Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Infection

Zovirax Alternatives

(acyclovir)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Infection
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Compare Zovirax (acyclovir) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Zovirax (acyclovir) or used for similar purposes.

Zovirax
(acyclovir)

Valtrex
(valacyclovir)

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.Treats viral infections. Valtrex (Valacyclovir) 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.
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Zovirax (acyclovir)?
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Have you used Valtrex (valacyclovir)?
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Have you used Famvir (famciclovir)?
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Side effects
ZoviraxValtrexFamvir
  • Nausea and/or vomiting 2%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Malaise 1%
More Zovirax side effects »
  • Headache 4%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Abnormal ALT 1%
  • Nausea 6%
  • Vomiting 3%
  • Abdominal pain 1%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Rash 7%
  • Nasopharyngitis 18%
More Valtrex side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Famvir »
How it works
ZoviraxValtrexFamvir
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.Valtrex (Valacyclovir) 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
ZoviraxValtrexFamvir
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
ZoviraxValtrexFamvir
  • Pill
  • Oral suspension
  • Dissolving tablet extended release
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Pill
  • Pill
Used for
ZoviraxValtrexFamvir
  • Herpes Zoster
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZoviraxValtrexFamvir
  • Weakened immune system
  • Elderly
Detailed Zovirax (acyclovir) risks & warnings »
  • Weakened immune system
  • Elderly
Detailed Valtrex (valacyclovir) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
    Pregnancy

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

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

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

    Kidneys and liver
    ZoviraxValtrexFamvir
    • 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).
    • There have been reports of people on Valtrex (Valacyclovir) who have had serious kidney damage. This is very rare. You'll want to drink plenty of fluids while you're on Valtrex (Valacyclovir).
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    Upsides and benefits
    ZoviraxValtrexFamvir
    • 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.
    • 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 Valtrex (Valacyclovir).
    • Works well for most people to shorten the duration of outbreaks.
    • You don't have to take this as often as other antiviral medications.
    Coming soon
    Downsides and risks
    ZoviraxValtrexFamvir
    • 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.
    • Valtrex (Valacyclovir) is not a cure for herpes, chickenpox, or shingles. It will only shorten the time you have a breakout.
    • If you're taking Valtrex (Valacyclovir) 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.
    Coming soon
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    ZoviraxValtrexFamvir
    • 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.
    • Works the best when taken as early as possible during an outbreak.
    • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated while on Valtrex (Valacyclovir).
    • 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 Valtrex (Valacyclovir) 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
    Have you used Zovirax (acyclovir)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about ValtrexSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Valtrex (valacyclovir)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about FamvirSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Famvir (famciclovir)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it