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Generic Name: aciclovir
Product Name: Acyclo-V

Indication: What Acyclo-V is used for

Acyclo-V is used for the treatment of genital herpes. Acyclo-V makes an outbreak of genital herpes shorter and less severe.

Acyclo-V can also be used long-term to prevent or reduce the number of outbreaks of genital herpes in people who experience them often.

Acyclo-V is also used as part of the management program for certain infections in people who also have the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Acyclo-V does not cure AIDS or get rid of the HIV virus from your body, but it may prevent further damage to the immune system by stopping production of herpes viruses.

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.

Action: How Acyclo-V works

Acyclo-V belongs to a group of medicines called antivirals. It works by stopping the production of the viruses that cause herpes and shingles.

Aciclovir is an antiviral agent which is active in vitro against Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types I and II and Varicella zoster virus (VZV), the latter being considerably less sensitive. The relationship between the level of in vitro sensitivity of herpes viruses to aciclovir and clinical response to therapy has not been adequately established. Development of resistance by HSV to aciclovir has been documented.

Acyclo-V 200

The active ingredient in Acyclo-V 200 is aciclovir. Each tablet contains 200 mg of aciclovir.

The tablets also contain microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, sodium starch glycollate, aluminium magnesium silicate, magnesium stearate, Opadry Complete film-coating system White Y-1-7000 (Proprietary Ingredient Number 1475), and macrogol 8000.

The tablets are gluten free.

Acyclo-V 800

The active ingredient in Acyclo-V 800 is aciclovir. Each tablet contains 800 mg of aciclovir.

The tablets also contain microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, sodium starch glycollate, aluminium magnesium silicate, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, macrogol 400, macrogol 8000, and titanium dioxide (171).

The tablets are gluten free.

Dose advice: How to use Acyclo-V

Before you take Acyclo-V

When you must not take it

Acyclo-V is not suitable for everyone.

Do not take Acyclo-V if you have an allergy to:

  • Any medicine containing aciclovir or valaciclovir;
  • Any of the ingredients listed here.

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 transplated 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

Your doctor will tell you how many tablets you need to take each day and when to take them. This depends on your condition and whether or not you are taking any other medicines. Your doctor will decide the right dose for you.

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and pharmacist carefully.

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


Keep taking Acyclo-V for as long as your doctor recommends. Do not stop taking Acyclo-V unless advised by your doctor.

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 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.

If you feel that your condition is not improving or is getting worse, see your doctor.

Things you must not do

Do not stop taking Acyclo-V or change the dose without first checking with your doctor.

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.

Things to be careful of

Do not stop taking Acyclo-V or change the dose without first checking with your doctor.

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.

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.

Schedule of Acyclo-V

Acyclo-V is a Schedule 4 – prescription only medicine.

Side effects of Acyclo-V

Like all other medicines, Acyclo-V may have unwanted side effects in some people. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Acyclo-V.

Often it is difficult to tell the difference between side effects of medicines and symptoms of the underlying illness.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.

Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following more common side effects and they worry you:

Less common side effects include:

  • Diarrhoea, dizziness, tiredness, fever, fast heartbeat, confusion, sleep disturbances;
  • Weight loss, constipation, fluid retention, leg and joint pain, shakiness, hallucinations;
  • Medication taste, sore throat, skin rash;
  • Cramps, menstrual problems, hair loss;
  • Irritability, swollen glands, vein disorders;
  • Eye and liver disorders.

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.

For further information talk to your doctor.


  1. Acyclo-V 200 Consumer Medicine Information (CMI). Millers Point, NSW: Alphapharm Pty Ltd. October 2013. [PDF]
  2. Acyclo-V 800 Consumer Medicine Information (CMI). Millers Point, NSW: Alphapharm Pty Ltd. October 2013. [PDF]
  3. Acyclo-V Product Information (PI). Millers Point, NSW: Alphapharm Pty Ltd. May 2014. [PDF]

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Posted On: 22 July, 2003
Modified On: 14 August, 2018
Reviewed On: 12 April, 2018


Created by: myVMC