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Acyclovir (Molecule of the Month for June 1999)


Acyclovir is a drug used for the treatment of several conditions. It is available over the counter in the UK under the brand name Zovirax, in a cream form marketed by Glaxo-Wellcome.

This cream is used for the treatment of cold sores, normally facial.

Prescribed, it is also used to treat chicken pox, shingles and other forms of herpes (cold sores being the facial form). For these purposes it is used in the form of tablets, capsules or a suspension.

The topical form has no serious side effects and can be used in almost all cases. The ingested forms can lead to some side effects.

Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)

Picture of Acyclovir

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Acyclovir structure
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Picture of Acyclovir

Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for June 1999 )