Back issues No.2 - 1997 / Case Report  

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Neurologic and Psychiatric Side-effects of Acyclovir
Fon-Yi Sung, Whei-Mi Lien, Kou-Chang Chou, Kai-Yam Ng
Dermatol Sinica 15: 141-145, 1997

The efficacy of acyclovir in the treatment of herpes zoster has been well documented and it remains the primary antiviral therapeutic choice for herpes zoster for years. The adverse effects, including neurologic and psychiatric signs, attributed to acyclovir therapy are also reported. Most of these effects are seen during intravenous therapy. We herein report a case of herpes zoster in an 84-year-old male, deaf, hemodialytic patient. Oral acyclovir 600 mg Q4hr (total dosage 7200 mg) was given. Conscious disturbance developed after the 12th dose. Herpes zoster induced encephlitis or metabolic encephalopathy was not likely after laboratory and neurologic examinations, and acyclovir neurotoxicity was impressed. Mental status recovered after two sessions of hemodialysis without any other specific treatment.

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