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Zovirax Review Article

 

Zovirax is a drug used to treat a person infected with the herpes virus. The herpes virus can cause many forms of disease such as the widely known chicken pox, the sexually transmitted genital herpes disease and the lesser known shingles. Most of these diseases are rather itchy and painful with skin lesions.

All of these diseases caused by the Herpes virus can be cured with the right dose and medication of Zovirax, that is diligently consumed by the patient as per doctor’s instructions. The medication comes in several forms such as powder for IV injection, topical creams and oral medication. Depending on the severity and case of your infection, your doctor will prescribe you the correct form and dosage of the drug.

Zovirax is not a gastric irritant, thus it can be taken in without meals. However, it must be noted that the drug’s usual side effect is diarrhea and vomiting while the less frequent ones are pain, agitation and disorientation.

Dosage Packing Price Add to basket
2 g Acyclovir cream 5% (Telviran) USD 12.00 Add to Basket
2 g Acyclovir cream 5% (Zovirax) USD 20.00 Add to Basket
5 g Acyclovir cream 5% (Herpesin) USD 19.00 Add to Basket
200 mg 25 tab USD 34.00 Add to Basket
200 mg 50 tab USD 75.00 Add to Basket
400 mg 35 tab USD 75.00 Add to Basket
400 mg 70 tab USD 147.00 Add to Basket
800 mg 35 tab USD 109.00 Add to Basket
800 mg 70 tab USD 211.00 Add to Basket

Zovirax (also known as Acyclovir) is used to treat various kinds of herpes. Oral forms of Zovirax are used in particular to treat the initial stage of genital herpes and for reoccurring cases of herpes where it is more severe.


Zovirax notes:

Zovirax generic name Acyclovir is an antiviral drug. Zovirax slow downs the growth of herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. Illnesses caused by herpes viruses include genital herpes, cold sores, shingles and chicken pox. Acyclovir reduces the pain and the number of lesions in the initial case of genital herpes, and decreases the frequency and severity of recurrent infections. Acyclovir ointment is used topically to treat initial genital herpes where it has been shown to decrease pain, reduce healing time, and limit the spread of the infection. Zovirax doesn't treat viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Zovirax side effects include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea and headache. Other side effects include agitation, confusion, rash, anaemia, muscle pain, seizures, hepatitis, tingling of hands/feet and hypersensitivity reactions..It is recommended to consult doctor immediately if any of the side effects gets worsened.Acyclovir is as an ingredient of telviran in countries like Hungary and Slovakia.

Zovirax tablets are availabe for 200mg, 400mg, 800mg.
The recommended dosage of aciclovir 800 is every 4 hours orally, 5 times daily for 7 to 10 days. It can be taken with or without food. Taking Zovirax with food may decrease stomach upset. Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before measuring a dose.

Acyclovir cream has been available for the treatment of herpes numerous countries outside the United States of America.

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine. Overdose symptoms may include seizure convulsions), hallucinations and urinating less than usual or not at all. If a dose is missed, it is advised to consume it as soon as it is remembered. If it is near the time of the next dose, the missed one should be skip and the usual dosing schedule should be resume and strictly not to double the dose to catch up.

Before taking Zovirax, tell doctor if you are also taking probenecid (Benemid). If you are using probenecid, you may not be able to use Zovirax, or you may need dosage adjustments.

Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even while you are being treated with Zovirax. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Avoid touching an infected area and then touching your eyes. Wash your hands frequently to prevent passing the infection to others.

Zovirax during pregnancy should be used cautiously only if clearly needed. Acyclovir is excreted in breast-milk, and a significant amount may be transferred to the infant.

Zovirax should be stored at room temperature, between 15-25 C (59-77 F), away from sunlight and moisture.


Zovirax news:

According to the statistics availbale the incidence of neonatal herpes simplex virus ranges from as low as eight cases to as high as 60 cases per 100,000 live births in the United States Of America and only about 40% of untreated infants with the infection survive, yet evidence-based guidelines for preventing the disease does not exist.

Researchers wrote that current guidelines issued by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology provide useful treatment tools but are not directed at the prevention of neonatal HSV infection and it appears that they have not altered the epidemiologic patterns of neonatal HSV infection in the United States in the past decade.

According to the researchers, mothers who acquire genital HSV type 1 or 2 during pregnancy are more likely to pass the virus on to their child (25%-50%) than those with longstanding infections that have reactivated at term (<1%) and these differences contribute to divergent patient care and public health strategies.

They have advocated the following proposed strategies be evaluated further to determine their efficacy:

Treating pregnant women with recently acquired HSV with an antiviral to reduce the risk for morbidity such as 400-mg dose of oral zovirax three times daily for seven to 10 days.

Performing serologic testing among pregnant women to determine those at risk for HSV.

Counseling all women to avoid unprotected sexual intercourse and oral genital contact during late pregnancy.

Performing serological testing in pregnant women and their partners to determine discordant results that may put an uninfected mother at risk.
(5) Using rapid polymerase chain reaction assays to detect viral shedding at delivery, followed by early antiviral therapy for at-risk infants.

The researchers concludes by saying that a concentrated effort to conduct studies for provising guidance to effectively reduce the incidence of neonatal HSV infection is needed and for that an alliance will be required between practitioners and academicians.

Zovirax story:

Zovirax is a synthetic nucleoside analogue active against herpesviruses. The capsules, tablets, and suspension are formulations for oral administration only. One of the most commonly-used antiviral drugs, it is primarily used for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infections as well as in the treatment of herpes zoster (shingles). Due to its low cytoxicity, zovirax is considered as the start of new era in antiviral therapy.

Zovirax behaves quite differently from previous nucleoside analogues in a way that it contains only a partial nucleoside structure i.e.the sugar ring is replaced by an open-chain structure. It is selectively converted into acyclo-guanosine monophosphate (acyclo-GMP) by viral thymidine kinase which is far more effective (3000 times) in phosphorylation than cellular thymidine kinase. Further, the monophosphate form is phosphorylated into the active triphosphate form called as acyclo-guanosine triphosphate (acyclo-GTP) by cellular kinases. Acyclo-GTP is a very potent inhibitor of viral DNA polymerase which has approximately 100 times greater affinity for viral than cellular polymerase. As a substrate, acyclo-GTP is incorporated into viral DNA resulting in chain termination. Acyclo-GTP is known to be metabolised rapidly within the cell possibly by cellular phosphatases.

The pharmacokinetics of zovirax after oral administration has been evaluated in healthy volunteers and in immunocompromised patients with herpes simplex or varicella-zoster virus infection. In one multiple-dose crossover study in healthy subjects has shown that increase in plasma zovirax concentrations were less than dose proportional with increasing dose. The decrease in bioavailability is a function of the dose and not the dosage form. There was no effect of food detetced on the absorption of zovirax thus capsules, tablets and suspension can be administered with or without food.

Double-blind and placebo-controlled studies have demonstrated that orally administered
zovirax significantly reduced the duration of acute infection and duration of lesion healing. The duration of pain and new lesion formation was decreased in some patient groups. Similar studies in patients with frequent recurrences (6 or more episodes per year) have shown that orally administered zovirax given daily for 4 months to 10 years prevented or reduced the frequency and/or severity of recurrences in greater than 95% of patients. In a study of patients who received zovirax 400 mg twice daily for 3 years, 45%, 52%, and 63% of patients remained free of recurrences in the first, second and third year respectively. Serial analyses of the 3-month recurrence rates for the patients showed that 71% to 87% were recurrence free in each quarter.

In another double-blind, placebo-controlled study of immunocompetent patients with localized cutaneous zoster infection, zovirax(800 mg 5 times daily for 10 days) dosage shortened the times to lesion scabbing, healing and complete cessation of pain as well as reduced the duration of viral shedding and the duration of new lesion formation, while zovirax(800 mg 5 times daily for 7 days) shortened the times to complete lesion scabbing, healing and cessation of pain, reduced the duration of new lesion formation and the prevalence of localized zoster-associated neurologic symptoms (paresthesia, dysesthesia or hyperesthesia). Treatment was begun within 72 hours of rash onset and was most effective if started within the first 48 hours. Adults greater than 50 years of age showed greater benefit.

As zovirax is a commonly used medication it is crucial for health providers to be aware of appropriate dosing as well as possible side effects. Deficient or excessive dosing may result into serious toxic effects. A 65 year old man suffering from chronic kidney disease was admitted to emergency department after complaints of progressive confusion and ataxia. When interrogated the patient revealed that he had recently started a medication for a rash which was further investigated to be zovirax. Although other diagnosis were considered for this patient with altered mental status, he was treated for presumed zovirax toxicity and given prompt dialysis upon which his symptoms resolved. So it is important for physicians to remember that even common medications such as zovirax can have serious side effects and complications. In this case, renal dosing was not used in a patient on hemodialysis. Zovirax must be renally dosed and carefully monitored through drug level measurement in patients with limited kidney function to prevent serious side effects.


 

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