Is It Safe To Take Acyclovir During Pregnancy?

Acyclovir During Pregnancy

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Are you pregnant and diagnosed with herpes? Did your doctor prescribe you acyclovir? Are you wondering whether can you take acyclovir while pregnant? To get the answers to your queries, consider reading our post.

What Is Acyclovir?

Acyclovir is an antiviral medication for treating simplex infections like cold sores, herpes, shingles, and chickenpox. It belongs to the brand Zovirax. Acyclovir is an antiviral drug. It does not cure herpes completely. The virus that causes the infection will continue to live in the body even after outbreaks. Acyclovir simply reduces the intensity and severity of herpes and prevents the formation of new sores. For women with a weak immune system, acyclovir reduces the risk of the herpes virus spreading to the other parts of the body.

Pregnancy And Herpes:

Herpes is a common health condition during pregnancy. Women who had herpes before can pass protective antibodies to their babies. These antibodies help prevent the baby from catching herpes, even if the mother had a herpes outbreak at the time of the birth. Women with first-time herpes are most likely to pass the infection to their babies. That’s because the mother is not making antibodies to the infection. Doctors recommend that women with an active herpes outbreak should have a C-section instead of a vaginal birth.

[ Read: Ways to Avoid Herpes During Pregnancy ]

Is Acyclovir Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes! It is safe to take acyclovir during pregnancy. The drug does pass on to the fetus, but not to levels that are dangerous, whether you take it orally or apply it topically. Neither does acyclovir increase the chance of miscarriage or birth defects.

However, you should consult your physician and gynecologist before taking acyclovir while pregnant. Most doctors prescribe acyclovir during around the time of the due date. The medicine will reduce the chances of an outbreak, making the delivery safer.

How Does Acyclovir During Pregnancy Treat Herpes?

Acyclovir targets herpes by mimicking a substance that the body needs to produce. When the virus enters the body, the antiviral gets in the way of virus and prevents it from reproducing. Since the body needs the substance mimicked by acyclovir, it doesn’t react to the drug. However, it can react with the body in some cases.

[ Read: Effects Of Metformin In Pregnancy ]


Doctors recommend taking acyclovir in small doses during the last weeks of pregnancy. The suppressive therapy will prevent you from shedding the virus and having an outbreak during the time of birth. During the last weeks of pregnancy, your baby will be less likely to suffer from the side effects of any medicine that you take. The common dosages of acyclovir for treating herpes are:

  • For treating genital herpes: 200 mg five times daily for ten days.
  • For preventing the recurrence of genital herpes: 400 mg every 12 hours for twelve months.

[ Read: Is It Safe To Take Zofran During Pregnancy ]

Precautions For Pregnant Women:

While there is no report of birth defects associated with acyclovir, it isn’t safe to take the medication more than the prescribed amount at any time.

Possible Side Effects:

Acyclovir side effects are rare in pregnant women. Women who use this medication did not report any side effect. Acyclovir also has a low allergic profile. Antivirals are completely different from antibiotics, as they don’t wreak havoc on your body. But the immune system of every woman is different so the medicine can react differently. The possible side effects of taking acyclovir during pregnancy include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness

[ Read: Ways To Deal Dizziness During Pregnancy ]

Severe Side Effects:

  • Severe rashes and peeling
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Seizure
  • Peeling of the eyes and skin
  • Hallucination
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Numbness and tingling

If you notice any of these symptoms, then visit your doctor immediately.

Did you suffer from herpes during pregnancy? If yes, then did your doctor prescribe you acyclovir? Share your questions, suggestions and experiences with fellow moms here.

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