Acyclovir-induced colitis

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1997 Apr;11(2):415-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.1997.147323000.x.


Three patients developed acute colitis, either de novo, or as an exacerbation of pre-existing colitis, following the use of oral acyclovir, prescribed for Herpes zoster or Herpes simplex infection. Rechallenge with oral acyclovir was performed in one patient, and resulted in a recurrence of colitic symptoms. It is speculated that acyclovir can have a direct irritant effect on large bowel mucosa.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / adverse effects*
  • Acyclovir / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / chemically induced*
  • Herpes Simplex / drug therapy
  • Herpes Zoster / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Acyclovir