Acyclovir and pregnancy 

Acyclovir is basically an antiviral medicine. It is widely used for the herpes simplex virus and varicella-zoster virus as it is highly specific to both these viruses. It does not cure the viral infection by killing the virus itself; rather it retards the reproduction of weird feeling in stomach the herpes virus down in order to help the body to fight off the infection. Acyclovir is also used to take care of infections caused by herpes virus that include genital herpes, shingles, chicken pox, and cold sores. It was first formed in 1982.It is basically a synthetic purine nucleoside analogue. Its activity was found to be considerably admirable against both two types of herpes virus (HSV-1 and HSV-2) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). It is very selective in action and specifically inhibits the replication of HSV-1 and HSV-2 without harming the host cell but cannot destroy the primary viral reservoir. It is administrated in the form of injections and capsules.

It is advised that acyclovir should be immediately started as soon the first signs of herpes become evident. It is common knowledge that herpes infections are contagious and infected people can spread it to other people even when under treatment of acyclovir. Also, due to its contagiousness herpes virus can pass from an infected mother to her baby during child birth. In order to prevent that and genital herpes, it is very important to avoid herpes lesions during pregnancy. This makes the connection of acyclovir and pregnancy very important. According to the Food and Drug administration (FDA) acyclovir and pregnancy come in category B. This means that this medication is not expected to be harmful to the unborn baby.

Unplanned usage of acyclovir in pregnancy, especially during the early stages is not uncommon. Also this causes a certain amount of alarm among the mothers and the physicians. In general it is advised only in the case when benefits clearly outweigh the potential risk factor of harming the fetus. This is because the drug has not been studied extensively in a large number of pregnant women by FDA. However, the number of accidental usages reported has hardly come up with anything negative.

Data have been accumulated in selected situations such as maternal varicella pneumonia or disseminated primary herpes simplex infections. In both these cases acyclovir in pregnancy was used, especially through the first trimester and no increased side effects were detected. A report has been documented for a patient who had a history of recurrent lingual herpes simplex infections. She continued acyclovir after the missing of her menstrual period. Later, due to the patient's anxiety on the early exposure of the medicine on the fetus, she was enrolled in Acyclovir in pregnancy registry. The 17 week gestation ultra sound came out very normal in regard to developmental abnormalities and after 40 weeks she gave delivery to a healthy baby girl. Two years of later record has also revealed zero abnormalities. However, during nursing the drug is known to secrete in the milk and concentrate it. Although no adverse effects have been reported is still as precautionary care it will be good to avoid acyclovir while nursing.