Is There Anything Else I Need To Know About This Medicine
- Keep the Aciclovir cream away from your childs eyes. If your child accidentally gets Aciclovir cream in their eye, wash it out with warm water and contact your doctor if you are worried.
- It is important that your child completes the course of Aciclovir. This means that you must use the cream for the number of days that the doctor has told you to. Your childs cold sore will probably heal in a few days, but it takes a few more days for Aciclovir to completely treat the infection. If you stop giving it too soon, the virus may start to multiply again and the cold sore may come back.
- Aciclovir will not kill all the herpes viruses and some will remain in your childs body. If symptoms of a cold sore return at any time, which usually starts with a tingling or painful feeling on the skin around the mouth area, get a new prescription of Aciclovir cream from your doctor.
Referral To A Specialist
If you have genital herpes and you are pregnant, it is very important you are referred for specialist treatment. This is because the infection could pass to your unborn baby.
Read about complications of genital herpes for more information about genital herpes and pregnancy.
You should also be referred for specialist treatment if you have a weakened immune system , for example, if you:
- are receiving chemotherapy
If you have a weakened immune system you will need specialist treatment because genital herpes can last longer and be more severe.
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Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines.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.
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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.
Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Some people use natural therapies to treat herpes, either on their own or to support standard medical care. The research supporting their use is generally weak, with little evidence that they can reduce either the severity or duration of an outbreak. Even so, many people swear by their effectiveness and consider them a vital part of managing herpes outbreaks.
Complementary and alternative therapies sometimes used to treat herpes include:
- Propolis: This is a sticky substance produced by bees that may help speed the healing of genital herpes. A 2017 study found that people who used propolis ointment experienced better healing by the 10th day of treatment compared to those who used a sham ointment.
- Algae extract: Lab studies suggest that algae extract can inhibit the growth of HSV-2 in test tubes. Whether it can do so in humans has yet to be proven.
- Acupuncture: A 2011 study concluded that acupuncture was mildly effective in reducing pain caused by the herpes zoster virus , the type of herpes virus that causes shingles. While this suggests that acupuncture may be useful in easing genital herpes pain, this has yet to be proven.
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Aciclovir 5% W/w Cream Boots Antiviral Cold Sore Cream
This information is intended for use by health professionals
Aciclovir 5% w/w Cream
Boots Antiviral Cold Sore Cream
1g of Cream contains 50mg aciclovir.
For excipients, see 6.1.
The treatment of Herpes Simplex virus infections of the lips and face . This product is not recommended for use in immunocompromised patients.
Do not use in eyes.
Method of Administration
For cutaneous use.
Adults and Children:
Treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after the start of the infection, ideally during the prodromal period or when the lesions first appear.
A thin film of cream should be applied to the infected and immediately adjacent skin areas 5 times daily at 4 hour intervals during the day omitting the night time application.
Treatment should be continued for 5 days, followed by a further 5 days treatment if healing has not occurred.
Patients should wash their hands before and after applying the cream, and avoid unnecessary rubbing of the lesion or touching them with a towel, to avoid aggravating or transferring the infection.
Use in elderly:
No special comment
Hypersensitivity to aciclovir, valaciclovir, propylene glycol or any other ingredients of the preparation listed in Section 6.1.
In severely immunocompromised patients oral dosing should be considered. Such patients should be encouraged to consult a physician concerning the treatment of any infection,
Cold Sore sufferers must avoid transmitting the virus particularly when active lesions are present.
Steroid Medication For Shingles
Steroids help to reduce swelling . A short course of steroid tablets may be considered in addition to antiviral medication. This may help to reduce pain and speed healing of the rash. However, the use of steroids in shingles is controversial. Your doctor will advise you. Steroids do not prevent PHN.
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Counselling For Genital Herpes
If you have just found out that you have genital herpes, it is likely you will have a lot of questions. A diagnosis of genital herpes often comes as a shock.
For many people who have genital herpes, the physical symptoms are outweighed by the emotional stress relating to the diagnosis. There are many misconceptions about genital herpes, including the belief that it is associated with promiscuity.
Seeing a counsellor may be a good idea to discuss any concerns you may have. Counselling offers a way of dealing with your concerns.For more information see the NZ Herpes Foundation or talk with one of their trained counsellors on 0508 11 12 13 free call 0508 11 12 13 or 09 433 6526 .
Can You Prevent Herpes Outbreaks
Taking good care of yourself can help prevent future herpes outbreaks. Eating healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep, and avoiding stress can all help outbreaks from occurring.
If you have frequent outbreaks, your doctor may recommend that you take medicine daily, which is called suppressive therapy. It can help prevent future breakouts, and lower your chances of sharing herpes with your partner.
Research has not concluded what causes genital herpes outbreaks whether its sex, your period, stress, skin irritation, or surgery. Oral herpes outbreaks can be caused by sunburn, other infections, or injuries to your lips.
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What Happens At A Sexual Health Clinic
The doctor or nurse at the sexual health clinic will:
- ask about your symptoms and your sexual partners
- use a small cotton bud to take some fluid from 1 of your blisters or sores for testing
The test cannot:
- be done if you do not have visible blisters or sores
- tell you how long you have had herpes or who you got it from
Symptoms might not appear for weeks or even years after you’re infected with the herpes virus.
Genital Herpes Treatment In Pregnancy
You may be offered antiviral treatment:
- to treat outbreaks in pregnancy
- from 36 weeks to reduce the chance of an outbreak during birth
- from diagnosis until the birth if you first get herpes after 28 weeks of pregnancy
Many women with genital herpes have a vaginal delivery. You may be offered a caesarean, depending on your circumstances.
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Simple Treatments For The Relief Of Discomfort
- Wear loose underclothes, preferably cotton , to help minimise discomfort and allow healing.
- Use plain water or saline solution with cotton wool to clean and soothe the area. To make a saline solution, use 1 teaspoon of salt in 600ml of water or a handful of salt in a shallow bath.
- Don’t use scented soaps, bubble bath, etc in the area, as these may irritate it.
- Using a hairdryer on its lowest setting to dry the area may be more comfortable than using a towel.
- Pain relief medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen may ease the pain. Check with your pharmacist or other health professional whether taking these is suitable for you.
- Ice wrapped in a face cloth or flannel and placed over the sores for 510 minutes may be soothing. Don’t apply ice directly to the sores as this can cause ice burn.
- If you find peeing painful, try applying Vaseline® to the area or sitting in a warm bath before urinating or using a pump bottle full of water and spraying water on yourself while peeing.
- You can also try applying a pain relief cream such as lignocaine cream to the painful area. This is applied 5 minutes before peeing and should be used for a maximum of 12 days.
- Drink plenty of fluids as this dilutes your pee and may help reduce stinging.
How To Prevent Cold Sores
Cold sores can have many different triggers, including stress and long periods of sun exposure. Noticing and managing these triggers, when possible, may help reduce the frequency of cold sores.
If sun exposure is a trigger, using a lip balm that contains SPF and a sunscreen on the face may help.
Cold sores are highly contagious. To prevent the spread, a person should not:
- touch the cold sore, unless they are applying medication or a remedy
- kiss or have oral sex, as the virus can spread during these activities
After touching a cold sore, wash the hands thoroughly with soap and water.
A person can typically treat their cold sore at home with over-the-counter medication or home remedies. However, consider seeing a doctor if a cold sore:
- is large or very painful
- is not healing on its own
- keeps coming back
People with weakened immune systems should also speak with a doctor about the need for prescription antiviral medications.
Here, we look at some common questions about cold sore creams.
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Abreva Cold Sore Cream
Best cold sore cream
This antiviral cream has been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration , and it contains 10% docosanol. This helps treat recurrent cold sores by stopping the herpes virus from entering surrounding cells. This helps protect the healthy area around the cold sore.
The manufacturer claims that if a person uses the cream at the first sign of a cold sore, the cream can heal the sore in as few as 2.5 days. However, the company acknowledges that the average time of healing for someone using their product is 4.1 days.
The company says that this white cream penetrates deep into the skin, is tasteless, and has no smell.
A person should not use the product if they are pregnant or breastfeeding unless their doctor says that it is safe.
Tips For Coping With Shingles
If you have shingles, here are some tips that might help you feel better:
- Wear loose-fitting, natural-fiber clothing.
- Take an oatmeal bath or use calamine lotion to soothe your skin.
- Apply a cool washcloth to your blisters to ease the pain and help dry the blisters.
- Keep the area clean and try not to scratch the blisters so they dont become infected or leave a scar.
- Do things that take your mind off your pain. For example, watch TV, read, talk with friends, listen to relaxing music, or work on a hobby such as crafts or gardening.
- Get plenty of rest and eat well-balanced meals.
- Try simple exercises like stretching or walking. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
- Avoid stress. It can make the pain worse.
Also, you can limit spreading the virus to other people by:
- Staying away from anyone who has not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, or who might have a weakened immune system
- Keeping the rash covered
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What Is Acyclovir Ointment
Acyclovir ointment is an antiviral medicine that works by stopping the herpes simplex virus from multiplying in your cells. And while this antiviral treatment can reduce the symptoms of outbreaks and shorten how long they last, theres no permanent cure for herpes .
Herpes viruses lay dormant inside your body and can wake up and cause an outbreak. While the triggers can be different for everyone and might sometimes be hard to identify, some things can increase your chances of experiencing a cold sore .
Dont Just Survive Live
Theres a difference between surviving herpes and living with herpes. With many natural remedies and methods to help you manage the outbreaks and kick the pain, you can flourish and enjoy your life the way you want it to be.
Take control of your HSV, or it will definitely take control of you. There is hope that you can keep it at bay. With a few tools under your kelt, you can stay herpes-free under the belt!
Roizman B, Whitley RJ. An inquiry into the molecular basis of HSV latency and reactivation. Annu Rev Microbiol. 2013. 67:355-74. .
Komala Sari T, Gianopulos KA, Nicola AV. Glycoprotein C of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Shields Glycoprotein B from Antibody Neutralization. J Virol. 2020 Feb 14. 94 :.
Hensel MT, Peng T, Cheng A, De Rosa SC, Wald A, Laing KJ, et al. Selective Expression of CCR10 and CXCR3 by Circulating Human Herpes Simplex Virus-Specific CD8 T Cells. J Virol. 2017 Oct 1. 91 :.
Margolis TP, Imai Y, Yang L, Vallas V, Krause PR. Herpes simplex virus type 2 establishes latent infection in a different population of ganglionic neurons than HSV-1: role of latency-associated transcripts. J Virol. 2007 Feb. 81:1872-8. .
Weinberg JM, Mysliwiec A, Turiansky GW, Redfield R, James WD. Viral folliculitis. Atypical presentations of herpes simplex, herpes zoster, and molluscum contagiosum. Arch Dermatol. 1997 Aug. 133:983-6. .
Levett PN. Seroprevalence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in Barbados. Med Microbiol Immunol. 2005 Jan. 194:105-7. .
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Herpes Zoster Differs From Other Types Of Herpes
Hearing the word herpes can be confusing. Herpes zoster is not a sexually transmitted infection . It cannot cause genital herpes. Herpes zoster also doesnt cause cold sores. Both genital herpes and cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus.
The virus that causes shingles and chickenpox is called the varicella-zoster virus. Its common.
Can You Test For Herpes At Home
Yes, there are at-home sexually transmitted infection tests for herpes.
Read more about at-home herpes tests here.
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What Are The Common Cold Sore Triggers
Some of the most common factors that may trigger a cold sore include fatigue, stress, fever, a cold or the flu which can all weaken your immune system making you easy prey for a cold sore outbreak.
Cold weather, dry air, winter wind and ultraviolet rays can also lead to cold sores by drying out lips and damaging your skin.
Lastly, the stress associated with hormonal changes and trauma from dental procedures can also cause cold sores.
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Risks And Side Effects
The three main treatments for herpes acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are all FDA-approved drugs, though there are side effects and interactions to be aware of.
Common side effects of these antiviral drugs include headaches and nausea. Famciclovir can cause dizziness, confusion, or sleepiness.
Acyclovir and valacyclovir, which are very similar to each other, can cause your kidneys to stop working. If you have kidney problems, your doctor may prescribe a lower dose. These medications may interact with other drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, which may weaken kidney function.
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Can Other People Catch It
This one is confusing! You can catch chickenpox from other people, but you cant catch shingles from other people. You only get shingles from a reactivation of your own chickenpox infection in the past.
So if you have shingles, and you come into contact with somebody else, they cannot catch your shingles. But if they have never had chickenpox, it is possible that they could catch chickenpox from you.
To put it another way, no, you dont catch shingles. It comes from a virus hiding out in your own body, not from someone else. But if you have shingles, you may be infectious, as it is possible for people to catch chickenpox from you.
Only people who have never had chickenpox are likely to be at risk of catching chickenpox from your shingles. People who have had chickenpox should be immune from catching it again. If the rash is in a covered area of skin, the risk of anyone with whom you are not in close contact catching chickenpox is very low.
e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen diclofenac , naproxen