Generic Name: docosanol (doe-KOE-san-ole)
Brand Name: Abreva

Abreva is used for:

Treating cold sores or fever blisters on the face or lips and shortening the duration of symptoms (eg, tingling, pain, itching, burning).

Do NOT use Abreva if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Abreva

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using Abreva:

Some medical conditions may interact with Abreva. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Abreva. However, no specific interactions with Abreva are known at this time.

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Abreva may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Abreva:

Use Abreva as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Abreva is for external use only. Apply only to affected areas. Do not get Abreva in your eyes. If you get Abreva in your eyes, rinse immediately with cool tap water.
  • Wash your hands before and after applying Abreva. Apply to affected area on face or lips at the first sign of a cold sore or fever blister (eg, bump, itch, tingle, redness). Early treatment ensures the best results. Rub the medicine in gently but completely.
  • Use Abreva 5 times a day until healed unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • For best results, remove any cosmetics prior to applying Abreva.
  • You may apply cosmetics (eg, lipstick) over Abreva. Use a separate applicator, such as a cotton swab, to apply cosmetics over the unhealed sore to avoid spreading the infection.
  • If you miss a dose of Abreva, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Abreva.

Important safety information:

  • Do not share this product with anyone. This may spread infection.
  • Stop using Abreva and contact your doctor if your cold sore gets worse or is not healed within 10 days.
  • Abreva is not recommended for use in CHILDREN younger than 12 years of age without first checking with your doctor. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant while using Abreva, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Abreva during pregnancy. It is unknown if Abreva is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are using Abreva, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of Abreva:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. When used in small doses, no COMMON side effects have been reported with Abreva. Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue).

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of Abreva:

Store Abreva at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Do not freeze. Keep Abreva out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Abreva, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Abreva is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Abreva or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Abreva. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Abreva. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Abreva.

Issue Date: July 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.001
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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