Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Drowsiness/reduced alertness: Acyclovir may affect the mental or physical abilities needed to drive or operate machinery. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous tasks until you have determined how this medication affects you.
Genital herpes: To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, wash your hands immediately after touching your skin sores. You should avoid intimate contact when live lesions are visible on your skin. The herpes virus can still be spread even when you do not have blisters or sores.
Kidney function: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
People with reduced kidney function generally require a lower dose of this medication.
Long-term use: The effect of long-term use of this medication has not been established. Your doctor may periodically stop your medication to reassess your need for continuous treatment.
Pregnancy: This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy unless your doctor has determined that the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking acyclovir, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children less than 2 years of age.
Seniors: Seniors are more likely to have reduced kidney function and therefore are at greater risk of experiencing the side effects of acyclovir. Lower doses may be needed.