In this article, I’m going to teach you how to use acyclovir for cold sores. Ninety percent of all people get at least one cold sore in their life. This first occurrence is often the worst (mine sure was!).
After the first infection, many people develop antibodies and never have another cold sore. However, about 40% of American adults have recurring cold sores.
This was me for almost 20 years.
I had so many outbreaks that I suffered from serious psychological issues induced by cold sores.
To make a long story short…
I figured out how to prevent cold sore outbreaks, and I haven’t had a cold sore for over four years now. However, millions of people are still suffering, and that’s why I created this blog.
I’ve made it my Life’s Purpose and Mission to help others learn how to prevent and treat cold sores.
So now a lot of my time is spent researching and writing about all of the best cold sore remedies in the world. After writing some informative and helpful articles on natural remedies and over-the-counter remedies, now the time has come for me to do the second article in the category of prescription medications for cold sores.
Many people are using acyclovir for cold sores, and in this article, I’m going to cover the Pros and Cons and give you a detailed Review on the use of acyclovir for cold sores.
- Acyclovir For Cold Sores – Cold Sore Overview
- Acyclovir For Cold Sores – Acyclovir Overview
- Acyclovir For Cold Sores – Types of Acyclovir Medication
- Acyclovir For Cold Sores – Research Studies
- How To Use Oral Acyclovir For Cold Sores
- How To Use Topical Acyclovir Cream For Cold Sores
- Acyclovir For Cold Sores – Conclusion
Acyclovir For Cold Sores – Cold Sore Overview
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are groups of small blisters that form on or near the lips. Cold sores are a result of something called herpes simplex virus (HSV).
There are two types of HSV, and both can cause cold sores. HSV-1 typically is responsible for cold sores, and HSV-2 is most often the cause of genital herpes.
However, both types of HSV can cause cold sores or genital herpes.
After primary infection, the virus resides in the associated dorsal root ganglion where it lies dormant until an external stimuli (such as stress or immunosuppression) initiate reactivation of the virus from dormancy.
The virus lives on forever, and that’s why people continue to get cold sores over and over again.
Acyclovir For Cold Sores – Acyclovir Overview
Acyclovir is an antiviral drug that is most commonly used to treat infections by the herpes viruses that cause cold sores, genital herpes, and shingles.The discovery of aciclovir was announced in 1977.
Aciclovir is used for the treatment of herpes simplex virus and varicella zoster virus infections, including:
- Genital herpes simplex (treatment and prevention)
- Neonatal herpes simplex
- Herpes simplex labialis (cold sores)
- Acute chickenpox in immunocompromised patients
- Herpes simplex encephalitis
- Acute mucocutaneous HSV infections in immunocompromised patients
- Herpes of the eye and herpes simplex blepharitis (a chronic (long-term) form of herpes eye infection)
- Prevention of herpes viruses in immunocompromised people (such as people undergoing cancer chemotherapy)
Acyclovir can be used to shorten the healing time of a cold sore, and it can also be used for cold sore prevention.
Using acyclovir at the first sign of cold sores can lead to the following benefits:
- Decreases the severity and length of a cold sore outbreak
- Helps the cold sore heal faster
- Keeps new cold sores from forming
- Decreases the pain and itching of a cold sore
In addition, in people with a weakened immune system, acyclovir can decrease the risk of the virus spreading to other parts of the body and causing serious infections.
Acyclovir For Cold Sores – Types of Acyclovir Medication
Acyclovir is an antiviral drug that comes in a few different forms, which have all been shown to be extremely useful in the treatment of cold sores.
Acyclovir is currently available by prescription only in the following forms:
- Tablet (Oral)
- Liquid (Oral)
- Cream (Topical)
Acyclovir For Cold Sores – Research Studies
How To Use Oral Acyclovir For Cold Sores
The following dosing guidelines for using acyclovir for cold sores were taken from Drugs.com, a very reputable website on this type of information.
Usual Adult Dose for Herpes Simplex Labialis:
Apply 50 mg (1 buccal tablet) as a single-dose to the upper gum region (canine fossa)
-Tablet should be applied within 1 hour after the onset of prodromal symptoms and before the appearance of any signs of herpes labialis lesions.
-Tablet should be applied on the same side of the mouth as the herpes labialis symptoms.
-Use of buccal tablets has not been studied in immunocompromised subjects.
Concomitant HIV infection:
Oral tablets: 400 mg orally 3 times a day for 5 to 10 days
Comment: Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections Among HIV- Infected Adults and Adolescents may be consulted for additional guidance.
Use: For the treatment of herpes simplex labialis (cold sores).
Usual Adult Dose for Herpes Simplex – Suppression:
Daily Suppressive Therapy for Recurrent Disease: 400 mg orally 2 times a day
-Alternative regimens from 200 mg orally 3 times a day to 200 mg orally 5 times a day have been used
Concomitant HIV infection: 400 to 800 mg orally 2 to 3 times a day
How To Use Topical Acyclovir Cream For Cold Sores
Another way to use acyclovir for cold sores besides using a tablet or liquid suspension is to use acyclovir cream, or use the brand name Zovirax Cream.
The following dosing guidelines for using acyclovir cream for cold sores were taken from MedicinePlus.gov:
- Wash your hands.
- Clean and dry the area of skin where you will be applying the cream.
- Apply a layer of cream to cover the skin where the cold sore has formed or seems likely to form.
- Rub the cream into the skin until it disappears.
- Leave the skin where you applied the medication uncovered. Do not apply a bandage or dressing unless your doctor tells you that you should.
- Wash your hands with soap and water to remove any cream left on your hands.
- Be careful not to wash the cream off of your skin. Do not bathe, shower, or swim right after applying acyclovir cream.
- Avoid irritation of the cold sore area while using acyclovir cream.
Whether you’re taking oral acyclovir or acyclovir cream for cold sores, you must always use it under the care of your prescribing doctor. These are just guidelines, so please ask your doctor how to take acyclovir for cold sores.
Acyclovir For Cold Sores – Conclusion
Many people have prevented or reduced the healing time of their herpes simplex lesions by using acyclovir for cold sores. It has shown favorable results in research studies, however, some people don’t get amazing results, and some people have side effects from using acyclovir.
The key to cold sores is to prevent them from forming in the first place.
Thus, I encourage you to check out my Ultimate Guide to Preventing Cold Sores.
It’s free and has absolutely everything you need to know.
If you have any comments or questions on the use of acyclovir for cold sores, please post them in the comment box below.