Acyclovir Ophthalmic

Name: Acyclovir Ophthalmic

Why is this medication prescribed?

Ophthalmic acyclovir is used to treat an infection of the eye caused by herpes simplex virus. Acyclovir is in a class of antiviral medications called synthetic nucleoside analogues. It works by stopping the spread of the herpes virus in the eye.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking acyclovir,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to acyclovir, valacyclovir (Valtrex), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in acyclovir ophthalmic ointment. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using ophthlamic acyclovir, call your doctor.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Ophthalmic acyclovir may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • eye stinging
  • red, swollen, or itchy eyelids

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:

  • hives, itching, rash, swelling of the eyes, face, lips, mouth, throat, or tongue
  • new or worsening red, watery eyes, eye sensitivity to light, blurred vision, or pain around the eye

Ophthalmic acyclovir may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

If someone swallows acyclovir ophthalmic ointment, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.

Brand names

  • Avaclyr®
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