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Zovirax, which is generically prescribed as acyclovir injections, is commonly used in the treatment of herpes, genital herpes, herpes encephalitis, cold sores, and shingles. Zovirax is an antiviral medication that can reduce or eliminate the symptoms caused by these viruses, but is not considered a cure. It is still possible to spread these infections even with treatment.

Zovirax is not appropriate for everyone. A thorough medical history should be assessed prior to prescribing this medication. Patients with a medical history that includes acyclovir allergies, kidney disease, liver disease, electrolyte imbalance, breathing problems, brain or nervous system disorders, or is on dialysis may not be able to take Zovirax or may require careful monitoring while undergoing drug therapy with this medication, depending on the condition or the severity of the condition.

The American Food and Drug Administration rated Zovirax as a pregnancy risk category B, which means that it has not been proven to cause harm or birth defects in unborn babies. Zovirax has been proven to pass through the mother’s breast milk and may affect a nursing baby. The prescribing physician should discuss whether the benefits outweigh the risks prior to prescribing this medication to a woman who is pregnant. The prescribing physician should avoid prescribing this medication to women who are nursing.

There is a risk of side effects associated with Zovirax, some of which are severe. A patient who is experiencing a serious side effect or an allergic reaction should seek immediate emergency medical attention. An allergic reaction will present with facial swelling such as swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat, hives, and difficulty breathing. Other serious side effects which require emergency medical treatment include symptoms such as fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, decreased urination, no urination, skin rash that is red, blistering, or peeling, jaundice, weakness, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, injection site reactions like pain, swelling, tenderness, or skin changes, fatigue, agitation, confusion, tremors, hallucinations, or seizures.

Other less serious side effects typically do not require emergency medical attention but should be reported to the prescribing physician. Patients should be encouraged to report all side effects. Less serious side effects include symptoms such as insomnia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, loss of coordination, loss of appetite, muscle pain, numbness, tingling, headaches, lightheadedness, or selling of the extremities. Less serious side effects can often be reduced to a tolerable level by reducing the dosage of Zovirax.

Zovirax should be taken exactly as it has been prescribed by the physician. If the patient misses a dose, the dose should be taken as soon as it is remembered. However, if it is almost time for the next scheduled dose, the missed dose should be skipped to avoid the potential for an overdose. The patient should never take a double dose of this medication. If an overdose is suspected, the patient should seek immediate emergency medical attention. An overdose will present with symptoms which may include a decrease or absence of urination, agitation, hallucinations, seizures, and convulsions.

There is a risk of negative drug interactions associated with Zovirax. A thorough medical history should be understood prior to prescribing this medication. Patients should be urged to inquire with the prescribing physician before taking any new medications, including over the counter medication and herbal remedies. Medications with known interactions with Zovirax include probenecid and additional antiviral medications.

Zovirax has the following structural formula:

Chemical structure of zovirax

• Molecular formula of zovirax is C8H11N5O3
• Chemical IUPAC Name is 2-amino-9-(2-hydroxyethoxymethyl)-3H-purin-6-one
• Molecular weight is 225.205 g/mol
Zovirax available : 200mg capsules, 5% cream 2gm tube, 5% cream 5gm tube, 5% ointment 15gm tube, 200mg/5ml suspension 473ml bottle, 400mg tablets, 800mg tablets

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