Zovirax

(Acyclovir)

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Treats viral infections.

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Our bottom line

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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    $955.95
Quick facts about Zovirax
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (acyclovir)

Upsides

  • 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.
Tried Zovirax? Write a review!

Downsides

  • 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.
How it works

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.

Quick facts about Zovirax
  • Drug class: Infection
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: Lower-cost generic available (acyclovir)

Used for

Dosage forms

  • Pill
  • Oral suspension
  • Dissolving tablet extended release
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
Tried Zovirax? Write a review!

Prices and coupons

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Side effect rates for Zovirax (Acyclovir)

From 993 clinical trials of Zovirax when taken for chickenpox
  • Diarrhea
    3%3%
    2%2%
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
80%
Where we got our data »

The placebo bar shows how common a side effect was for people taking a sugar pill instead of Zovirax.

Zovirax (Acyclovir)
Placebo

People taking Zovirax felt side effect more

People taking Zovirax felt side effect less

No difference

Risks and Warnings for Zovirax (Acyclovir)

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  • 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).

Pharmacist Q&A

Zovirax (Acyclovir) questions for

Frequently Asked Questions

This medication treats chickenpox (varicella).

Who is this drug for?

This medication treats chickenpox (varicella).

Common concerns from people taking Zovirax (Acyclovir)

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Pregnancy

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

Tip: Always talk with your doctor before you take any medication while pregnant.
FDA pregnancy category for Zovirax
BProbably safe
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).