Pregnancy Outcomes Following Systemic Prenatal Acyclovir Exposure
Herpes infections are common among women of reproductive age . Acyclovir , anantiviral drug effective in the treatment of herpes simplexinfection, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1984. Since its approval, the effects of acyclovir on humanpregnancies have not been determined. However, inadvertentpregnancy exposures to acyclovir were expected to occur among womenin whom treatment had been indicated for preexisting herpes simplexinfections. Some physicians have reported intentional use ofacyclovir during pregnancy for treatment of life-threatening herpessimplex infection. ** To assess the outcomes of pregnancies exposedto acyclovir, the Acyclovir in Pregnancy Registry was establishedon June 1, 1984, by the manufacturer, in collaboration with CDC.This report summarizes data on pregnancies reported to the registrythrough June 30, 1993.
Birth defects identified up to the first year of life areincluded in the registry, but for most reports, defects aregenerally identified during the neonatal period. The registryconsiders any report of an exposure, whether written or oral, to bea registered case even if the initial report provided insufficientbaseline data to allow for adequate follow-up .
Is Acyclovir Safe For Baby
It is during the first trimester of pregnancy when the babyâs internal organs get formed. If any sort of medicine with potential side effects is consumed during this time, there are chances that it may lead to birth defects in babies. But as far as its consumption in the second or third trimester of pregnancy is concerned, there are no scientific evidences which state any probable birth defects in the baby.
Apart from this, many moms-to-be are worried if the consumption of acyclovir can cause behaviour or learning issues in a child. however, there is no scientific evidence that states the consumption of acyclovir leading to any behaviour or learning problems in a child.
Acyclovir In The Planning Of Pregnancy
The stage of pregnancy planning is a very important period in the life of a married couple. Needless to say, the importance of the physical and psychological health of future parents for successful conception and full development of the intrauterine fetus is important. By the period of conception, it is necessary to properly prepare the body, both the mother and the father of the child.
During preparation for pregnancy it is important to give up all bad habits, eat right, avoid all sorts of low-calorie diets for the planning period, lead a healthy lifestyle.
It is equally important before the planning begins to treat all chronic and acute diseases in the body. As for the herpetic infection, unfortunately, getting rid of it completely is not possible: if one day you “picked up” the herpes virus, then you will remain its carrier for life. That is why, before the planned pregnancy, it is recommended to pass a preventive course of treatment of a viral infection, so that at the time of pregnancy, when the immune forces of the body weaken, reduce the chances of manifestation of herpetic exacerbation.
When planning conception in patients with frequent recurrent manifestations of herpes, the use of acyclovir for preventive purposes is recommended, accompanied by treatment with the use of immunostimulating agents and vitamin complexes.
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How Does Valacyclovir Work
Genital herpes is transmitted via vaginal fluids, skin contact, contact with open sores, and contact with the placenta.
The medicine works by suppressing viral shedding and spreading of the herpes simplex virus. It also helps to speed up the healing of active lesions.
Patients usually begin to take Valtrex during the last month of pregnancy at a dose of 500 mg twice a day.
Valtrex suppressive therapy should be prescribed alongside precautionary measures. These include using condoms and dental dams during sex and avoiding contact with affected areas.
Women who experience herpes outbreaks during the final month of pregnancy are usually recommended to undergo a C-section to avoid infection of the child during vaginal birth.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Acyclovir
Although it is considered to be safe but sometimes, it may lead to some mild to severe side effects in people. Some of the side effects are listed below:
Mild side effects
- Trouble sleeping
- Change in skin colour
- Allergic reaction on the skin such as itching or swelling on the face, lips and tongue etc.
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How Does It Work To Treat Herpes And Chickenpox
Acyclovir can help in decreasing the severity of herpes and chickenpox virus. It may even help in reducing the length and severity of the outbreaks. Using this medicine may heal sores faster and even lessen the pain. However, this medicine is more effective if you begin using it when the first outbreak happens.
Avoid The Following While You Are Using Acyclovir Buccal Delayed
- Do not chew gum, touch, or press the buccal tablet after it has been applied.
- Do not wear upper dentures.
- Do not brush your teeth until it dissolves. If your teeth need to be cleaned while the tablet is in place, rinse the mouth gently.
Shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
Your symptoms should improve during your treatment with acyclovir. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
Take or use acyclovir until you finish the prescription, even if you feel better. If you stop taking acyclovir too soon or skip doses, your infection may not be completely treated or may become more difficult to treat. The delayed-release buccal tablet is applied as a one-time dose.
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What Is Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 or type 2 .
Genital herpes is contagious from when you get your first symptoms until the sores have healed.
Once you have had the virus, herpes simplex stays in your body in a nearby nerve. That means you could have another outbreak of genital herpes at any time.
Does Acyclovir Cause Miscarriage Preterm Birth Stillbirth Or Low Birthweight In A Baby
Every pregnant woman wishes to have a healthy pregnancy however, if any medical emergency strikes, you should trust your doctor and take the prescribed medicines to feel better and recover.
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How Do I Protect My Baby From Herpes
Herpes can cause serious problems in a baby, such as infections to the eyes and throat, brain damage and even death.
A newborn baby can catch HSV-1 and HSV-2 from being kissed or touched by someone with cold sores, or during childbirth.
Fortunately, most babies born to women who carry the virus are not affected. But if you or your partner has a cold sore or genital herpes, talk to your doctor about keeping it under control during the pregnancy and after the birth. It is also important to treat these conditions aggressively while you are breastfeeding.
It’s important to maintain strict hygiene habits when caring for a new baby if you, or anyone in close contact with the baby, have cold sores.
If you have cold sores, you should:
- cover cold sores when you’re around the baby
- avoid kissing your baby until the sores are completely healed
- avoid touching the cold sores then touching your baby
- wash your hands thoroughly before touching your baby
Acyclovir Hexal During Pregnancy
The drug acyclovir hexal is an antiviral soft cream, which is produced by the German pharmaceutical company Hexal AG. The cream contains 50 mg of active acyclovir, with the addition of arlatone, dimethicone, cetyl alcohol, vaseline, paraffin, propylene glycol and water.
Acyclovir hexal inhibits the activity of viral cells of herpes simplex, Varicella, Epstein-Barr, cytomegaloviruses. Usually the drug is prescribed for primary lesions of herpetic infection during pregnancy. If the pregnant woman has previously had the same type of infection, the rationale for the administration of acyclovir hexal is determined by the attending physician.
The drug is absorbed enough by the affected skin, it is excreted through the kidneys, so patients with marked problems of the urinary system should be prescribed with caution.
In the treatment of acyclovir, hexal of genital herpes in the therapeutic period should refrain from sexual intercourse, even in the absence of clinical symptoms.
The method of administration and dosage of acyclovir hexal does not differ from the use of a similar preparation of other firms.
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How To Cope With Side Effects
What to do about:
- headaches make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink too much alcohol. Paracetamol is safe to take with aciclovir if you need a painkiller. Speak to your doctor if this does not help or your headaches are severe.
- feeling dizzy if aciclovir makes you feel dizzy, stop what you’re doing and sit or lie down until you feel better. Do not drive, ride a bike, or use tools or machinery if you feel dizzy.
- feeling or being sick stick to simple meals and do not eat rich or spicy food. It might help to take your medicine after you have eaten. If you’re being sick, try small, frequent sips of water to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee.
- diarrhoea drink lots of fluids, such as water or squash, to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhoea without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor.
- skin being sensitive to sunlight stay out of bright sun and use a high factor sun cream even on cloudy days. Do not use a sun lamp or sun beds.
- burning or stinging feeling after applying the cream this usually goes away after a short time. Ask a pharmacist or your doctor for advice if it continues to be a problem.
- itchy, dry or flaking skin try using an unscented moisturiser. Do not apply the moisturiser at the same time as your aciclovir cream.
Dosage For Shingles Genital Herpes Or Chickenpox
- Shingles typical dosage: 800 mg every 4 hours, five times per day for 710 days.
- Genital herpes:
- Typical initial dosage: 200 mg every 4 hours, five times per day, for 10 days.
- Typical dosage for prevention of recurrent herpes: 400 mg twice per day, every day for up to 12 months. Other dosing plans may include doses ranging from 200 mg three times daily to 200 mg five times daily. Your doctor will decide how long you should take this drug to avoid a flare-up of the infection.
- Typical dosage for reinfection : 200 mg every 4 hours, five times per day, for 5 days. You should take this drug as soon as the first signs of a flare-up appear.
- Chickenpox typical dosage:
- Children who weigh 40 kg or less: 20 mg/kg of body weight, given four times per day for 5 days
- Children who weigh more than 40 kg: 800 mg four times per day for 5 days
Start this drug as soon as the first symptom of chickenpox appears. It isnt known if this drug is effective if your child starts it more than 24 hours after the first sign of chickenpox.
It hasnt been confirmed that acyclovir is safe and effective for children younger than 2 years.
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How Is Hsv Treated During Pregnancy Or Breastfeeding
You can treat cold sores and genital herpes with:
- aciclovir cream, available from a pharmacist without prescription
- aciclovir or valaciclovir or famciclovir tablets, for which you need a prescription
These ‘antiviral’ drugs are known to be safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women and are effective most of the time.
Other Uses For This Medicine
Acyclovir is also sometimes used to treat eczema herpeticum to treat and prevent herpes infections of the skin, eyes, nose, and mouth in patients with human immunodeficiency virus , and to treat oral hairy leukoplakia .
This medication may be prescribed for other uses ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
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Herpes Outbreaks In Pregnancy
Herpes while pregnant takes some management. If you have your first outbreak of herpes in pregnancy, it is possible to transmit herpes to your baby. This means that your baby may be born prematurely or even die. However, if you have had outbreaks before and you are simply having a recurrence, this is generally not a risk for your baby unless you have an active genital lesion at the time of delivery.
During an active herpes episode, whether the first episode or a repeat one, you should follow a few simple steps to speed healing and avoid spreading the infection to other places on the body or to other people.
- Don’t touch the sores.
- Keep them clean and dry.
- Do not have sexual contact with anyone until you are completely healed.
- Wash your hands frequently.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Taking Acyclovir
Yes, you can drink alcohol while taking Acyclovir, but it should be well controlled and in moderation. Alcohol may not directly interact with Acyclovir, but when you drink too much of it, you may experience headaches or nausea. Doctors recommended not to drink alcohol to get the maximum benefit of the treatment and give your body the best chance for fast recovery. Get in touch with our medical experts at Yashoda Hospitals to learn more about the essential precautions, uses, dosages, and side effects of Acyclovir.
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Who Can And Cannot Take Aciclovir
Aciclovir can be taken by most adults and children.
Aciclovir is not suitable for some people.
To make sure aciclovir is safe for you, tell your doctor if you:
- have had an allergic reaction to aciclovir or any other medicine in the past
- have kidney problems
- are over 65 years old
- are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding
If your immune system is weakened , talk to your doctor about the best type of aciclovir for you.
They may recommend tablets rather than the cream.
How Is Genital Herpes Treated During Pregnancy
You should take acyclovir, valaciclovir or famciclovir tablets, as above.
If it’s your first outbreak of genital herpes, your baby may be more at risk because you haven’t had time to develop immune protection against the virus, which also helps protect the baby.
Some women experiencing an outbreak of genital herpes might be advised to have a caesarean. This would prevent the herpes virus passing from mother to baby during a vaginal birth. But most women in Australia with genital herpes do give birth safely to healthy babies vaginally.
It’s often recommended that women who have ever had genital herpes take antiviral tablets prior to the birth, even if the herpes isn’t active at the time.
Talk to your doctor or midwife about the best course of action for your situation.
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What Drugs And Food Should I Avoid While Taking Acyclovir
Avoid brushing your teeth, chewing gum, or wearing an upper denture while you have a buccal tablet in your mouth. You may rinse your mouth gently. Drink plenty of liquids to prevent dry mouth.
Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even while you are being treated with acyclovir. Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Avoid touching an infected area and then touching your eyes. Wash your hands frequently to prevent passing the infection to others.
Taking this medicine will not prevent you from passing genital herpes to your sexual partner. Avoid sexual intercourse while you have active lesions or the first symptoms of an outbreak. Genital herpes may still be contagious through “viral shedding” from your skin, even if you have no symptoms.
More Common Side Effects
Some of the more common side effects of acyclovir oral tablet include:
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare professional who knows your medical history.
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So the use of ritonavir can result in the elevation of the blood levels of other drugs people might be taking, possibly to dangerous levels. Some drugs, like statins or sedatives, can probably be discontinued during the treatment , but with other drugs, for example, blood thinners, antiarrhythmics, and blood pressure medications, this may be risky.
Is It Safe To Use Acyclovir Cream During Pregnancy
Yes, acyclovir cream is considered safe during pregnancy. It is often used to treat cold sores, where a small amount is applied to the affected area
Acyclovir works best when taken at an early phase of infection. You should continue with the course of medication once you begin the treatment unless your doctor tell you to. If the symptoms are not improving, check with your doctor for further treatment.
Did you take acyclovir during pregnancy? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
This post is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for a doctors consultation. Do not use any medication without talking to your doctor.
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