Friday, July 12, 2024

Can You Use Acyclovir Cream On Genital Herpes

Before Using Topical Acyclovir

Aciclovir Side Effects and Uses – aciclovir Tablet 200mg, 800mg – Tab Zovirax, Cymex Ultra
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to acyclovir, valacyclovir , any other medications, or any of the ingredients in acyclovir cream or ointment. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had any condition that affects your immune system such as human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using acyclovir, call your doctor.

Home Remedies And Lifestyle

At-home treatments for herpes are used to relieve pain. They do nothing to alter the course of the infection but can make you more comfortable as the herpes sores begin to heal.

There are several things you can do if have an outbreak of oral or genital herpes:

  • Use a cold compress. Place a cloth-covered ice pack on the sores for 15 minutes several times daily to reduce pain. Keep the ice pack moving to prevent frostbite.
  • Do not touch or scratch. Avoid touching and rubbing the sores. Doing so can spread the infection to other areas of the skin.
  • Keep the sores clean. Herpes sores can become infected with bacteria if touched with soiled hands. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after going to the bathroom or before applying medications.
  • Reduce stress. Stress can increase your sensitivity to pain during a herpes outbreak. You can reduce stress by performing gentle exercises or practicing mind-body therapies like meditation, yoga, and guided imagery.

To reduce the risk of spreading herpes, avoid kissing and sharing objects that come into contact with saliva, like drinking straws and eating utensils.

It’s important to note that oral herpes can be spread to the genitals, and that genital herpes can be spread to the mouth. To reduce the risk of infection, use condoms and dental dams during oral sex. Better yet, avoid sex altogether if you are having an active herpes outbreak .

What Do I Need To Tell My Doctor Before I Take Zovirax

  • If you are allergic to Zovirax any part of Zovirax or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had.

This medicine may interact with other drugs or health problems.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Zovirax with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

Read Also: Can Amoxicillin Treat Genital Herpes

What Should I Discuss With My Healthcare Provider Before Using Acyclovir Topical

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to acyclovir or valacyclovir .

Acyclovir topical is not approved for use by anyone younger than 12 years old.

Tell your doctor if you have ever had a weak immune system .

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. However, herpes virus can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during your pregnancy, so that you do not have a genital lesion when your baby is born.

You should not breastfeed if you have a herpes lesion on or near your breast.

Treatment For Oral Herpes


The antiviral medications available in pill form have been specifically developed for the treatment of genital herpes. However, it is not uncommon for healthcare providers to prescribe the antiviral drugs to those who have frequent or severe outbreaks of oral herpes.

A recent study found valacyclovir to be effective for treating oral herpes in a one-day treatment of 2 grams taken at the first sign of a cold sore, and then again about 12 hours later.

There are two topical antiviral medications prescribed for the treatment of oral HSV symptoms: acyclovir ointment and penciclovir cream. Both work to speed up the healing process and reduce the viral activity. These topical drugs are put directly on the lesions themselves, but can also be used at the onset of prodrome.

Other topical treatments for oral herpes are available over-the-counter , but are not antiviral compounds like acyclovir and penciclovir. Some also contain ingredients that numb the area and induce temporary relief from the discomfort of an outbreak. Unfortunately, some OTC treatments may actually delay the healing time of symptoms because they can further irritate the area with repeated applications. There is only one OTC FDA-approved cream, called Abreva®, which has been clinically proven to help speed the healing process.

Recommended Reading: How To Find Out If You Have Herpes At Home

Acyclovir Topical Side Effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Common side effects of acyclovir topical may include:

  • dry, cracked, or peeling lips

  • dryness or flaking of treated skin

  • burning, stinging, or itching when the medicine is applied.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Important Information About All Medicines

This preparation is for use on the skin only. If you suspect that someone has swallowed some of it by accident, contact the accident and emergency department of your local hospital for advice.

If you are having an operation or dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are using.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading and references

Related Information

  • Next Review 08 November 2024
  • Document ID 3252

Recommended Reading: Is There Medicine For Genital Herpes

How To Get Rid Of Cold Sores As Quickly As Possible

If you have frequent outbreaks, you can talk to your healthcare provider about trying oral antiviral medications. Some studies show that they can speed healing of a herpes outbreak when compared to a placebo .

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, your healthcare provider will weigh the risks of taking these medications against any benefit. Herpes simplex virus infections are usually not dangerous during pregnancy, but there are some cases where they can be. A healthcare professional can decide if you need to take this drug . Taken by mouth, antiviral medications like acyclovir have been shown to cross the placenta, but there isnt evidence of the medication causing harm so far.

How Does Aciclovir Cream Compare To Tablets

Valacyclovir Tablets for herpes infections

What are the pros of using tablets in comparison to creams?

  • They treat more severe infections
  • They are prescribed for both treating or preventing herpes recurrences
  • They treat herpes infections inside the mouth and recurrent cold sore outbreaks
  • Your doctor can adjust doses if you are unable to tolerate a dose or if your infection does not respond

What are the cons of using tablets in comparison to creams?

  • You need a prescription to obtain them
  • There is a higher risk of side effects especially in elderly people and those with kidney impairment
  • There is a higher risk of interactions with other medicines
  • They may cause drowsiness as a side effect that can affect your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery
  • You should keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of water whilst taking them

You cannot swap the cream with tablets or vice versa the cream can only be applied to the skin to treat cold sores. Tablets can be used for recurrent cold sore outbreaks, herpes infections inside your mouth, genital herpes and more severe infections. Tablets are also prescribed to prevent the virus from spreading to other parts of the body where it can cause more severe infections in people with weak immune systems. There are also different dosages of the tablets available that are prescribed depending on how severe your infection is.

Where can I get aciclovir tablets or cream from? you can order your aciclovir tablets for genital herpes, or for cold sores using ZAVA’s online doctor service:

Recommended Reading: How To Diagnose Herpes Simplex

How Should This Medicine Be Used

Topical acyclovir comes as a cream and an ointment to apply to the skin. Acyclovir cream is usually applied five times a day for 4 days. Acyclovir cream may be applied at any time during a cold sore outbreak, but it works best when it is applied at the very beginning of a cold sore outbreak, when there is tingling, redness, itching, or a bump but the cold sore has not yet formed. Acyclovir ointment is usually applied six times a day for 7 days. It is best to begin using acyclovir ointment as soon as possible after you experience the first symptoms of infection. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use topical acyclovir exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your symptoms should improve during your treatment with topical acyclovir. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

Acyclovir cream and ointment are for use only on the skin. Do not let acyclovir cream or ointment get into your eyes, or inside your mouth or nose, and do not swallow the medication.

Acyclovir cream should only be applied to skin where a cold sore has formed or seems likely to form. Do not apply acyclovir cream to any unaffected skin, or to genital herpes sores.

Usual Adult Dose For Herpes Simplex

5% Ointment:Apply to affected area every 3 hours, 6 times a day for 7 days

  • Therapy should be started as early as possible following onset of signs and symptoms

  • The dose size per application will vary depending upon the total lesion area it should approximate a one-half inch ribbon of ointment per 4 square inches of surface area.
  • A finger cot or rubber glove should be used when applying ointment to prevent autoinoculation of other body sites and transmission to other persons.


Read Also: Images Of Genital Herpes Sores

What Are The Side Effects Of Acyclovir

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives difficult breathing swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Common side effects may include:

  • dry, cracked, or peeling lips
  • dryness or flaking of treated skin
  • burning, stinging, or itching when the medicine is applied.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Understanding Herpes With H Hunter Handsfield Md

3 Box Zovirax cream

Herpes expert H. Hunter Handsfield, MD, explains the basics about genital herpes, including the difference between genital HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, testing options and the importance of knowing virus type, and the three-prong strategy for prevention. See more herpes videos at

Have a question about herpes youd like Dr. Handsfield or our other experts to answer? Visit our Ask the Experts page to learn how.

Recommended Reading: Can Genital Herpes Appear On Your Mouth

Rule #: Dont Touch It

Touching the sores can increase the chance that you spread the virus to other parts of your body or to other people. Make sure to wash your hands frequently. Also, you can use a cotton swab or a finger cot to apply cream or ointment to the affected area instead of your fingers to avoid spreading the virus to other regions .

What Are The Side Effects Of Acyclovir Ointment

Topical acyclovir ointment is usually well tolerated. When you use a topical ointment to treat herpes labialis, you may experience adverse effects, including burning, itching, and tingling where you apply the treatment or dry, flaky skin in that area . These side effects typically go away quickly.

In rare instances, some people may experience an allergic reaction to acyclovir. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever experienced an allergic reaction when using other antiviral medications . Signs of an allergic reaction include sudden swelling in the lips, face, or mouth, hives, itching, and difficulty breathing. If you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately.

Topical acyclovir ointment is for external use only . Keep this product out of reach of children and only use this product according to the medical advice youve received from a healthcare professional.

Also Check: How To Treat Mouth Herpes Fast

Rule #: Use Medication

At the very first onset of signs of an outbreak, you can use antiviral medications like acyclovir. Before the blisters even become visible, you might notice a tingling or burning sensation on your skin. Your healthcare provider can prescribe topical medications to apply to the lesion area . If you have had herpes before, a prescription should be readily available .

Its important to note that acyclovir ointment can be used to treat genital herpes but doesnt typically reduce the length or severity of outbreaks. You should not apply acyclovir cream to the genitals because it may irritate these parts of your body.

If you suffer from frequent or severe outbreaks, your healthcare provider may recommend trying prescription drugs to take by mouth. There are multiple options, including acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir . Studies have shown that oral antiviral drugs for herpes can shorten the duration of lesion episodes and pain by approximately one day . Your healthcare provider will choose the option thats best for you.

Can I Take Acyclovir If Im Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

Herpes virus treatment

It is not known whether this medicine will harm an unborn baby. However, herpes virus can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth. If you have genital herpes, it is very important to prevent herpes lesions during your pregnancy, so that you do not have a genital lesion when your baby is born.

You should not breastfeed if you have a herpes lesion on or near your breast.

Don’t Miss: Can Herpes Go Away Without Treatment

How Should I Take Acyclovir

Take acyclovir exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Start taking acyclovir as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms . Start taking Sitavig within 1 hour after you first notice sold core symptoms, before the cold sore appears.

Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.

Do not crush, chew, suck on, or swallow a buccal tablet. Place the flat side of the tablet against your upper gum, on the same side of the mouth as your cold sore. Allow the tablet to dissolve in your mouth throughout the day. You may eat and drink normally while the buccal tablet is in place.

Do not give an acyclovir buccal tablet to a young child or choking could occur.

Shake the oral suspension before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device .

Acyclovir doses are based on weight . Your dose needs may change if you gain or lose weight.

Drink plenty of water while you are taking this medicine to keep your kidneys working properly.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses may increase the risk of your virus becoming resistant to medication.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

How To Use Zovirax Cream

The cream should be applied thinly to affected area five times a day, at approximately four-hourly intervals, for five to ten days until the symptoms have cleared up. Wash your hands before and after applying the cream.

The cream is most effective if you start treatment as soon as the first signs of the infection , begin to appear, though treatment can also be started after the blisters have appeared.

Avoid touching the sores unnecessarily, with either your hands or towels, to avoid spreading the infection.

If your symptoms haven’t cleared up after 10 days treatment with Zovirax cream you should see your doctor.

Also Check: How To Read Herpes Blood Test Results

What Is Aciclovir Cream

It’s an antiviral cream used to treat herpes infections affecting the mouthcold sores. It cant be used for infections affecting the eyes, and is recommended to treat genital herpes.

How do I know I need to use the cream? cold sores are most contagious during an outbreak. You should start using the cream at the first sign of an infection . It is best to start using it at this stage before the cold sore is visible, as treatment is more effective. You can use it once your cold sore has appeared but the cream may not always work.

What are the dosages available? The cream is available in a strength of 5%, which means there is 5 g of the active ingredient, aciclovir in 100 g of cream.

How do I apply it? the cream is applied five times a day for four days to treat cold sores. You can apply it for a total of ten days if you still have symptoms. Use the following steps when applying it:

  • Always wash your hands before and after applying aciclovir cream
  • Apply it approximately four hours apart. Applying the cream at evenly spaced intervals makes it more effective as the amount of aciclovir absorbed into your skin remains constant
  • If you forget to use the cream, use it as soon as you remember and continue as before. However, if it is nearly time for your next application, then skip the missed application
  • Contact your doctor if your cold sore hasnt healed after 10 days or if your symptoms get worse during treatment
  • Use the cream within 4 weeks of opening

Popular Articles
Related news