Does Acyclovir show up on a drug test? 

Does Acyclovir show up on a drug test? 

No, Acyclovir does not show up on a drug test. Acyclovir is an antiviral medication used for the management and treatment of infections caused by different viral species. 

This medication has nothing to do with drug tests as it is not a controlled substance or drug of abuse, and the medication does not structurally resemble any of the scheduled drugs. 

This is exactly why Acyclovir is not something urine drug tests look for. If we specifically talk about the testing procedure, it is known for showing false positives because of its inaccuracy. 

However, modern drug testing procedures like Gas Chromatography – Mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) are more accurate and they detect the exact drug present in your body at the time of sample collection (1). 

However, Acyclovir does not cause a false positive even on drug urine immunoassays. So, if you’re being treated with this antiviral medication and you have a drug test coming up, don’t worry! It is not likely for Acyclovir to make you fail a drug test. 

How is Acyclovir different from drugs that show up on a drug test?

Acyclovir is different from drugs that typically show up on a drug test because it belongs to a specific class of medications called antivirals. These drugs are used to treat viral infections, specifically herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). (2)

The mechanism of action of Acyclovir is unique. It works by inhibiting the replication of the virus, preventing it from spreading and causing further damage to the body. Acyclovir achieves this by interfering with the viral enzymes that are necessary for viral DNA synthesis (3). 

In terms of overall effects on the body, Acyclovir is primarily focused on targeting and treating viral infections. It does not produce psychoactive or mind-altering effects like drugs that are commonly detected in drug tests (3).

Common medications that may show up on a drug test include: (4)

  • Amphetamines (Adderall, Ritalin)
  • Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium)
  • Opioids (Codeine, Morphine, Oxycodone)
  • Cannabinoids (Marijuana, THC)
  • Cocaine
  • Barbiturates (Phenobarbital)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Methamphetamine
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline)

Final words

To sum up, Acyclovir does not show up on a drug test, as it is not a controlled substance and is not known for causing false positive results. If you have concerns about drug testing or the use of specific medications, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional. 

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Taylor M, Gerriets V. Acyclovir. 2023 May 7. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 31194337.


Gnann JW Jr, Barton NH, Whitley RJ. Acyclovir: mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, safety and clinical applications. Pharmacotherapy. 1983 Sep-Oct;3(5):275-83. doi: 10.1002/j.1875-9114.1983.tb03274.x. PMID: 6359082.


McNeil SE, Chen RJ, Cogburn M. Drug Testing. 2023 Jan 16. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29083751.