Dark Aspects Of Herpes Anti-virals

antiviral medicines

AntiviralsĀ for Herpes – How Much Severe the Effects Are

Herpes is an extremely contagious sexually transmitted disease. Although it is not fatal, it can lead to nasty blisters and lesions on the skin which can cause a lot of pain and distress to the sufferer. These viruses can also transmit the disease during a period know as shedding. There are two types of the viruses belonging to the Herpesviridae that cause herpes, namely Herpes Simplex Virus type-1 and Herpes Simplex Virus type-2. Type-1 causes Oral Herpes and type-2 leads to genital herpes.

There is no cure for herpes. Once infected, the virus will linger on in the system of the individual till the end of their days. The antiviral medication for herpes which are available in the market only mitigate the severity and recurrence and not destroy the virus itself. Antivirals for herpes can never do anything good to you, instead, they gift you severe new problems that you are going to study further.

The three most popular anti-viral medications available in the market today are as follows:

  1. Acyclovir
  2. Famciclovir
  3. Valacyclovir

However, all these medications are not without their own faults. There are certain negative side-effects of these medications which can cause more annoyances or troubles for the patient. All these antivirals for herpes give some undesired and unexpected side-effects. Let’s discuss about the side-effects of antivirals for herpes patients:



ThisĀ is one of the most ancient antivirals for herpes used to treat outbreaks of genital herpes. In people with frequent outbreaks, acyclovir is used to help reduce the number of future episodes.

Acyclovir is an antiviral drug. However, it is not a cure for these infections. The viruses that cause these infections continue to live in the body even between outbreaks. Acyclovir decreases the severity and length of these outbreaks. It helps the sores heal faster, keeps new sores from forming, and decreases pain/itching. This medication may also help reduce how long pain remains after the sores heal. In addition, in people with a weakened immune system, acyclovir can decrease the risk of the virus spreading to other parts of the body and causing serious infections.

The major side effects of this medication are as follows:

  1. Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have been the most frequently reported side effects, and include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Nausea and vomiting have been reported with oral and intravenous administration, and have preceded neurotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Gagging and anorexia have also been reported.

  1. Renal

Renal side effects have included renal failure, renal pain, elevated blood urea nitrogen, elevated serum creatinine, and hematuria. Renal effects generally are transient and resolve over several days following discontinuation of therapy; however fatal renal failure has occurred. Renal damage is most commonly due to crystallization of the drug in the renal tubules. Acute tubular necrosis and interstitial nephritis have also been reported.



Famvir (famciclovir) is an antiviral drug. It is again one of the most frequently sold antivirals for herpes. It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. Famciclovir will not cure herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of the infections. Famvir is used to treat infections caused by herpes viruses, including genital herpes, cold sores, and shingles.

The side effects are as follows:

  1. Famciclovir (the active ingredient contained in Famvir) is generally well tolerated. The most common side effects reported in at least 1 indication by greater than 10% of patients are headache and nausea.

  1. Nervous side effects include headache (up to 39.3%), Migraine (up to 3.1%), paresthesia (up to 2.6%). In one case, confusion and bradykinesia developed in an 80-year-old woman who received famciclovir for acute herpes zoster. The dosage administered was clinically appropriate and adjusted to her estimated creatinine clearance. Although herpes zoster may sometimes elicit neurological complications and cannot be ruled out as a contributing factor, the patient’s mobility problems and mental deterioration corresponded temporally with drug administration.



This is the third type of anti-viral medication for herpes available in the market. And as common with other artificially made medicine, it also has some nasty side effects. Nausea, stomach pain, headache, or dizziness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

This medication may rarely cause a life-threatening disorder that affects the blood cells, kidneys, and other parts of the body. This disorder is more likely to occur if you have conditions related to a weakened immune system such as HIV disease, bone marrow transplant, kidney transplant.

Hence, be very careful and cautious when using these drugs and report to your doctor as soon as you notice something weird.