Acyclovir (Zovirax) online prescription available

If you are suffering from herpes virus infections, Acyclovir (Zovirax) can help. Get a same-day prescription or refill of Acyclovir from a caring, board-certified doctor online.*

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FDA-approved for HSV, shingles, and more

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About Acyclovir (Zovirax)

Acyclovir (Zovirax) is an antiviral medication for treating viral infections such as herpes simplex (HSV) and genital herpes. Also, it can be used to treat chickenpox and shingles. The drug stops the action of an enzyme called DNA polymerase, responsible for making copies of the virus.

By doing this, Acylcovir helps stop the virus from multiplying and spreading. This helps reduce symptoms such as pain and inflammation.

Acyclovir doesn't cure herpes simplex virus (HSV) but it does reduce the severity of the symptoms. Even when taking acyclovir (Zovirax), you can still pass the virus to your sexual partner.

It can be taken orally or applied topically. Acyclovir is the generic version and there are also brand names, such as Zovirax and Sitavig. Acyclovir can be prescribed as a capsule, buccal tablet, ointment, or cream. Always follow the specific instructions on your prescription as they can vary.

Always follow your doctor's instructions when taking any medication and chat with your doctor if you have any concerns about changing the dose or treatment plan. If you are sexually active, taking the antiviral medication exactly as prescribed will help reduce the risk of passing the infection to your partner.

Acyclovir (Zovirax) uses

There are several FDA-approved uses for Acyclovir antiviral medications, but it may also be used off-label to treat other conditions. Your online healthcare professional may prescribe it for the following reasons. It’s also possible that your healthcare provider may prescribe it for other reasons not listed here. Ask your online doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about why a medication is prescribed. The FDA-approved uses include:

  • HSV Encephalitis

    The herpes virus causes encephalitis. Acyclovir works by stopping the virus from replicating and spreading to other cells. Also, this medication can help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms.

  • Genital helpes: episodic and suppressive treatment options

    Two treatment options for genital herpes are available - episodic and suppressive therapy:

    Episodic therapy is taken when symptoms are present, while suppressive therapy is taken daily to prevent breakouts. The typical dose for episodic therapy is 200 mg, taken five times a day for 10 days. The usual dose for suppressive therapy is 400 mg, taken twice a day for up to 12 months.

    If using ointment or cream, it is applied every three hours (six times daily) for seven days to prevent Herpes lesions. It's essential to use enough medication to cover all lesions and to avoid spreading the infection. A glove should be worn when applying the medication.

    Acyclovir will help to lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness by stopping DNA polymerase, an enzyme needed for viral replication. Also, it'll help prevent passing the genital herpes infection to your partner.

  • Shingles

    For shingles, oral capsules and tablets are typically taken five times daily (about every four hours) for seven to 10 days (off-label). It'll help to lessen the pain and speed up the healing process.

  • Chickenpox

    For chickenpox, the form of the medication and dosage will depend on the patient's age. Children aged two to 18 years have typically prescribed a dose based on their weight, which is taken for five days. Adults have typically prescribed 800 mg, taken four times daily for five days. It'll help lessen the symptoms, shorten the illness's duration, and use off-label to deal with the virus.

  • Cold Sores

    A buccal tablet (50 mg) is placed in your mouth between the upper cheek and gum for cold sores. It should be replaced every four hours while awake for six daily doses. The off-label use of medication will help to speed up the healing process.

What are the pros and cons?



  • Can prevent herpes outbreaks

  • Available in various forms for various needs

  • When taken early, can reduce the severity and duration of outbreaks


  • In rare cases, can lead to kidney problems

  • May need to be taken multiple times a day

  • Over time, some strains of HSV can become resistant to acyclovir

Acyclovir (Zovirax) side effects

The side effects associated with taking Zovirax are typically mild. Most Zovirax side effects are associated with gastrointestinal discomfort. Zovirax has some common side effects, which include:

    • Nausea

    • Vomiting

    • Diarrhea

    • Stomach pain

    • Headache

    These side effects usually go away after a few days as your body gets used to the medication. However, if these side effects persist or worsen, call your doctor. Other side effects, which are less common but might be more severe, could include:

    • Skin rash

    • Mild skin pain

    • Hives

    • Itching of the genital area

    • Kidney disease

    • Severe dizziness

    • Sore throat

    • Trouble breathing

    You should call your doctor for medical advice if you notice any of these side effects or if you develop any other new or concerning symptoms. If you experience any severe side effects, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical help.

How to take Acyclovir (Zovirax)

Your pharmacist will provide you with instructions on how to take Zovirax for the treatment of herpes. Be sure to read your prescription label and follow the instructions.

Zovirax is typically prescribed 2 to 5 times a day. Some specific instructions may include taking it with or without food, shaking the bottle well before each dose, and measuring the dose carefully using a special measuring device or spoon.

This medication works best when started at the first sign of an outbreak such as tingling, itchy sensations due to a cold sore, or as soon as your cold sore appears. It may not work as well if you delay treatment. Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight.

What to avoid while taking Acyclovir (Zovirax)

Acyclovir has several possible drug interactions, and it is important to be aware of them. Always speak to a doctor or pharmacist before changing any medications. This includes other prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and supplements.

It is also important to avoid valacyclovir while taking acyclovir. Valacyclovir is a similar medication; using both could cause serious side effects. Also, kidney problems have been reported with NSAIDs while taking acyclovir. Therefore, it is best to avoid these medications as well.

As always, avoid drinking alcohol while taking acyclovir. Some research shows that regular alcohol consumption may reduce the effectiveness of the medication.

Patients with impaired renal function have to be careful and drink plenty of water. Tell your doctor about your renal function before starting an acyclovir prescription.

Medication alternatives to Acyclovir

If your healthcare provider prefers to put you on another treatment, they may suggest another antiviral drug or an immunomodulator in another drug class. Here are some common doctor-recommended alternatives based on your health issue:

  • Valacyclovir

    Used to treat herpes, this drug was approved in 1995 and has a good safety record. Most people know it by the brand name Valtrex. Converting into acyclovir inside the body, valacyclovir works to block the herpes virus from replicating and thereby helping to control symptoms during an outbreak. Valacyclovir is highly effective, reducing healing time during an outbreak and the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

    Also, it starts working quickly after taking it and is effective against all forms of the herpes virus. Different doses are used for treating oral herpes, genital herpes, and shingles. One advantage valacyclovir has over acyclovir is its higher oral bioavailability, meaning more of the drug makes it into your body.

  • Famciclovir

    Famciclovir is an antiviral drug for people with herpetic infections used to treat shingles or herpes zoster.

    This drug was introduced in the 1990s by Novartis. In 2007, it became available as a generic medication at a relatively affordable cost. Used to control HSV-1 and HSV-2 symptoms, Famciclovir is an alternative to valacyclovir and acyclovir that is occasionally used for people with compromised immune systems. Also, most prescriptions for Famciclovir are written to treat shingles or herpes zoster.

Acyclovir prescription FAQs

  • How Much Does Acyclovir Cost?

    The price of Acyclovir will vary depending on the pharmacy you visit. However, the average cost for a 5-gram tube of topical cream is around $220. For 60 tablets of 400mg each, the average cost is $45.99. If covered by insurance, your copay may be lower.

  • How Can I Refill My Acyclovir Prescription?

    Follow the instructions for refilling your Acyclovir prescription from your healthcare provider. You can refill your Acyclovir prescription online with PlushCare.

    Our doctors can refill your prescription online if you qualify. Simply book an appointment with one of our doctors, attend the visit with one of our clinicians on your phone or computer, and then they can electronically send a refill to your nearest pharmacy.

  • What Is Acyclovir Used For?

    Acyclovir is a prescription medication to treat herpes simplex virus (HSV). It can treat infections caused by HSV-1, the most common type of HSV, or HSV-2, more commonly known as genital herpes. Acyclovir can also be used to treat outbreaks of genital herpes, chickenpox, and shingles.

  • What Are The Side Effects Of Taking Acyclovir?

    The most common side effects of taking Acyclovir are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. Some people may also experience dizziness, tiredness, or a rash. If you experience any of these side effects, it is important to contact your doctor.

  • What Should I Avoid While Taking Acyclovir?

    You should avoid drinking alcohol while taking Acyclovir, as it can increase the risk of side effects. Also, avoid taking valacyclovir while using Zovirax, as it could cause serious side effects. Kidney problems have also been reported with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs while taking Zovirax, so it is best to avoid these medications.

  • Who Should Not Take Acyclovir?

    Acyclovir is generally safe for most people with normal immune systems (immunocompetent patients). However, some people, such as those with kidney problems, weakened immune systems or allergic reactions to antiviral medications, should not take it. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should also speak to your doctor before taking Acyclovir.

  • What Happens If I Miss A Dose Of Acyclovir?

    If you miss a dose of Acyclovir, you should take it as soon as you remember. However, skip the missed dose if it is close to your next dose. Stick with your regular dosing schedule and avoid double dosing.

  • What Happens If I Take Too Much Acyclovir?

    Too much Zovirax (Acyclovir) can have consequences. Some effects on the stomach and intestines, such as feeling sick, may occur. Additionally, there may be some impacts on the nervous system, like confusion. If you think you've taken too much of this medication, reach out to your doctor immediately or call your local poison control center.

3 simple steps to request your Acyclovir prescription today 

Step 1

Book a Acyclovir prescription request appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your Acyclovir prescription.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3

Pick up your Acyclovir prescription.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Acyclovir prescription pricing details

How pricing works

To get a new or refill on your Acyclovir prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

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Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
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Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

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PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.