An antiviral pill used for viral infections such as shingles (chicken pox) and herpetic eye disease.  This medication is cheap and effective, but requires a lot of pills to get the correct dosing. A similar medicine we use is called Valtrex (valacyclovir). Some people with these recurring infections will take a maintenance dose of acyclovir to decrease the chance of a new outbreak.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


  1. Acyclovir is an excellent medication … effective, inexpensive, and easy to find.

    The dosing can be little rough, however, as the half-life is short. For an outbreak of shingles near the eye, for example, I typically dose acyclovir five times a day for 5-7 days.

    It is best to start antiviral medicines like this within the first three days of symptoms in order to be effective and to decrease the chance of post-herpetic neuralgia (persistent pain).

  2. Dear Mr.Root,
    Many thanks for all the hard work you have done for educating others.
    I am a third year medical student in UK.
    I would be grateful if you could please let me know if you have a chapter on the pharmacology of Ophthalmology in the book that I could use.
    Thank you so much 🙂
    Yours Sincerely,Nazanin


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