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Why is this medication prescribed?
Herpes simplex virus infection of the eye is treated with ophthalmic acyclovir. Acyclovir belongs to the group of antiviral drugs known as synthetic nucleoside analogues. It functions by preventing the eye’s exposure to the herpes virus
How should this medicine be used?
Acyclovir for use in the eyes is available as an eye ointment. Until the eye recovers, it is typically applied five times per day (about every three hours while awake), followed by three times per day for the following seven days. Apply acyclovir eye ointment every day at around the same times. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any instructions on your prescription label that you are unsure about following. Apply the eye ointment with acyclovir exactly as instructed. When you can begin using ophthalmic acyclovir three times per day, your doctor will let you know. Use it only as directed by your doctor, neither more nor less than that.
Throughout your treatment, you should anticipate an improvement in your symptoms. If your symptoms worsen or persist, or if you experience other eye issues while receiving therapy, call your doctor right immediately.
Follow these directions to apply the eye ointment:
- Use soap and water to thoroughly wash your hands.
- Apply the cream yourself or have someone else do it.
- Do not touch the tube’s tip to your eye or to anything else. Keep the ointment tidy at all times.
- Lean your head slightly forward.
- Place the tube as close to your eyelid as you can without touching it while holding it between your thumb and index finger.
- Push your cheek or nose against the remaining fingers of that hand.
- Pull the lower eyelid of your other hand down to create a pocket with your index finger.
- In the pocket created by the lower lid and the eye, insert an ointment strip measuring 1 cm (about 1/2 inch).
- To allow the medication to be absorbed, gently close your eyes and maintain them closed for a minute or two.
- Replace the cap immediately, then tighten it.
- With a fresh tissue, remove any remaining eyelid and lash lotion. Repeat the hand washing.
Other uses for this medicine
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking acyclovir,
- If you have an allergy to acyclovir, valacyclovir (Valtrex), any other drugs, or any of the ingredients in acyclovir ophthalmic ointment, let your doctor and pharmacist know right once. Request a list of the components from your pharmacist.
- Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, dietary supplements, and herbal products that you are now taking or intend to use. Your physician might need to adjust the dosage of your drugs or keep a close eye on you for side effects.
- Inform your doctor if you are expecting, intend to get pregnant, or are nursing a baby. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking ophthlamic acyclovir.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
As soon as you realise you missed a dose, administer it. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. Applying more cream to make up for a missing dose is not advised.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Acyclovir for ophthalmology may have negative effects. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:
- Hurting eyes
- Itching, puffy, or reddened eyelids
Some adverse effects can be very harmful. Call your doctor right away if you encounter any of these symptoms, or seek emergency care:
- Hives, rash, itching, and eye, face, lip, mouth, throat, or tongue swelling
- Red, watery eyes that are new or getting worse, sensitive eyes to light, blurry vision, or eye pain
Acyclovir for ophthalmology may have additional negative effects. If you experience any strange issues while taking this drug, call your doctor right away.
You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Store it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).
As many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning. http://www.upandaway.org
Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website at http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p for additional information.
In case of emergency/overdose
Call your local poison control centre at 1-800-222-1222 if someone ingests acyclovir ophthalmic ointment. Dial 911 to reach the nearest emergency services if the sufferer has collapsed or has stopped breathing.
What other information should I know?
Keep all of your doctor’s appointments.
You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.