WHO Model Prescribing Information: Drugs Used in Skin Diseases
(1997; 132 pages) [French] [Spanish] View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
Open this folder and view contentsParasitic infections
Open this folder and view contentsInsect and arachnid bites and stings
Open this folder and view contentsSuperficial fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsSubcutaneous fungal infections
Open this folder and view contentsBacterial infections
Open this folder and view contentsViral infections
Open this folder and view contentsEczematous diseases
Open this folder and view contentsScaling diseases
Open this folder and view contentsPapulosquamous diseases
View the documentCutaneous reactions to drugs
Open this folder and view contentsPigmentary disorders
Open this folder and view contentsPremalignant lesions and malignant tumours
Open this folder and view contentsPhotodermatoses
Open this folder and view contentsBullous dermatoses
View the documentAlopecia areata
View the documentUrticaria
Open this folder and view contentsConditions common in children
View the documentAcne vulgaris
View the documentPruritus
View the documentTropical ulcers
Close this folderAntimicrobial drugs
View the documentAciclovir
View the documentBenzylpenicillin
View the documentClioquinol
View the documentErythromycin
View the documentMethylrosanilinium chloride (gentian violet)
View the documentNeomycin + bacitracin
View the documentTetracycline
View the documentTiabendazole
Open this folder and view contentsAntifugal drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAntiseptic agents
Open this folder and view contentsKeratoplastic and keratolytic agents
Open this folder and view contentsScabicides and pediculicides
Open this folder and view contentsAnti-inflammatory and antipruritic drugs1
Open this folder and view contentsAntiallergics and drugs used in anaphylaxis
Open this folder and view contentsUltraviolet radiation-blocking agents (sunscreens)
Open this folder and view contentsMiscellaneous drugs
Open this folder and view contentsAnnex
View the documentSelected WHO Publications of Related Interest
View the documentBack cover
 

Aciclovir

Tablet, 200 mg, 400 mg
Powder for injection, 500 mg in vial

General information

Aciclovir, which is derived from guanine, is a synthetic purine nucleoside analogue with antiviral properties. It acts against herpesviruses by disrupting DNA synthesis and inhibiting viral replication. However, in immunocompromised patients, alpha-herpesviruses are often resistant to aciclovir.

Absorption from the gastrointestinal tract is variable and incomplete. Aciclovir is widely distributed in tissues and body fluids, including the cerebrospinal fluid. It has a plasma half-life of 3 hours and is excreted in the urine primarily unchanged.

Clinical information

Uses

• Treatment of herpes simplex infections in newborn infants, immunocompromised patients and patients with atopic eczema.

• Treatment of severe zoster infections in elderly or immunocompromised patients.

• Treatment of chickenpox in immunocompromised patients.

• Prevention of recurrent herpes simplex infections.

Dosage and administration

Intravenous infusions should be administered slowly over a period of 1 hour to avoid acute impairment of renal function.

All doses are suitable for adults and children over 2 years.

Herpes simplex:

Acute disease: 200 mg orally five times daily for 7-10 days.

Immunocompromised patients and patients with atopic eczema: 10 mg/kg i.v. three times daily for 7-10 days.

Newborn infants: 5 mg/kg i.v. three times daily for 7-10 days.

To prevent recurrence, 400 mg may be given orally twice daily for up to 1-2 years. Dosages as low as 200 mg daily have also been used.

Reactivated zoster (shingles) and chickenpox in immunocompromised patients:

Immunocompromised patients: 10 mg/ kg i.v. three times daily for 5-7 days. Elderly patients, in whom there is a risk of persistent postzoster neuralgia, respond to oral administration of 800 mg five times daily for 5-7 days.

Contraindications

Known hypersensitivity to purine nucleoside analogues.

Precautions

A high fluid intake reduces the risk of acute renal impairment.

Use in pregnancy

Safe use in pregnancy has not been established. Aciclovir should be used only when the need of the mother outweighs the risk of harm to the fetus.

Adverse effects

Reversible skin rashes, headache, nausea and vomiting occasionally occur after oral administration.

Serious adverse reactions are rare. Confusion, seizures and hallucinations have been reported after parenteral administration.

Transient renal impairment may occur during intravenous therapy, possibly as a result of crystallization in the renal tubules. This usually responds rapidly to dosage reduction or withdrawal of the drug. Acute renal failure has responded to haemodialysis.

Overdosage

Since aciclovir is incompletely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, oral overdosage is unlikely to have serious effects. Blood concentrations can be lowered by haemodialysis.

Storage

Tablets should be stored in well-closed containers below 25 °C. Powder for injection should be stored at 2-8 °C. After reconstitution the solution is stable for up to 12 hours at 20 °C.

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