Acyclovir ointment (On the skin)
Treats skin disorders caused by the herpes virus, including genital herpes.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to acyclovir or similar medicines (such as valacyclovir).
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to apply and how often. Do not use more medicine or apply it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This ointment is for use on your skin or genitals (vagina or penis) only. Do not get it in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine. Use a rubber glove when you apply the medicine. If someone else is putting this medicine on you, he or she should wear a rubber glove.
- Use this ointment as soon as possible after you notice the beginning of a herpes sore (pain, burning, blisters, or itching).
- Acyclovir ointment may be put on the herpes sores every 3 hours, 6 times daily for 7 days, unless your doctor tells you differently. Apply enough ointment to cover all the sores.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to apply the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Do not use any other medicine on your herpes sores unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
- Acyclovir will not stop the spread of herpes during sex. Avoid having sex while you have herpes sores.
- Even if you have no signs of a herpes infection, it is still possible to spread the virus to others during sex. Talk with your doctor about ways to keep from spreading the virus.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Itching, redness, swelling, burning, or stinging of your skin where the ointment is applied.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013