This medication is used to treat infections that are caused by the herpes virus, which may manifest as genital herpes, cold sores, chickenpox, or shingles. Zovirax may also be used for other purposes than the ones described in this article.
Important Zovirax Information
First of all, it is very important that you use Zovirax for the entire time period that is prescribed by your doctor. You should know that your symptoms may get better or disappear completely before the virus is actually fully treated. For this reason, it’s important to continue taking the medication even if your symptoms improve or go away, so that the virus does not become active again. Do not increase or decrease the dosage, or stop taking it without talking to your doctor first.
A Zovirax cream treatment should begin as soon as the first symptoms of herpes appear, like blisters, or a burning or tingling sensation. The sooner the treatment is started, the more effective it is, and the less of a chance there is for the virus becoming active again.
Keep in mind that a herpes infection is contagious, and you can infect other people even during a Zovirax treatment, or even if you show no symptoms at all. You should take great care to not allow your infected area(s) to come into contact with other people. Stay away from touching an infected area and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose. It’s a good idea to wash your hands frequently to minimize the chance of infecting others.
Do not use Zovirax if you are allergic to acyclovir or valacyclovir (Valtrex). Tell your doctor if you have allergic reactions to drugs, or if you have any kind of kidney disease.
Side Effects Associated With Zovirax
Contact your doctor right away if you experience any of these more-serious side effects:
- Unusual weakness or fatigue;
- Urinating less than usual, or not at all;
- Bruising or bleeding easily; or
- Pain in your lower back.
Common, less serious side effects of a Zovirax treatment can include:
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, stomach pain;
- Swelling in the hands or feet; or
- Headaches or light-headedness.
Get emergency help immediately if you have any sign of an allergic reaction to Zovirax, such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat; hives, or difficulty breathing.
Keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list of side effects. Talk to your doctor before starting Zovirax, as you may experience symptoms that are not on this list.
How Should Zovirax Be Taken?
The most important thing to remember is that you should apply your Zovirax cream exactly as your doctor told you to. Do not use more or less than what has been prescribed, and don’t use it for a shorter or longer period of time than your doctor has instructed you to. Follow the directions on the label.
Any lesions that are caused by a herpes virus need to be kept as clean and dry as possible to avoid irritation. Loose-fitting clothing will help with this.
Keep Zovirax at a regular room temperature, away from moisture and heat.
What Happens if I Miss an Application?
Apply the cream as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next one. In that case, skip the missed application and continue as normal with your regular one. Do not apply extra cream to make up for your missed application.
What Other Drugs Should I Avoid While Using Zovirax?
Before you start a Zovirax treatment plan, tell your doctor if you’re currently taking probenecid (Benemid), since it can sometimes interfere with Zovirax. You may not be able to use Zovirax, or you may need to have special adjustments to the plan while you’re using it.
Also be sure to inform your doctor if any other prescription or over-the-counter medications that you’re currently using. Include any vitamins or herbal products as well. Never start a new medication without talking to your doctor.