contains the active ingredient aciclovir
Consumer Medicine Information
What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about Acyclo-V.
It does not contain all of the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have benefits and risks. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking Acyclo-V against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with your medicine. You may need to read it again.
What Acyclo-V is used for
Acyclo-V is used for the treatment of shingles, which is also known as herpes zoster. Acyclo-V makes an outbreak of shingles shorter and less severe.
Acyclo-V belongs to a group of medicines called "anti-virals". It works by stopping the production of the virus which causes shingles. Acyclo-V does not get rid of the virus from your body.
Your doctor may have prescribed Acyclo-V for another purpose. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Acyclo-V has been prescribed for you.
Acyclo-V is not recommended for use in children, as there have been no studies of its effects in children.
Acyclo-V is available only with a doctor's prescription.
There is no evidence that Acyclo-V is addictive.
Before you take Acyclo-V
When you must not take it
Do not take Acyclo-V if you have an allergy to:
- any medicine containing aciclovir or valaciclovir
- any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath; wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; and rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not take this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to take it
Tell your doctor if:
- you are allergic to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives
- you have any other health problems or medical conditions, including:
- kidney problems
- liver problems
- nerve disease
- blood conditions
- you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant
Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking Acyclo-V when pregnant.
- you are breastfeeding or wish to breastfeed
Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking Acyclo-V when breastfeeding.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start taking Acyclo-V.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interfere with Acyclo-V. These include:
- medicines used to prevent gout or gouty arthritis such as probenecid
- medicines used to treat gastric ulcers or reflux such as cimetidine
- fluid or water tablets (diuretics)
- medicines used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs such as mycophenolate mofetil
These medicines may be affected by Acyclo-V or may affect how well Acyclo-V works.
Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you what to do if you are taking any of these medicines. They also have a more complete list of medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking Acyclo-V.
How to take Acyclo-V
Your doctor will tell you how much to take and when to take it.
Take Acyclo-V exactly as directed by your doctor.
How much to take
To treat shingles, the usual dose of Acyclo-V is one tablet every four hours while awake (a total of five tablets daily).
Some patients will take a different dose. Your doctor will decide the right dose for you.
When to take it
Start taking Acyclo-V within 72 hours of the rash appearing.
Suggested times to take your tablets are 7 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. These times are marked on the pack to help you to remember when to take the tablets. You may prefer to take the tablets at different times to suit your daily schedule, but you should take them approximately every 4 hours.
How to take it
The tablets may be swallowed whole with a glass of water. The tablets may also be dispersed in at least a quarter of a glass of water (about 50 mL) and then swallowed.
If you forget to take it
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Otherwise, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, and then go back to taking your tablets as you would normally.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose you missed.
If you miss more than one dose, or are not sure what to do, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
How long to take it for
For shingles, Acyclo-V is usually taken for 7 days.
Keep taking Acyclo-V until you finish the pack or for as long as your doctor recommends. Do not stop taking Acyclo-V, even if you feel better after a few days, unless advised by your doctor. Your shingles may not clear completely if you stop taking your medicine too soon.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to Accident and Emergency at the nearest hospital if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Acyclo-V. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
You may need urgent medical attention.
While you are taking Acyclo-V
Things you must do
Drink plenty of fluids while you are taking Acyclo-V.
If you feel that your condition is not improving or is getting worse, see your doctor.
If you are about to start taking a new medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking Acyclo-V.
Tell all the doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Acyclo-V.
If you become pregnant while taking Acyclo-V, tell your doctor.
Things you must not do
Do not use Acyclo-V to treat any other conditions unless advised by your doctor.
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if their symptoms seem similar to yours.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Acyclo-V. Acyclo-V helps most people with shingles, but it may have unwanted side effects in some people.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
- nausea, vomiting, headache.
Less common side effects include:
- diarrhoea, dizziness, tiredness, fever, confusion, sleep disturbances;
- weight loss, constipation, fluid retention, leg and joint pain, shakiness, hallucinations;
- taste disturbances, sore throat, skin rash.
This is not a complete list of all possible side effects. Others may occur in some people and there may be some side effects not yet known.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell while you are taking, or soon after you have finished taking Acyclo-V, even if it is not on this list.
After using Acyclo-V
Keep your tablets where children cannot reach them.
Keep your tablets in their pack until it is time to take them.
Keep your tablets in a cool, dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.
Do not keep Acyclo-V or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave Acyclo-V in the car or on window sills. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking Acyclo-V, or your medicine has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any tablets that are left over.
What it looks like
Acyclo-V 800 is a white, biconvex, oval, film-coated tablets, branded GXCG1 on one face and plain on the other.
Each pack contains 35 tablets.
The active ingredient in Acyclo-V 800 is aciclovir. Each tablet contains 800 mg of aciclovir.
The tablets also contain:
- microcrystalline cellulose
- sodium starch glycollate
- aluminium magnesium silicate
- magnesium stearate
- macrogol 400
- macrogol 8000
- titanium dioxide (171)
The tablets are gluten free.
Acyclo-V is supplied by:
Alphapharm Pty Limited
(ABN 93 002 359 739)
Level 1, 30 The Bond
30 – 34 Hickson Road
Millers Point NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9298 3999
Australian registration number:
AUST R 56373
This leaflet was prepared on
16 October 2013.
Acyclo-V is a registered trade mark used under licence from the Glaxo Wellcome Group of Companies.
Published by MIMS December 2013