What is this medication for?
This medication is used to reduce the discomfort and severity of cold sores, also called fever blisters. Cold sores are an infection of the lip area caused by a virus called herpes labialis. Acyclovir works by stopping the replication of the herpes virus.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Zovirax® is available as:
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
Liberally apply the medication
to the affected area 5 times daily for 4 days as directed by your doctor. A
sufficient quantity of cream should be applied to adequately cover the lesion,
and rubbed in until the cream disappears. Wash hands with soap and water before
and after using the medication. For this medication to be most effective, you
should start using this medication as soon as possible following the onset of
signs and symptoms of a cold sore (such as tingling, redness, itching, or a
Do not apply other products (makeup, lip balms) to the same
area where the medication is being applied. Do not cover the area with a
bandage unless directed to by your doctor.
This medication should not be swallowed, used in the eye, or applied to the inside the surfaces of the mouth, nose, or genital areas.
Store this medication at room temperature (59°F to 86°F) away from heat, light, and moisture. Never
leave acyclovir cream in your car in cold or hot weather. Keep acyclovir out of
the reach of children.
It is important that this medication be taken exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible and continue with your regular schedule. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not use acyclovir cream
if you are allergic to acyclovir, valacyclovir, or any ingredients of the medication.