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This book, which covers Visions and hallucinations, explains what causes them and summarises how many hallucinations have been caused by each event or activity. It also provides specific help with questions people have asked us, such as ‘Is my medication giving me hallucinations?’.

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Observations placeholder

Hallucinations caused by anti-virals



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


Thee are two interesting things to be drawn from this paper.  One is the not uncommon one thta antivirals can produce hallucinations.

But there is the added interesting link betwen the chicken pox virus and his heart and kidney problems - was this virus the ultimate cause of his illnesses?

A description of the experience

Am J Ther. 2014 Jan 6. [Epub ahead of print] Valacyclovir and Acyclovir Neurotoxicity With Status Epilepticus. Hoskote SS1, Annapureddy N, Ramesh AK, Rose K, Jones JP.

We present the case of a 52-year-old man with hypertension, diastolic congestive heart failure, end-stage renal disease on hemodialysis 3 times a week and a remote history of a hemorrhagic stroke who presented to the emergency department with a vesicular rash on his left arm.

The rash was observed to be in a dermatomal distribution, and a diagnosis of herpes zoster was made.

The patient was discharged home on valacyclovir 1 g 3 times a day for a duration of 7 days. The patient took 2 doses of valacyclovir before presenting to the hospital again with irritability and hallucinations.

Over the next several days, the patient's neurologic status declined and he became disoriented and increasingly somnolent. Because of a concern for varicella zoster virus (VZV) or herpes simplex virus (HSV) meningoencephalitis, acyclovir was initiated intravenously at 600 mg (10 mg/kg) for every 12 hours.

Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain failed to reveal an acute process. Electroencephalogram was interpreted as seizure activity versus metabolic encephalopathy. Lumbar puncture was not suggestive for meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, or HSV/VZV infection.

The patient subsequently had a witnessed seizure during dialysis and was felt to have status epilepticus due to acyclovir and valacyclovir neurotoxicity.

The patient underwent daily hemodialysis for removal of the drug and eventually made a full neurologic recovery. Our case highlights that acyclovir neurotoxicity can result in status epilepticus, hallucinations, and altered consciousness.

Differentiating acyclovir neurotoxicity from HSV or VZV meningoencephalitis is of crucial importance because the symptoms are similar but the management is vastly different.

PMID: 24368610

The source of the experience

Other ill or disabled person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps