Acyclovir comes in cream, ointment, and oral capsules or tablets. Sometimes, it can be given intravenously as well. The creams and ointments are made with a percentage of medication mixed in with a water to oil ratio that will make it either a cream (water based) or an ointment (oil based). For those that do not need a cream for a herpes rash and are needing the oral medication to treat the infection internally, there are a few different acyclovir dosage forms your doctor will consider.
Zovirax (acyclovir) dosing
Acyclovir 400 mg dosages are given for chronic suppressive therapy in adults with recurrent disease. They will usually have to take 400 mg twice daily for 12 months and then get re-evaluated at that time to see if the virus has settled into an inactive or dormant state. For chronic suppressive therapy, alternative doses have included 200 mg 3 times daily and 200 mg 5 times daily.
For acute treatment of herpes zoster infections, which is commonly known as shingles, acyclovir 800 mg every 4 hours 5 times a day for 7 to 10 days is the usual regimen. The 800 mg dose is also used in adults and children over 88 pounds for acute treatment of chickenpox, which is the same virus. In patients with an immune system dysfunction or who are in an immunocompromised state (such as those with kidney disease, cancer, or HIV), intravenous Zovirax is administered in an inpatient setting.
Acyclovir 200 mg is the most commonly seen dosage of Zovirax (acyclovir). It is used for chronic suppressive therapy, as well as for genital herpes. Those with this sexually transmitted disease are treated with 200 mg of acyclovir every 4 hours 5 times a day for 10 days. If the infection is extensive, the physician may use a higher dosage or add Zovirax (acyclovir) topically to the treatment regimen.
Acyclovir 200 mg is also used for intermittent therapy in patients who have infrequent recurrences and do not need the extended year-long regimen. They are usually prescribed the 200 mg every 4 hours 5 times a day for 5 days. As long as this therapy is started at the onset of symptoms, the five-day duration should be sufficient.
Children are always dosed differently, usually based on height and weight. For acyclovir, which is usually used for chickenpox cases in patients who are over 2 years of age, the dose is 20 mg/kg each dose 4 times a day for 5 days. Children who are over 88 pounds, however, can receive adult dosages for chickenpox as listed above.