Aciclovir is a drug used to treat infections caused by the herpes simplex virus. It comes in the form of tablets, which can be bought over-the-counter at pharmacies and general stores with a pharmacist on site. These tablets are an effective treatment for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 if taken at the first signs of infection.
What is aciclovir?
Aciclovir is a drug used to treat infections caused by the herpes simplex virus. It comes in the form of tablets, which can be bought over-the-counter at pharmacies and general stores with a pharmacist on site.
These tablets are an effective treatment for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 if taken at the first signs of infection.
How does aciclovir work?
There are two types of virus that cause mouth ulcers and blisters – the herpes simplex viruses (HSV). The two types of HSV are HSV type 1 and HSV type 2. HSV type 1 is commonly linked to oral herpes or cold sores, while HSV type 2 is most often associated with genital herpes.
HSV enters the body through small cuts or breaks in the skin, where it travels to the nerve cells near the spine. Once inside the nerve cell, the virus stays there and lies dormant. When the virus becomes active again, it can either re-infect the same location or travel down the nerve fibers to infect other parts of the body.
Aciclovir works by entering the infected cells and preventing the virus from reproducing, which allows the immune system to clear the virus.
Where to buy over-the-counter aciclovir?
You can buy aciclovir tablets over-the-counter at any pharmacy, whether it’s a local chemist or a larger store such as Boots. Make sure you read the label carefully to find out how many tablets you should take, and when you should take them.
You can also buy aciclovir ointment over-the-counter, but this will be discussed in the section below.
Side effects of aciclovir
Aciclovir is generally considered safe, even in large quantities or for long periods of time. However, some side effects are possible, including mild nausea, vomiting or headaches. You should also be mindful of sunburn, as aciclovir increases your sensitivity to sunlight.
Is aciclovir an effective treatment for cold sores and HSV?
As mentioned above, aciclovir is effective against both HSV types. It is particularly useful in the early stages of infection, even before a blister appears. Many people are unaware that their symptoms are caused by a viral infection and would not seek treatment if they had a cold sore. A viral infection can easily be cleared up with aciclovir tablets.
Although aciclovir is effective against HSV, it may not always get rid of the infection. If you have an HSV infection, your doctor will prescribe aciclovir to lower the risk of complications such as eye infection or a secondary bacterial infection.
When should you not use aciclovir?
You should not use aciclovir if you have a compromised immune system (either due to illness or treatment). You should also avoid aciclovir if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you are taking the blood-thinning drug, warfarin.
Should you buy aciclovir ointment instead of tablets?
The antiviral drug aciclovir is sometimes used as a topical treatment, applied to the affected skin. This is not the same thing as the aciclovir tablets that you can buy over the counter, but it does contain the same active ingredient.
While aciclovir tablets are effective against both types of herpes, aciclovir ointment is only effective against HSV type 1. This means that if you have a cold sore or if you are having recurrent outbreaks of HSV type 2, the ointment will be ineffective.
So, can you buy Aciclovir over the counter or do you need a prescription?
To buy aciclovir tablets over the counter, you must be 18 years or older. You should be symptom-free (with no blisters or sores) before you start taking the tablets, and you should take the full course even if your symptoms are gone after a week.
If you have had a cold sore for more than 14 days or a genital herpes infection for more than six weeks, you should see a doctor for an antiviral prescription.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on aciclovir and its uses. Aciclovir is an effective treatment for both types of herpes, and you can buy it over the counter to treat your symptoms at home.