Chemical Component Summary

FormulaC8 H11 N5 O3
Molecular Weight225.21
Isomeric SMILESNc1nc2n(COCCO)cnc2c(=O)[nH]1

Chemical Details

Formal Charge0
Atom Count27
Chiral Atom Count0
Chiral Atomsn/a
Bond Count28
Aromatic Bond Count5
Leaving Atomsn/a

Drug Info: DrugBank

DrugBank IDDB00787 Different stereochemistry
DescriptionA guanosine analog antiviral drug that acts as an antimetabolite. Aciclovir is used for the treatment of herpes simplex virus infections, varicella zoster (chickenpox) and herpes zoster (shingles). Aciclovir has also been investigated for the treatment of herpes labialis applied using an iontophoretic device. Currently approved drugs for the treatment of herpes labialis (cold sores) exhibit low levels of efficacy due to the limited ability of the drugs to penetrate the skin to the site where the herpes virus is replicating. Iontophoresis uses electric current to enhance the delivery of drugs through the skin.
  • Aciclovirum
  • Acycloguanosine
  • Acyclovir
SaltsAciclovir Sodium
Brand Names
  • Acyclovir
  • Acyclovir Sodium
  • Acyclovir Sodium Injection
  • Acyclovir Sodium for Injection
  • Acyclovir-200
Affected OrganismHuman Herpes Virus
IndicationFor the treatment and management of herpes zoster (shingles), genital herpes, and chickenpox.
PharmacologyAciclovir (INN) or acyclovir (USAN, former BAN) is a synthetic deoxyguanosine analog and it is the prototype antiviral agent that is activated by viral thymidine kinase. The selective activity of aciclovir is due to its affinity for the thymidine kinase enzyme encoded by HSV and VZV. EC50 value of acyclovir against clinical herpes virus isolates was 1.3 μM (range: < 0.56 to 3.3 μM).
Mechanism of actionViral (HSV-1, HSV-2 and VZV) thymidine kinase converts aciclovir to the aciclovir monophosphate, which is then converted to the diphosphate by cellular guanylate kinase, and finally to the triphosphate by phosphoglycerate kinase, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, and pyruvate kinase. Aciclovir triphosphate competitively inhibits viral DNA polymerase and competes with the natural deoxyguanosine triphosphate, for incorporation into viral DNA. Once incorporated, aciclovir triphosphate inhibits DNA synthesis by acting as a chain terminator. One may consider aciclovir to be a prodrug as it is metabolized to more active compounds. Aciclovir is selective and low in cytotoxicity as the cellular thymidine kinase of normal, uninfected cells does not use aciclovir effectively as a substrate.
Route of administration
  • Buccal
  • Intravenous
  • Oral
  • Topical
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Chemical Actions and Uses
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 Inhibitors
  • Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A2 Inhibitors (weak)
  • S01AD03
  • D06BB03
  • J05AB01
  • D06BB53
  • 08:18.32
  • 84:04.06
CAS number59277-89-3
Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS. Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID:21059682