarrhea 1%
  • Feeling unwell 1%
More Zovirax side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Famvir side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Famvir »
How it works
ZoviraxFamvir
Zovirax (Acyclovir) is an antiviral medication that stops viruses from growing. It shortens the amount of time infections like shingles, chickenpox, and herpes will last.Coming soon.
Type of medication
ZoviraxFamvir
AntiviralPrescription only
Coming soon.
Available as
ZoviraxFamvir
  • Pill
  • Oral suspension
  • Dissolving tablet extended release
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
Used for (click to learn more)
ZoviraxFamvir
  • Herpes zoster
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZoviraxFamvir
    • Weakened immune system
    • Elderly
    Detailed Zovirax (Acyclovir) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
    Pregnancy category
    ZoviraxFamvir
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    See the FDA package insert
    BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

    Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

    See the FDA package insert
    Alcohol
    No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
    Food
    No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    • There have been reports of people on Zovirax (Acyclovir) who have had serious kidney damage. This is very rare. You'll want to drink plenty of fluids while you're on Zovirax (Acyclovir).
    No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
    Sex
    • 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.
    • If you're taking this for herpes, use condoms and avoid sex if you're having an outbreak so you don't infect others.
    No specific sex-related info.
    Sleep
    No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
    Weight
    No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    ZoviraxFamvir
    • 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.
    Coming soon.
    Downsides and risks
    ZoviraxFamvir
    • 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.
    Coming soon.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ZoviraxFamvir
    • Works the best when taken as early as possible during an outbreak.
    • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated while on Zovirax (Acyclovir).
    • If you're taking this for herpes, use condoms and avoid sex if you're having an outbreak so you don't infect others.
    • Start taking Zovirax (Acyclovir) as soon as you know you're going to have a breakout.
    • Can cause diarrhea, nausea, or weakness.
    • This isn't a cure for viral infections, but it'll help control infection breakouts.
    Coming soon.
    Learn more
    More about ZoviraxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    More about FamvirSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert