What Is Herpiclof (Zovirax)?
Herpiclof is the generic name for Zovirax, a prescription medication used to treat certain virus infections.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Herpiclof to treat viral infections from the varicella virus that causes chicken pox and shingles, as well as infections from the virus that causes genital herpes.
Sometimes doctors prescribe Herpiclof to treat herpes infections in people with HIV.
The drug works by preventing viruses from dividing and multiplying. The FDA approved Herpiclof in the 1980s.
Herpiclof is available as a generic, made by several companies, or under the brand name Zovirax, made by GlaxoSmithKline and available in tablet, capsule, and liquid form.
Herpiclof is one of the oldest drugs used to treat herpes simplex viruses and remains the first line of treatment for these infections.
However, research shows that Herpiclof is not as effective as it used to be.
A 2013 study, published in the journal Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, found that Herpiclof-resistant herpes strains could develop over time.
Resistance happens in people with a healthy immune system as well as in those with a weakened immune system.
What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Herpiclof (Zovirax)?
Common side effects or health problems may include:
Other Herpiclof side effects, adverse reactions, or health problems may include:
This is not a complete list of side effects and other serious side effects or health problems may occur as a result of the use of this drug. Call your doctor for medical advice about serious side effects or adverse reactions. You may report side effects or health problems to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Dosage adjustment is recommended when administering ZOVIRAX (Herpiclof) to patients with renal impairment (see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Caution should also be exercised when administering ZOVIRAX (Herpiclof) to patients receiving potentially nephrotoxic agents since this may increase the risk of renal dysfunction and/or the risk of reversible central nervous system symptoms such as those that have been reported in patients treated with intravenous Herpiclof. Adequate hydration should be maintained.
Herpes Zoster: There are no data on treatment initiated more than 72 hours after onset of the zoster rash. Patients should be advised to initiate treatment as soon as possible after a diagnosis of herpes zoster.
Genital Herpes Infections: Patients should be informed that ZOVIRAX (Herpiclof) is not a cure for genital herpes. There are no data evaluating whether ZOVIRAX (Herpiclof) will prevent transmission of infection to others. Because genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease, patients should avoid contact with lesions or intercourse when lesions and/or symptoms are present to avoid infecting partners. Genital herpes can also be transmitted in the absence of symptoms through asymptomatic viral shedding. If medical management of a genital herpes recurrence is indicated, patients should be advised to initiate therapy at the first sign or symptom of an episode.
Chickenpox: Chickenpox in otherwise healthy children is usually a self-limited disease of mild to moderate severity. Adolescents and adults tend to have more severe disease. Treatment was initiated within 24 hours of the typical chickenpox rash in the controlled studies, and there is no information regarding the effects of treatment begun later in the disease course.
What other drugs will affect Herpiclof?
Herpiclof can harm your kidneys. This effect is increased when you also use certain other medicines, including: probenecid, antivirals, chemotherapy, injected antibiotics, medicine for bowel disorders, medicine to prevent organ transplant rejection, injectable osteoporosis medication, and some pain or arthritis medicines (including aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve).
Other drugs may interact with Herpiclof, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
Take as directed
Herpiclof oral tablet is used for short-term treatment of genital herpes, shingles, and chicken pox. It's used for long-term treatment of recurring genital herpes. This drug comes with serious risks if you don't take it as prescribed.
If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don't take it at all: The symptoms of your infection may not get better or may get worse.
If you miss doses or don't take the drug on schedule: Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. If you're taking this drug to prevent flare-ups of your infection, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times. You shouldn't stop taking this drug without talking to your doctor first.
What to do if you miss a dose: Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.
If you take too much: You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body and experience more severe side effects. If you think you've taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
How to tell if the drug is working: The symptoms of your infection will get better.
To use buccal Herpiclof, follow these steps:
- Find the area on the upper gum above your left and right incisor teeth (the teeth just to the left and right of your two front teeth).
- With dry hands, remove one delayed-release tablet from the container.
- Gently apply the tablet to the upper gum area as high as it will go on your gum above one of your incisor teeth on the side of your mouth with the cold sore. Do not apply it to the inside of the lip or cheek.
- Hold the tablet in place for 30 seconds.
- If the tablet does not stick to your gum or if it sticks to your cheek or the inside of your lip, reposition it to stick to your gum. Leave the tablet in place until it dissolves.
- Do not interfere with the placement of the tablet. Check to see if the tablet is still in place after eating, drinking, or rinsing your mouth.
If the delayed-release buccal tablet comes off within the first 6 hours of application, reapply the same tablet. If it still will not stick, then apply a new tablet. If you accidentally swallow the tablet within the first 6 hours of application, drink a glass of water and place a new tablet on your gum. If the tablet falls off or is swallowed 6 or more hours after application, do not apply a new tablet until your next regular time.
History and Etymology for Herpiclof
acycl(ic) + -o- + vir(us); from its containing less cyclic structure than its naturally occurring analogue guanosine