When should oral acyclovir be used in the treatment of chickenpox (varicella) in adolescents?

Updated: Aug 31, 2020
  • Author: Anthony J Papadopoulos, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Oral acyclovir should be considered for healthy persons at increased risk of severe varicella infections, most notably patients older than 12 years. Oral acyclovir therapy in this population (800 mg 5 times/d for 7 d), begun within 24 hours of onset of symptoms, has been shown to decrease the duration of lesions and pyrexia, while reducing other symptoms and disease duration.


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