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Zovirax Warnings and Precautions

In order to ensure a safe treatment process, it is important to be aware of Zovirax warnings and precautions. These include knowing about the possible risk of kidney damage that the drug carries and understanding that it will not cure genital herpes, so safe sexual practices are required. Zovirax warnings and precautions also apply to anyone who is allergic to Zovirax, acyclovir, or Valtrex.

Zovirax: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Zovirax® (acyclovir) if you have:
  • Kidney disease, including kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Zovirax Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Zovirax include the following:
  • The medication can cause kidney damage, which is a potentially dangerous condition. Let your healthcare provider know if you already have kidney disease, as you will need a lower Zovirax dosage and more careful monitoring.
  • A serious condition called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS) has occurred in certain people taking Zovirax. This is a condition involving very low red blood cell and platelet counts. In TTP/HUS, the body forms many small blood clots. Talk to your healthcare provider right away if you have signs of TTP/HUS, including unusual bruising and bleeding or unexplained fever.
  • Zovirax will not cure genital herpes. You should avoid sexual contact while having an outbreak (or if you think you are about to have an outbreak). You should always use condoms, as genital herpes can be spread at any time.
  • The medication should be started as soon as possible after the first signs of shingles, genital herpes, or chickenpox, as it is most effective when taken early in the course of the infection.
  • Zovirax is a considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of taking the drug while pregnant (see Zovirax and Pregnancy).
  • The medication passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Zovirax and Breastfeeding).
  • Zovirax can interact with a few other medications (see Zovirax Drug Interactions).
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