Acyclovir side effects

Posted , 8 users are following.

I was prescribed 800 mg 5 times a day for shingles. I’ve only been able to manage 3 a day for 2 days because the effects are awful. These are the side effects 

Migraines (to the point I want to pull my brain out)

Weird bruising/painful ache in the center of my back. Hurts more when walking. 

Dizziness, fatigue, nausea, head throb, complete muscle pain in base of neck. 

I stopped taking the meds sunday evening but still feeling effects. I have a dr apt on Friday which I plan to see what else I can do. Anyone experience same issues? It gives me anxiety wondering if something bad will come of it. How long does it take meds to flush out of your system so the side effects aren’t debilitating anymore?

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Tamara. Are you sure that you are having a reaction to the medicine? I think you should go to the emergency room and not wait until Friday. It may be symptoms of the shingles but I'm no doctor and you need to be seen asap. You need meds to fight the shingles and pain meds if you don't have them already. Our guru is Merry on this site hope she sees this. Hope this helps. I have had shingles twice and have to fight them off all the time with the meds. Diane 

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  • Posted

     Hi Timara. I agree with ADL Diane, before a read what she had to say I was thinking the same thing that it may not be the side effects from your viral meds but they are symptoms of shingles. Less the migraine all the rest of your symptoms sound familiar. The excruciating pain you are feeling is what happens before the rash comes out.  I would advise going back to your doctor and get his advise. There are other antiviral you can take. I had famiclover ( not exactly how to spell it). I hope Merry will see this as she can advise. She is a nurse Practitioner and is very knowledgeable on all of this. Don’t wait any longer as it is important to get the antiviral working right away. Also you will need pain medication. 
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  • Posted

    Also to add to my message above.  I have never heard of side effects causing crucial pain. What symptoms did you have for the doctor to give you antivirals. Where are your shingles manifesting
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  • Posted

    I was unable to tolerate the side effects of the anti-viral meds, too, but all I had was nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea.  Didn’t really need those on top of shingles!  However, I agree with the others - you should definitely get this checked out.  That’s a lot of horrible side effects.
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  • Posted

    I went 5 days with a constant itch that would go numb but nothing was there till day 6 when I went to the dr.  First rash appeared on the side of my stomach then another 2 on my back. 2 spots near my spine the other on the side of my back. If that makes sense. The headaches started the evening of the first day on meds. By the second night I was up by 3 am with the worst migraine. I haven’t taken a pill in over 48 hours. The sharp pain in the center of my back is like in my spine and it’s not the same nerve pain. I currently have another headache. I’ve felt a little out of it and dizzy for 2 days. Like it’s screwing with my brain. 
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  • Posted

    Eye movement alone makes my head throb
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    • Posted

      Hi Tamara. I had shingles in July and mine started out with pulsating pain in my back and going in to my hip and there was no sign of rash . I went to emergency and they gave me an injection of toradol and a prescription for some nerve pain saying it was a pinch nerve. One week later I was back in emergency with pain again and rash on my thigh and said it was contact dermatitis. Another injection for pain.  Two days later I went in to my doctor who diagnosed shingles. I was given the antiviral which I think was too late and she gave me Adasol

      30 for pain. I suffered from extreme exhaustion, nausea . I slept a lot and couldn’t eat. I was a couple of months with it and ended up with PHN. Sharing this and hoping you will understand the pain and all is what shingles does to you. Shingles is a nasty virus and affects everyone different. There is no set pattern with it. I was told to get lots of rest and eat well, lots of fruit and veggies, take lysine, vit D vit C vit B-12.  And a multivitamin.  Hope you get back to your doctor right away and stay on antivirals for a week as it helps to stop the progression of the rash. Take care and hope you get well soon 

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    • Posted

      Forgot to say that my rash went across one side of my back, down my groin and down my thigh. My was tiny pimple like blisters but was plastered with it. Doctor said it was the worst she had seen 
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  • Posted

    Hi tamara,

    Like you, I have terrible sensitivities and allergies to drugs. People who aren't allergic or sensitive to ingredients and medications have a difficult time understanding that if a person is sensitive with a proclivity to allergies, he or she can have devastating even deadly reactions to strong medications. I have to be extremely cautious with all drugs. I don't know if your reaction is truly related to the antiviral drug you are taking but, if I were you, I would immediately stop taking it. You should make an appointment with a physician who practices alternative or more holistic medicine. There are many doctors who may have alternatives to the drugs used by most doctors. Give your body a few days to heal without drugs. If your headaches disappear and you feel better, then you know it was probably the drug reaction that was causing your symptoms. Then, you can begin to treat your shingles with alternative means. If you are itchy, try over the counter products like CeraVe anti-itch cream and pure aloe vera gel. You can also try Aspercream with lidocaine. Good luck!

     

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    • Posted

      I am very sensitive to meds. I tend to always have side effects from them. I think that’s why I hate meds so much. I’m on my third day with no medication and the headache has still followed. It’s been never ending so far. It’s extremely exhaustint because I am in school and need to work. Not a lot of time for rest
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  • Posted

    Hi Tamara

    Sounds like you have side effects from your antiviral med.  Google side effects for acyclovir.  

    All meds have side effects  & it effects everyone differently, some are  more severe than others.  That’s why I hate taking meds.  It might cured one thing but gave me something else.  I just have to pick my battle which one I can endure.  

    Shingles are triggered by your body is stressed thus makes the immune system very low and once we have chicken pox the virus is dormant in our body  just waiting for the chance to wake up and attract the nerve system.  Stress is the body worst enemy.  All illnesses came from stress.  

    I do feel for you, shingles are the worst pain ever but the more your body is stressed the longer you suffer.  I’m trying to recover myself.  It’s been a long battle & I’m also learning as I go along. 

    You need sleep & rest to strengthen your immune system.   I know it’s easier said than done, but when our body is sick, it’s trying to tell us something is not working inside.   If we don’t listen to it, we suffer more.  Try to relax and minimize stress on your body. Try not to worry or be anxious or do too many things.   Get plenty of rest and take it easy.   Hope you feel better soon

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  • Posted

    Hi Tamara,

    I am so sorry I didn't respond earlier, but I didn't receive notification of this specific post. I did receive your other post, however.

    You did not state the location of the rash and pain of the Herpes Zoster-Shingles. That would help tremendously. It is difficult to tease out which symptoms are being caused by the Varicella virus and which may be caused by Acyclovir. You cannot wait to see you Physician until Friday. You need to see him today.

    The headache can be caused by Shingles, as can aches and pains, chills and sweating, fatigue and exhaustion, and malaise. The virus is circulating throughout your entire body, and you feel horrible. Acyclovir can cause a headache and nausea and vomiting, but some individuals with Shingles also develop headaches, nausea and vomiting without being on Antivirals. Because you have the bruising on your back, you absolutely need to be seen STAT, as something ominous could be going on with you blood, a bleeding abnormality. Please do not delay.

    Please do let us know how you do.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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