About aciclovir eye ointment
|Type of medicine||An antiviral eye ointment|
|Used for||The treatment of viral infections of the eye caused by herpes simplex|
|Available as||Eye ointment|
Aciclovir eye ointment is used to treat eye infections caused by the herpes simplex virus. It works by interfering with the growth of the virus. This stops the infection.
Before using aciclovir eye ointment
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using aciclovir it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
- If you normally wear contact lenses.
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.
How to use aciclovir eye ointment
Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from the pack. The leaflet will give you more information about aciclovir eye ointment, and a full list of possible side-effects from using it. If your eyes have an obvious discharge or 'crust', it can help if you bathe them with cool clean water before using the ointment.
- First wash your hands.
- Remove the cap from the tube.
- Pull the lower lid of your eye downwards to form a pocket.
- Hold the tube upside down near to your eye. Try not to touch your eye with the end of the tube as you do this.
- Squeeze the tube to release a thin line of ointment along the inside of your lower eye lid.
- Blink a few times to spread the ointment around the inside of your eye.
- Repeat the process in your other eye if you have been told to use it in both eyes.
- Replace the cap on the tube.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Use aciclovir eye ointment exactly as your doctor has told you. Apply it five times a day into the affected eye or eyes. You should space out the doses evenly during the hours you are awake.
- Continue to use the ointment five times a day until your symptoms have completely gone, and then for at least three days afterwards. This will make sure that all the virus infecting your eye is killed and will prevent your symptoms from returning.
- If you are using any other eye drops or eye ointments, leave at least five minutes between applying each preparation. You should always use eye ointments like aciclovir last.
- Try not to miss any doses. If you forget to use the ointment on time, do it as soon as you remember.
- When you first put the eye ointment into your eye, it may cause blurred vision. This should quickly clear, but make sure you can see clearly before you drive or use machines or tools.
- If your symptoms do not improve or become worse, you should arrange to see your doctor for advice as soon as possible.
- Take care to avoid spreading the infection from one eye to the other, and to other members of your family. Washing your hands regularly (particularly after touching your eyes), and not sharing towels or pillows will help to prevent the infection from spreading.
- Eye infections can cause your eyes to become more sensitive to sunlight than usual. Wearing sunglasses may help to prevent this.
- Do not wear contact lenses until your symptoms have completely gone. Wait for 24 hours after the last dose of ointment before using your lenses again.
- Aciclovir eye ointment is for you. Never share it with others, even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.
Can aciclovir eye ointment cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common aciclovir eye ointment side-effects - these affect around 1 in 10 people who use this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Mild stinging or irritation||This can happen after applying the ointment. It should pass quickly|
|Blurred vision||If this happens, make sure you can see clearly before you drive or use machines or tools|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this eye ointment, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store aciclovir eye ointment
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct light and heat.
- Throw away the tube of eye ointment after you have finished the course of treatment, even if there is some left. Never keep opened tubes to use later. Eye ointments only keep for a maximum of four weeks once the tube has been opened.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Zovirax® Eye Ointment; Manufacturer's PIL, Zovirax® Eye Ointment, GlaxoSmithKline UK, The electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated August 2011.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr John Cox|
|Last Checked: 13/06/2012||Document ID: 3253 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.