Zovirax (200 mg, 400 mg)

Zovirax is the trade name of Aciclovir (ACV) which is also called as acyclovir. This medication is used for the treatment of various infections that even include herpes simplex virus infections. Zovirax is licensed by the FDA and falls under the pregnancy category B3 and B. This drug is administered either orally or tropically as eye ointment. Creams are also available in the market. A prescription is required for attaining the tablets and injection from the chemist shop.

Zovirax was first discovered as acyclovir in the year 1977. It falls under the World Health Organisation’s List of Essential Medicines as an important medication for the basic health system.

Composition of Zovirax

The generic name of Zovirax is Acyclovir. Its molecular mass is 225.2 and is a crystalline powder of white colour which dissolves in water of 1.3 mg/mL at the temperature of 25°C. The inactive ingredients present in the Zovirax suspension are:

  • Banana flavour
  • Glycerine
  • Cellulose
  • Vanillin
  • Propylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Sorbitol
  • Water

The inactive ingredients in the tablets are:

  • Indigotine
  • Cellulose
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Sodium starch glycolate
  • Povidone

Zovirax cream contains the following inactive ingredients:

  • Mineral oil
  • Cetostearyl alcohol
  • Propylene glycol
  • Poloxamer 407
  • Water
  • White petrolatum
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate

Uses of Zovirax

This medication helps in the treatment of a various types of viruses. It is used for treating varicella zoster virus and herpes simplex virus infections that include the following:

  • Shingles
  • Genital herpes simplex
  • Herpes simplex labialis (like cold sores)
  • Neonatal herpes simplex
  • Acute chickenpox among the immunocompromised patients
  • Acute mucocutaneous HSV infections among the immunocompromised patients
  • Herpes simplex encephalitis
  • Herpes simplex blepharitis (a chronic and long-term type of eye infection)
  • Prevention of the herpes virus among the immunocompromised people (include the people undergoing chemotherapy)

This antiviral drug does not cure the individual from the infections but helps in reducing the length and severity of the outbreaks.

Side-effects of Zovirax

There can be various types of side-effects resulting from the use of Zovirax which are fairly major and minor in their severity. They are mentioned below:

Major side-effects:

  • Pain felt in the gums
  • Canker sores
  • Ulcers, white spots, or sores inside the mouth or the tongue

Minor side-effects:

  • Unusual warm skin
  • Rash
  • Redness or flushing of the skin
  • Dullness, unusual drowsiness, weakness, tiredness, or feeling sluggish

Contraindications of Zovirax

Under various medical conditions, the patient is refrained from taking this medication which can be harmful for their body. Some of these conditions are mentioned below:

  • Allergic reaction to penciclovir analogues acyclovir analogues
  • Losing extreme amount of body water
  • Kidney disease

Zovirax and Pregnancy

This drug falls under the pregnancy category B. In case of severe and recurrent genital herpes, zovirax can be used. There have been no birth defects visible in animal studies using 10 times the doze used for humans. Hence, the use of zovirax is not harmful for pregnant women.