I have been taking Acyclovir for the past nine years, but I am concerned about its potential risks and long-term use as a suppressant. Please help.

Q. Are there potential concerns regarding liver damage associated with long-term use of Acyclovir for genital herpes?

Answered by
Dr. Nagaraj
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 19, 2023 and last reviewed on: Sep 29, 2023

Hello doctor,

At the age of 18, I was diagnosed with genital herpes following an initial outbreak. Since then, I have been taking Acyclovir 400 mg twice a day as a suppressant for the past nine years. During this time, I have not experienced noticeable outbreaks. However, after recently switching doctors, I was informed that there is limited research on the long-term use of Acyclovir as a suppressant, with studies only covering up to two years. My new doctor mentioned concerns about potential liver damage associated with long-term use. I would like to know if this information is accurate and whether I should consider discontinuing the medication.

Kindly help.

Thank you.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Thank you for your query.

The usual treatment duration for acute cases of genital herpes with Acyclovir is typically seven to ten days. While it does not cure the disease, it helps in reducing the severity of symptoms during acute outbreaks. In cases of recurrent outbreaks, a shorter duration of treatment, usually around five days, may be advised. Prolonged suppressive therapy with this medication is commonly used to prevent the transmission of the infection to sexual partners. However, to the best of my knowledge, there is currently no evidence supporting the use of this medication for suppressive therapy over nine years. It is generally well tolerated over a long time without severe side effects. However, it is important to consult your doctor as soon as possible to discuss the continuation or possible discontinuation of the medication. They will be able to provide personalized advice based on your specific condition. I also recommend using barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, to help prevent the transmission of the infection to your partner. It can be used as needed for five to seven days when you notice the recurrence of painful ulcers. My advice is to consult your doctor as soon as possible.

I hope this answer helped you.

Thank you.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
For which infection is Zovirax suggested?

.. (Acyclovir) is actually a medicine for viral infection and your physician is on right lines. Do not worry about that. Not many benefits are seen with Zovirax in infectious mononucleosis (IM) caused by Epstein-Barr virus- EBV, but this is good if indica   Read full

Is the OraQuick HIV home testing really accurate?

.. has no effect on PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis). Yes, it would be wise to start PEP and later you can stop it. Oraquick is not reliable after two days of exposure. Hope it helps .. ...   Read full

Can genital herpes spread through a kiss?

The next day, she revealed that she had been diagnosed with genital herpes a year and a half ago ... I have read many articles on the internet, and I am worried that genital herpes will spread th   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

PCOS and Liver Problems
The hormonal imbalances in polycystic ovary syndrome could cause liver diseases. Read the article to know the relationship between these medical conditions.  Read more»
Inferior Alveolar Nerve Lateralization Technique
The inferior alveolar nerve lateralization technique is a surgical lateralization technique to reposition the nerve. Read the article to know more about this.  Read more»
COVID-19 and Ebola: Similarities and Differences
This article gives a comparison and broader overview of the outbreak of the two deadliest diseases that showed a greater incidence over the last two decades.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a General Practitioner Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.