Acyclovir(zovirax) is an anti-viral drug. It can also simply be called as anti-herpes drug because it is mainly active against herpes virus(specific). It doesn't kill the herpes virus itself but it inhibits the growth and replication of the virus. As a result of which it can decrease the symptoms of the herpes infection but not cure the disease as a whole.
Acyclovir is marketed in the world as a generic medication under the following brand names such as ZOVIRAX, SITAVIG(buccal tablets), etc.
It is also sold in combination with other drugs under brand names such as XERESE, LIPSOVIR, etc.
Acyclovir was synthesized around mid 1970s. however due to incomplete understanding of its mechanisms and other properties, it was kept secret until the research was complete.
Acyclovir was finally approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 1982.
How is acyclovir used?
Acyclovir is availabe in different forms such as tablets, injections, eye drops, cream/oinment.
Acyclovir is absolutely not over the counter medication. Acyclovir is only sold under the prescription of a doctor and should be used as directed by the doctor.
How acyclovir works?
Acyclovir is very specific anti- viral drug that interferes with herpes virus and other viruses replication process which means the virus can't further regenerate more virus.
It is an inactive drug that has special affinity for thymidine kinases (a type of viral protein) of Some species of herpes virus (human herpes virus 1 and 2, varicella zoster virus) thymidine kinase.
When thymidine kinase binds with acyclovir then it is converted by thymidine kinase into acyclovir monophosphate and further to acyclovir diphosphate and again to acyclovir triphosphate with the help of different enzymes. Acyclovir triphosphate is an active compound that stops DNA polymerase inhibiting further viral DNA replication. Hence, there is no further increase in number of virus.
so , acyclovir stops the growth and replication of the virus but doesn't kill the virus itself.