Generic Name: acyclovir (ay-SYE-kloe-vir)
Brand Name: Zovirax
Acyclovir cream is used for:
Treating cold sores on the face or lips that are caused by the herpes virus. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Acyclovir cream is an antiviral. It works by stopping viral replication. However, acyclovir cream does not eliminate the herpes virus, it is not a cure, and it does not prevent transmission to others.
Do NOT use acyclovir cream if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in acyclovir cream or valacyclovir
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using acyclovir cream:
Some medical conditions may interact with acyclovir cream. 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
- if you have a weak immune system or you get sick easily
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with acyclovir cream. Because little, if any, of acyclovir cream is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.
Ask your health care provider if acyclovir cream 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 acyclovir cream:
Use acyclovir cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- An extra patient leaflet is available with acyclovir cream. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using acyclovir cream.
- Wash and completely dry the affected area. Apply the medicine only to the affected area and not to the surrounding skin. Gently rub the medicine in until it disappears. Wash your hands after using acyclovir cream.
- Do not rub the cold sore. Rubbing the cold sore may make it worse. It may also cause the cold sore to spread to other areas around your mouth.
- To clear up your infection completely, use acyclovir cream for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
- For best results, use acyclovir cream at the first sign of a cold sore (tingling, redness, itching, or bump).
- If you miss a dose of acyclovir cream, 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 acyclovir cream.
Important safety information:
- Do not use acyclovir cream for genital herpes.
- Do not use other skin products such as cosmetics, sunscreen, or lip balm on the cold sore area while you are using acyclovir cream unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
- Do not get acyclovir cream in your eyes or on the inside of your nose or mouth. If acyclovir cream gets in your eyes, flush them with cool tap water.
- Acyclovir cream is not a cure for cold sores. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using acyclovir cream while you are pregnant. It is not known if acyclovir cream is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use acyclovir cream, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of acyclovir cream:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Burning, itching, stinging, or other irritation where acyclovir cream is put on; dry or cracked lips; peeling, flakiness, or dryness of the skin.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; excessive itching; dizziness).
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 acyclovir cream:
Store acyclovir cream at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Keep acyclovir cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about acyclovir cream, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Acyclovir cream 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 acyclovir cream 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 acyclovir cream. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to acyclovir cream. 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 acyclovir cream.
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.