FDA filings in the form of structured product labels are documents that include all published material associated whith this product. Product label information includes data like indications and usage generic names, contraindications, active ingredients, strength dosage, routes of administration, appearance, usage, warnings, inactive ingredients, etc.
Acyclovir is a synthetic nucleoside analogue active against herpesviruses. Acyclovir tablets are formulations of an antiviral drug for oral administration.
Each 800-mg tablet of acyclovir contains 800 mg of acyclovir and the inactive ingredients corn starch, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, and sodium starch glycolate.
Each 400-mg tablet of acyclovir contains 400 mg of acyclovir and the inactive ingredients corn starch, microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, and sodium starch glycolate.
Acyclovir is a white, crystalline powder with the molecular formula C
3 and a molecular weight of 225. The maximum solubility in water at 37°C is 2.5 mg/mL. The pka's of acyclovir are 2.27 and 9.25.
The chemical name of acyclovir is 6
H-purin-6-one, 2-amino-1,9-dihydro-9-[(2-hydroxyethoxy)methyl]; it has the following structural formula:
Mechanism Of Antiviral Action
Acyclovir is a synthetic purine nucleoside analogue with
in vitro and
in vivo inhibitory activity against herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1), 2 (HSV-2), and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The inhibitory activity of acyclovir is highly selective due to its affinity for the enzyme thymidine kinase (TK) encoded by HSV and VZV. This viral enzyme converts acyclovir into acyclovir monophosphate, a nucleotide analogue. The monophosphate is further converted into diphosphate by cellular guanylate kinase and into triphosphate by a number of cellular enzymes.
In vitro, acyclovir triphosphate stops replication of herpes viral DNA. This is accomplished in 3 ways: 1) competitive inhibition of viral DNA polymerase, 2) incorporation into and termination of the growing viral DNA chain, and 3) inactivation of the viral DNA polymerase. The greater antiviral activity of acyclovir against HSV compared to VZV is due to its more efficient phosphorylation by the viral TK.
The quantitative relationship between the
in vitro susceptibility of herpes viruses to antivirals and the clinical response to therapy has not been established in humans, and virus sensitivity testing has not been standardized. Sensitivity testing results, expressed as the concentration of drug required to inhibit by 50% the growth of virus in cell culture (IC
50), vary greatly depending upon a number of factors. Using plaque-reduction assays, the IC50 against herpes simplex virus isolates ranges from 0.02 to 13.5 mcg/mL for HSV-1 and from 0.01 to 9.9 mcg/mL for HSV-2. The IC
50 for acyclovir against most laboratory strains and clinical isolates of VZV ranges from 0.12 to 10.8 mcg/mL. Acyclovir also demonstrates activity against the Oka vaccine strain of VZV with a mean IC
50 of 1.35 mcg/mL.
Resistance of HSV and VZV to acyclovir can result from qualitative and quantitative changes in the viral TK and/or DNA polymerase. Clinical isolates of HSV and VZV with reduced susceptibility to acyclovir have been recovered from immunocompromised patients, especially with advanced HIV infection. While most of the acyclovir-resistant mutants isolated thus far from immunocompromised patients have been found to be TK-deficient mutants, other mutants involving the viral TK gene (TK partial and TK altered) and DNA polymerase have been isolated. TK-negative mutants may cause severe disease in infants and immunocompromised adults. The possibility of viral resistance to acyclovir should be considered in patients who show poor clinical response during therapy.
The pharmacokinetics of acyclovir after oral administration have been evaluated in healthy volunteers and in immunocompromised patients with herpes simplex or varicella-zoster virus infection. Acyclovir pharmacokinetic parameters are summarized in
Table 1. Acyclovir Pharmacokinetic Characteristics (Range)
*Bioavailability decreases with increasing dose.
| Plasma protein binding
|| 9% to 33%
| Plasma elimination half-life
|| 2.5 to 3.3 hr
| Average oral bioavailability
|| 10% to 20%*
In one multiple-dose, crossover study in healthy subjects (n = 23), it was shown that increases in plasma acyclovir concentrations were less than dose proportional with increasing dose, as shown in
Table 2. The decrease in bioavailability is a function of the dose and not the dosage form.
Table 2: Acyclovir Peak and Trough Concentrations at Steady State
|| 200 mg
|| 400 mg
|| 800 mg
| || 0.83 mcg/mL
|| 1.21 mcg/mL
|| 1.61 mcg/mL
| || 0.46 mcg/mL
|| 0.63 mcg/mL
|| 0.83 mcg/mL
There was no effect of food on the absorption of acyclovir (n = 6); therefore, acyclovir tablets may be administered with or without food.
The only known urinary metabolite is 9-[(carboxymethoxy)-methyl]guanine.
Coadministration of probenecid with intravenous acyclovir has been shown to increase the mean acyclovir half-life and the area under the concentration-time curve. Urinary excretion and renal clearance were correspondingly reduced.
CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Pharmacokinetics.
Herpes Zoster Infections
Acyclovir is indicated for the acute treatment of herpes zoster (shingles).
Acyclovir is indicated for the treatment of initial episodes and the management of recurrent episodes of genital herpes.
Acyclovir is indicated for the treatment of chickenpox (varicella).
The most frequent adverse event reported during 3 clinical trials of treatment of chickenpox with oral acyclovir at doses of 10 to 20 mg/kg 4 times daily for 5 to 7 days or 800 mg 4 times daily for 5 days in 495 patients was diarrhea (3.2%). The 498 patients receiving placebo reported diarrhea (2.2%).
Acyclovir is contraindicated for patients who develop hypersensitivity to acyclovir or valacyclovir.
Acyclovir tablets are intended for oral ingestion only. Renal failure, in some cases resulting in death, has been observed with acyclovir therapy (see
ADVERSE REACTIONS: Observed During Clinical Practice and
OVERDOSAGE). Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura/hemolytic uremic syndrome (TTP/HUS), which has resulted in death, has occurred in immunocompromised patients receiving acyclovir therapy.
Dosage adjustment is recommended when administering acyclovir to patients with renal impairment (see
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION). Caution should also be exercised when administering acyclovir to patients receiving potentially nephrotoxic agents since this may increase the risk of renal dysfunction and/or the risk of reversible central nervous system symptoms such as those that have been reported in patients treated with intravenous acyclovir. Adequate hydration should be maintained.
Information For Patients
Patients are instructed to consult with their physician if they experience severe or troublesome adverse reactions, they become pregnant or intend to become pregnant, they intend to breast feed while taking orally administered acyclovir, or they have any other questions. Patients should be advised to maintain adequate hydration.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
The data presented below include references to peak steady-state plasma acyclovir concentrations observed in humans treated with 800 mg given orally 5 times a day (dosing appropriate for treatment of herpes zoster) or 200 mg given orally 5 times a day (dosing appropriate for treatment of genital herpes). Plasma drug concentrations in animal studies are expressed as multiples of human exposure to acyclovir at the higher and lower dosing schedules (see
CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY: Pharmacokinetics).
Acyclovir was tested in lifetime bioassays in rats and mice at single daily doses of up to 450 mg/kg administered by gavage. There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of tumors between treated and control animals, nor did acyclovir shorten the latency of tumors. Maximum plasma concentrations were 3 to 6 times human levels in the mouse bioassay and 1 to 2 times human levels in the rat bioassay.
Acyclovir was tested in 16
in vitro and
in vivo genetic toxicity assays. Acyclovir was positive in 5 of the assays.
Acyclovir did not impair fertility or reproduction in mice (450 mg/kg/day, p.o.) or in rats (25 mg/kg/day, s.c.). In the mouse study, plasma levels were 9 to 18 times human levels, while in the rat study, they were 8 to 15 times human levels. At higher doses (50 mg/kg/day, s.c.) in rats and rabbits (11 to 22 and 16 to 31 times human levels, respectively) implantation efficacy, but not litter size, was decreased. In a rat peri- and post-natal study at 50 mg/kg/day, s.c., there was a statistically significant decrease in group mean numbers of corpora lutea, total implantation sites, and live fetuses.
No testicular abnormalities were seen in dogs given 50 mg/kg/day, IV for 1 month (21 to 41 times human levels) or in dogs given 60 mg/kg/day orally for 1 year (6 to 12 times human levels). Testicular atrophy and aspermatogenesis were observed in rats and dogs at higher dose levels.
Acyclovir concentrations have been documented in breast milk in 2 women following oral administration of acyclovir and ranged from 0.6 to 4.1 times corresponding plasma levels. These concentrations would potentially expose the nursing infant to a dose of acyclovir up to 0.3 mg/kg/day. Acyclovir should be administered to a nursing mother with caution and only when indicated.
Safety and effectiveness of oral formulations of acyclovir in pediatric patients younger than 2 years of age have not been established.
Of 376 subjects who received acyclovir in a clinical study of herpes zoster treatment in immunocompetent subjects ཌྷ50 years of age, 244 were 65 and over while 111 were 75 and over. No overall differences in effectiveness for time to cessation of new lesion formation or time to healing were reported between geriatric subjects and younger adult subjects. The duration of pain after healing was longer in patients 65 and over. Nausea, vomiting, and dizziness were reported more frequently in elderly subjects. Elderly patients are more likely to have reduced renal function and require dose reduction. Elderly patients are also more likely to have renal or CNS adverse events. With respect to CNS adverse events observed during clinical practice, somnolence, hallucinations, confusion, and coma were reported more frequently in elderly patients (see
ADVERSE REACTIONS: Observed During Clinical Practice, and
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
The most frequent adverse event reported during 3 clinical trials of treatment of herpes zoster (shingles) with 800 mg of oral acyclovir 5 times daily for 7 to 10 days in 323 patients was malaise (11.5%). The 323 placebo recipients reported malaise (11.1%).
Observed During Clinical Practice
In addition to adverse events reported from clinical trials, the following events have been identified during post-approval use of acyclovir. Because they are reported voluntarily from a population of unknown size, estimates of frequency cannot be made. These events have been chosen for inclusion due to either their seriousness, frequency of reporting, potential causal connection to acyclovir, or a combination of these factors.
General: Anaphylaxis, angioedema, fever, headache, pain, peripheral edema.
Nervous: Aggressive behavior, agitation, ataxia, coma, confusion, decreased consciousness, delirium, dizziness, dysarthria, encephalopathy, hallucinations, paresthesia, psychosis, seizure, somnolence, tremors. These symptoms may be marked, particularly in older adults or in patients with renal impairment (see
Digestive: Diarrhea, gastrointestinal distress, nausea.
Hematologic and Lymphatic: Anemia, leukocytoclastic vasculitis, leukopenia, lymphadenopathy, thrombocytopenia.
Hepatobiliary Tract and Pancreas: Elevated liver function tests, hepatitis, hyperbilirubinemia, jaundice.
Skin: Alopecia, erythema multiforme, photosensitive rash, pruritus, rash, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, urticaria.
Special Senses: Visual abnormalities.
Urogenital: Renal failure, renal pain (may be associated with renal failure), elevated blood urea nitrogen, elevated creatinine, hematuria (see
Overdoses involving ingestion of up to 100 capsules (20 g) have been reported. Adverse events that have been reported in association with overdosage include agitation, coma, seizures, and lethargy. Precipitation of acyclovir in renal tubules may occur when the solubility (2.5 mg/mL) is exceeded in the intratubular fluid. Overdosage has been reported following bolus injections or inappropriately high doses and in patients whose fluid and electrolyte balance were not properly monitored. This has resulted in elevated BUN and serum creatinine and subsequent renal failure. In the event of acute renal failure and anuria, the patient may benefit from hemodialysis until renal function is restored (see
DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).
Acute Treatment Of Herpes Zoster
800 mg every 4 hours orally, 5 times daily for 7 to 10 days.
Patients With Acute Or Chronic Renal Impairment
In patients with renal impairment, the dose of acyclovir tablets should be modified as shown in
Table 3. Dosage Modification for Renal Impairment
| Normal Dosage
| Creatinine Clearance
| Adjusted Dosage Regimen
| Dose (mg)
|| Dosing Interval
| 200 mg every
| every 4 hours,
every 12 hours
| 400 mg every
| every 12 hours
every 12 hours
| 800 mg every
| every 4 hours,
every 8 hours
every 12 hours
For patients who require hemodialysis, the mean plasma half-life of acyclovir during hemodialysis is approximately 5 hours. This results in a 60% decrease in plasma concentrations following a 6-hour dialysis period. Therefore, the patient's dosing schedule should be adjusted so that an additional dose is administered after each dialysis.
No supplemental dose appears to be necessary after adjustment of the dosing interval.
Bioequivalence Of Dosage Forms
Acyclovir Suspension was shown to be bioequivalent to acyclovir Capsules (n = 20) and 1 acyclovir 800-mg tablet was shown to be bioequivalent to 4 acyclovir 200-mg capsules (n = 24).
Acyclovir Tablets, 800 mg (white to off-white, unscored, oval and engraved with “
Principal Display Panel
Carlsbad Technology, Inc.
Aidarex Pharmaceuticals, LLC
Corona, CA 9288053217-0313_Acyclovir_800MG
* Please review the disclaimer below.