Q: Does Viraban cause hair loss?
A: During post marketing experience, observed in clinical practice, Viraban (Zovirax) was reported to cause hair loss. However, because adverse reactions reported in clinical practice, and not during controlled clinical trials, are reported voluntarily from an unknown population size, the frequency of the adverse reaction is unknown. Other adverse reactions reported during post marketing experience with Viraban included headache, allergic reaction, fever, pain, swelling in the extremities, agitation, confusion, dizziness, somnolence, tremors, diarrhea, gastrointestinal distress, nausea, anemia, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, elevated liver enzymes, hepatitis, jaundice, myalgia, prutitus, rash, visual disturbances, kidney failure, kidney pain, elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine, and hematuria. According to the prescribing information for Zovirax, the brand-name of Viraban, the most frequently reported adverse reactions reported during clinical trials included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malaise and headache and varied depending on the indication for treatment. Patients are instructed to contact their health care provider, immediately, if they experience symptoms which may indicate more serious adverse reactions of Viraban have developed. Symptoms may include pain the lower back, urinating less than usual or not urinating at all, easy bruising or bleeding, and unusual weakness. It is important for patients to report any unusual or bothersome reactions they experience while being treated with Viraban. Viraban should be taken exactly as prescribed.
How it works
Viraban belongs to a class of drugs called antivirals. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.
Viraban works by lowering the ability of the herpes virus to multiply in your body. This treats the symptoms of your infection. However, this drug doesn’t cure herpes infections. Herpes infections include cold sores, chickenpox, shingles, or genital herpes. Even with this drug, the herpes virus may still live in your body. Your symptoms may occur again later even after the symptoms of your current infection go away.
Viraban oral tablet doesn’t cause drowsiness but it can cause other side effects.
Warnings for certain groups
For people with kidney problems: If you have kidney problems or a history of kidney disease, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body well. This may increase the levels of this drug in your body and cause more side effects.
This medication may also decrease your kidney function. This means your kidney disease may get worse. Your doctor will adjust your dose depending on how well your kidneys are working.
For pregnant women: Viraban is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:
- Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown a risk to the fetus.
- There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.
Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. This drug should be used only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.
For women who are breastfeeding: Viraban may pass into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed. Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.
For seniors: The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.
For children: This drug hasn’t been studied in children younger than 2 years.
This dosage information is for Viraban oral tablet. All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:
- your age
- the condition being treated
- how severe your condition is
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
Some drugs may affect the way Viraban works, and Viraban may affect other drugs you are taking.
It's very important to let your doctor know about all drugs you are taking, including any over-the-counter herbs or supplements.
Drugs that may interact with Viraban include:
- Several medications used to treat bacterial or fungal infections, including amphotericin B (Fungizone) and several antibiotics such as amikacin (Amikin), gentamicin (Garamycin), kanamycin (Kantrex) and tobramycin (Tobi, Nebcin)
- Over-the-counter pain relievers (Advil, Motrin, Aleve)
- Medications used to treat HIV/AIDS, such as zidovudine (Retrovir, AZT)
Viraban can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:
- trouble breathing
- swelling of your throat or tongue
Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these symptoms. Don't take this drug again if you've ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).
Before taking this medicine
You should not take this medicine if you are allergic to Viraban or valViraban (Valtrex). You should not take Viraban buccal tablets (Sitavig) if you are allergic to milk proteins.
To make sure Viraban is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
kidney disease; or
a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine).
Viraban is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Herpes can be passed to your baby during childbirth if you have a genital lesion when your baby is born. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during pregnancy. Take your medicine as directed to best control your infection.
Viraban passes into breast milk, but is considered compatible with breast feeding. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby while taking this medication.
Use in younger children is not recommended due to potential risk of choking.
Viraban (Zovirax) is an antiviral drug prescribed to treat genital herpes, shingles, and chickenpox. Side effects drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy safety information should be reviewed prior to taking this medication.
Subchronic Oral Toxicity Study
Four groups each consisting of 28 male and 28 female Charles River CD-1 (ICR) mice were orally dosed by stomach tube for 33 days with suspensions of Viraban. Daily dose levels were 0, 50, 150 and 450 mg/kg. Hematology and clinical chemistry measurements were made on an additional 8 male and 8 female mice per group (dosed in the same manner) after the first and fourth weeks of dosing and during the 3rd postdose week.
Plasma drug concentrations were measured in pooled samples from an additional 4 male and 4 female mice per group on dose days 1, 15 and 30.
Based on preliminary experiments with rats and mice, the high dose of 450 mg/kg was selected to produce the highest drug plasma levels attainable, in a practical manner, by oral dosing in a rodent species. Averaged drug plasma concentrations ranged from approximately 3.4 (at the low dose) to 11.0 (at the high dose) μg/mL of plasma one hour after oral dosing.
No changes in health, growth rate, hematology and clinical chemistry measurements occurred that could be definitely attributed to dosing with Viraban. Gross and histopathologic examinations of 16 male and 16 female rats from the high-dose and control groups at the end of the dose period revealed nothing remarkable.
Adverse Drug Reaction Overview
The most frequent adverse reactions associated with the use of ZOVIRAX® (Viraban) are headache and nausea.
Neurological side effects have also been reported in rare instances. Elderly patients and patients with a history of renal impairment are at increased risk of developing these effects. In the reported cases, these reactions were generally reversible on discontinuation of treatment (see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS and ADVERSE REACTIONS, Post-Market Adverse Drug Reactions).
Q: Can you please tell me if there are any long-term side effects to taking 800mg of Viraban each day? Can this cause liver, kidney, or heart damage?
A: The most common adverse reactions associated with Viraban (//www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/Viraban) taken orally include malaise (generalized discomfort), headaches, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Viraban used topically has the following as the most common adverse reactions: mild pain, burning or stinging and pruritus (itching). There have been rare (less than 1 percent of studied patients) that have had suspected effects on various organ systems such as liver, kidneys, heart, etc. As always, talk with your health care provider regarding questions you have about side effects of your prescription medications. Jen Marsico, RPh
Q: Is there an Viraban ointment?
A: There is an Viraban (Zovirax) ointment formulation, available in 5% strength. Currently, Viraban ointment is only available as the brand-name Zovirax Ointment 5%. Viraban ointment is indicated for the management of initial genital herpes and in limited non-life threatening mucocutaneous herpes simplex virus infections in immunocompromised patients. Viraban ointment is not indicated for the prevention of viral transmission to other individuals. Viraban ointment is also not indicated for the prevention of recurrent herpes infections. Viraban ointment is a prescription ointment that is applied directly to genital herpes lesions and may lessen the duration of the symptoms associated with an initial outbreak. For the management of genital herpes, patients should be instructed regarding appropriate dosage and administration of Viraban ointment. Patients should be advised to apply a sufficient quantity of Viraban ointment to adequately cover all lesions and apply every 3 hours, 6 times daily, for 7 days of treatment. The dose size of Viraban ointment for each application may vary depending on the size of the lesion area. However, the dose size should be approximately Â½ inch ribbon of Viraban ointment per 4 square inches of surface area, according to the prescribing information. Patients should be advised to wear a rubber glove or finger cot when applying Viraban ointment to the affected area to avoid spreading the virus. Viraban ointment should be applied as early as possible after the development of signs and symptoms. During controlled clinical trials, mild pain, including temporary burning and stinging, was reported in approximately 30% of patients with no significant difference between patients receiving Zovirax ointment and patients receiving placebo. Local pruritus was also reported in 4% of patients. Viraban ointment 5% should be used exactly as prescribed by a health care provider. Patients should be advised not to exceed the recommended dosage, frequency of applications and length of treatment.