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Aciclovir (ACV), also known as acyclovir in the US, is an antiviral medication. It is mostly used to treat herpes simplex virus and varicella zoster viruses (chickenpox or shingles). It also has some activity against cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus. Aciclovir is a nucleic acid analogue made from guanosine. It works by decreasing the production of the virus' DNA.
Mechanism of action
Acyclovir targets the viral DNA polymerase, inhibiting enzyme function by competitive inhibition.
In 1988, Straus, et al, conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the efficacy of acyclovir in patients with CFS. One group was given a course of IV acyclovir followed by oral acyclovir. The other group received a placebo. Patients with and without antibodies to Epstein-Barr virus early antigens were included in the study. The researchers concluded that acyclovir, as used in this study, did not ameliorate the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome: "Of the 24 patients who completed the trial, similar numbers improved with acyclovir therapy and with placebo (11 and 10, respectively). Neither acyclovir treatment nor clinical improvement correlated with alterations in laboratory findings, including titers of antibody to Epstein-Barr virus."
- de Clercq, Erik; Field, Hugh J (5 October 2005), "Antiviral prodrugs – the development of successful prodrug strategies for antiviral chemotherapy", British Journal of Pharmacology, Wiley-Blackwell (published January 2006), 147 (1), pp. 1–11, PMC , PMID 16284630, doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0706446
- Acyclovir, The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, retrieved Jan 1, 2015
- Reference needed
- Reference needed
- Straus, Stephen E.; Dale, Janet K.; Tobi, Martin; Lawley, Thomas; Preble, Olivia; Blaese, R. Michael; Hallahan, Claire; Henle, Werner (1988), "Acyclovir treatment of the chronic fatigue syndrome. Lack of efficacy in a placebo-controlled trial", New England Journal of Medicine, 319 (26): 1692-8, doi:10.1056/NEJM198812293192602