What is in this leaflet
This leaflet answers some common questions about ACICLOVIR AN (aciclovir).
It does not contain all the available information.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you taking this medicine against the benefits it is expected to 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 ACICLOVIR AN is used for
ACICLOVIR AN contains aciclovir, a compound that belongs to a group of medicines called antivirals.
ACICLOVIR AN is used for the treatment of shingles (herpes zoster), impaired immunity and genital herpes.
In the case of shingles, ACICLOVIR AN works by stopping the multiplication of the virus which causes shingles. It can reduce the length and severity of an outbreak of shingles but it will not get rid of the virus from your body.
Aciclovir at high strength is used as part of the management program in people who have human immunodeficiency virus disease (HIV). It acts by preventing further damage to the immune system. In these people, ACICLOVIR AN also guards against the herpes virus disease.
Aciclovir does not get rid of the virus from your body.
Your doctor may have prescribed ACICLOVIR AN for another purpose.
ACICLOVIR AN is not recommended for use in children as there have been no studies of its effects in children.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why ACICLOVIR AN has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is only available with a doctor's prescription.
Before You Take ACICLOVIR AN
When you must not take Aciclovir AN
Do not take Aciclovir AN if you are allergic to medicines containing aciclovir or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include a skin rash similar to hives, itchiness, shortness of breath, swelling of the face, lips or tongue.
If you are not sure whether you should be taking ACICLOVIR AN, talk to your doctor.
Do not take Aciclovir AN if:
- the packaging shows signs of tampering or does not look quite right.
- the expiry date marked on the packaging has passed, even though the tablets may look alright. If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
Before you start to take ACICLOVIR AN
Tell your doctor if:
- you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant while taking ACICLOVIR AN.
Medicines like ACICLOVIR AN may affect the developing baby if you take it during pregnancy. Your doctor will discuss the possible risks and benefits of taking ACICLOVIR AN during pregnancy.
- you are breastfeeding or wish to breastfeed
Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of taking ACICLOVIR AN when breastfeeding.
- you are allergic to any foods, dyes, preservatives or any other medicines.
- you have any health problems, including:
- kidney or liver problems
- neurological problems
- receiving interferon or methotrexate treatment
- insufficient oxygen level in blood or tissue, or altitude sickness
Symptoms are dizziness, shortness of breath, and mental confusion
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are takingany other medicines, including medicines you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines and ACICLOVIR AN may interfere with each other.
Your doctor or pharmacist has a complete list of medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking ACICLOVIR AN.
If you have not told your doctor or pharmacist about these things, tell them before you start taking ACICLOVIR AN.
How to take ACICLOVIR AN
Take ACICLOVIR AN exactly as your doctor has prescribed.Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
How much to take
Treatment for Shingles
The normal dose is to take 800 mg five times a day approximately every 4 hours throughout the day while awake, for 7 days. Either take your tablets at 7am, 11am, 3 pm, 7pm and 11pm or note down the times that suit your daily schedule.
Management of advanced HIV
The dose is 800 mg four times a day every 6 hours, for as long as your doctor tells you.
Treatment of initial genital herpes
One 200 mg tablet every four hours while awake, for a total of 5 tablets daily, for 10 days.
Intermittent therapy for recurrent genital herpes
One 200 mg tablet every four hours while awake, for a total of 5 tablets daily, for 5 days. Therapy should be initiated at the earliest sign or symptom (prodrome) of recurrence.
Chronic suppressive therapy for recurrent genital herpes
One 200 mg tablet three times a day for up to 6 months. For most people, one 200 mg tablet twice a day gives satisfactory results.
The Pharmacist’s label on the pack will give the dosage instructions for your treatment.
ACICLOVIR AN tablets may be dispersed in a glass of water prior to being taken or alternatively swallow the tablets whole with a glass of water. You should drink plenty of fluids.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How long to take ACICLOVIR AN for
You must take ACICLOVIR AN for as long as your doctor tells you. Do not stop taking ACICLOVIR AN just because you feel better.
If you forget to take it
If you forget to take a dose, take one as soon as you remember, unless this is within an hour of when the next dose is due. Then go on as before.
Do not take a double dose to make up for the dose that you missed.
This may increase the chance of getting an unwanted side effect.
If you take too much (overdose)
Immediately telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (telephone 13 11 26) for advice, or go to accident and emergency (Casualty) at your nearest hospital if you think you or anyone else may have taken too much ACICLOVIR AN. Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention. Keep telephone numbers of these places /services handy.
While you are taking ACICLOVIR AN
Things you must do
Take ACICLOVIR AN tablets exactly as your doctor tells you to.
Visit your doctor regularly for check-ups.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking ACICLOVIR AN.
If you are about to start any new medicine, tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are taking ACICLOVIR AN.
If you become pregnant while taking ACICLOVIR AN tell your doctor immediately
Things you must not do
Do not take ACICLOVIR AN to treat any other conditions unless your doctor says to.
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not stop taking your medicine or lower the dosage without checking with your doctor.
Things to be careful of
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how ACICLOVIR AN affects you.
ACICLOVIR AN may cause dizziness or drowsiness in some people and affect alertness.
If this occurs, do not drive, operate machinery or do things that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking ACICLOVIR AN.
ACICLOVIR AN helps most people but it may have some unwanted side effects in a few 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.
Do not be alarmed by the list of possible side effects. You may not experience any of them.
Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following and they worry you:
These are the more common side effects of ACICLOVIR AN.
Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Dizziness, fatigue, fast heart rate, fever, chills, short of breath
- Confusion, sleep disturbances, hallucinations, shakiness, irritability
- Weight loss, fluid retention, pain in the leg and joints, vein disorders
- Diarrhoea, constipation
- Sore throat, taste disturbances, swollen glands
- Skin rashes, hair loss
- Cramps, menstrual problems
- Disorders of the eyes and liver
These may or may not be due to ACICLOVIR AN but you should tell your doctor if they worry you.
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.
If you notice any other symptoms that worry you, check with your doctor.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you don't understand anything in this list.
After taking ACICLOVIR AN
Keep ACICLOVIR AN where children cannot reach it.
Keep your tablets in the pack until it is time to take them. If you take your tablets out of the pack they may not keep as well.
Keep your tablets in a cool dry place where temperatures stay below 25°C. Protect from light and moisture.
Do not store ACICLOVIR AN or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink.
Do not leave your medicines on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking ACICLOVIR AN, or your tablets have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that are left over.
What it looks like
ACICLOVIR AN 200 mg, 400 mg, 800 mg are presented in pack size of 25 & 90 tablets in blister.
ACICLOVIR AN 200 mg (AUST R 182884)
White to off-white, capsule shaped, biconvex tablets, with 'ACV' embossed on one side and '200' on the other side.
ACICLOVIR AN 400 mg (AUST R 182885)
White to off-white, capsule shaped, biconvex tablets, with 'ACV' embossed on one side and '400' on the other side.
ACICLOVIR AN 800 mg (AUST R 182886)
White to off-white, capsule shaped, biconvex tablets, with 'ACV' embossed on one side and '800' on the other side.
Each tablet may contain either 200 mg, 400 mg & 800 mg of aciclovir
- microcrystalline cellulose
- magnesium stearate
- colloidal anhydrous silica
- sodium starch glycollate
- pregelatinised maize starch
Please read this leaflet carefully before you start taking ACICLOVIR AN. You may wish to keep it to read again.
Name and Address of the Sponsor
Scentia Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd
8 – 12 Ordish Road
VIC – 3175
Date of Preparation
Doc ID: 36.AN.M.1.0