Zovirax vs. Vitrasert

Are Zovirax and Vitrasert the Same Thing?

Zovirax (acyclovir) and Vitrasert (ganciclovir ophthalmic gel) are antiviral drugs used to treat different types of infections with the herpes virus.

Zovirax is used to treat shingles, chickenpox, and genital herpes.

Vitrasert is used to treat herpes infection of the eye.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Zovirax?

Common side effects of Zovirax include:

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • loss of appetite,
  • stomach pain,
  • headache,
  • lightheadedness,
  • swelling in your hands and feet,
  • and feeling unwell (malaise).

Serious side effects of Zovirax include renal function problem.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Vitrasert?

Common side effects of Vitrasert include:

  • temporary blurred vision after application of this medication,
  • burning or stinging of the eye,
  • mild eye irritation or redness,
  • itchy eyes, and
  • increased tearing.

Tell your doctor if you have serious side effects of Vitrasert including:

  • eye pain, swelling, redness, or watering;
  • severe burning or itching of your eyes;
  • vision changes, increased sensitivity to light;
  • tunnel vision, problems with peripheral (side) vision;
  • seeing flashes of light, halos around lights, or "floaters" in your vision;
  • white patches on your eyes;
  • cloudiness in the pupils or iris of your eyes;
  • bleeding, oozing, or crusting of your eyes; or
  • sudden vision loss.

What is Zovirax?

Zovirax (acyclovir) is a synthetic nucleoside analogue that interferes with the replication of herpes viruses used to treat
  • shingles,
  • chickenpox,
  • and genital herpes.

What is Vitrasert?

Vitrasert (ganciclovir ophthalmic gel) is an anti-viral drug used to treat herpes infection of the eye.

What Drugs Interact With Zovirax?

Zovirax may interact with probenecid. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

What Drugs Interact With Vitrasert?

Vitrasert may interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use. During pregnancy, Vitrasert should be used only when prescribed. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

How Should Zovirax Be Taken?

Zovirax tablets are available in 200, 400 and 800 mg strengths and as a liquid suspension with 200 mg strength per 5 ml. Usual doses are 800 mg every 4 hours, 5 times a day for 10 days for shingles; doses for genital herpes infection are the same interval but start with 200 mg. Doses for chickenpox is the same as shingles except it goes for only 5 days for adults; for children ages 2 and up are weight based (20 mg per Kg) up to 40 Kg, 5 times a day for 5 days. Over 40 Kg, the person gets the adult dose for 5 days.

How Should Vitrasert Be Taken?

The recommended dosing regimen for Vitrasert gel is 1 drop in the affected eye 5 times per day (approximately every 3 hours while awake) until the corneal ulcer heals, and then 1 drop 3 times per day for 7 days.


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GSK. Zovirax Drug Information.
Medscape. Vitrasert Drug Information.

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