Key Patient Counseling Points:
- Complete full course of therapy.
- Ensure adequate hydration.
- Symptoms should improve within 2-3 days; if they worsen, seek follow-up with healthcare practitioner.
- If using for prophylaxis, this medication should reduce the number of breakouts.
Mechanism of Action:
Acyclovir is an acyclic nucleoside analogue of deoxyguanosine that is selectively phosphorylated by the virus-encoded thymidine kinase to its monophosphate form. Cellular enzymes then convert the monophosphate to the active antiviral acyclovir triphosphate, which inhibits viral DNA synthesis by incorporation into viral DNA, resulting in chain termination. Acyclovir has potent activity against herpes simplex virus (HSV) I and II and herpes zoster virus (varicella-zoster virus [VZV]).