Acyclovir/ hydrocortisone cream

Generic Name: acyclovir/hydrocortisone (ay-SYE-kloe-vir/HYE-droe-KOR-ti-sone)
Brand Name: Xerese

Acyclovir/ hydrocortisone cream is used for:

Treating cold sores on the lips or around the mouth that are caused by the herpes virus. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream is an antiviral and topical corticosteroid combination. The antiviral works by stopping viral replication. The topical corticosteroid works by decreasing inflammation, swelling, redness, and itching. Acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream decreases the chance of ulcer-like cold sores and also shortens the time it takes for cold sores to heal.

Do NOT use acyclovir/ hydrocortisone cream if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream or valacyclovir

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

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Before using acyclovir/ hydrocortisone cream:

Some medical conditions may interact with acyclovir/hydrocortisone 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 immune system problems (eg, weakened immune system, HIV infection)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream. Because little, if any, of acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream is absorbed into the blood, the risk of it interacting with another medicine is low.

Ask your health care provider if acyclovir/hydrocortisone 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/ hydrocortisone cream:

Use acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream. Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Wash and completely dry your hands and the affected area before using acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream. Apply a thin layer of acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream to the affected area, including the outer margin. Do not rub the cold sore because it may spread to other areas or make the cold sore worse. Wash your hands after using acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream.
  • Apply acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream 5 times every day for 5 days or as directed by your doctor.
  • Do not bandage or wrap the area unless directed to do so by your doctor.
  • Do not bathe, shower, or swim until 30 minutes after using acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream.
  • To clear up your infection completely, use acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream for the full course of treatment. Keep using it even if you feel better in a few days.
  • For best results, use acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream at the first sign of a cold sore (tingling, redness, itching, or bump).
  • If you miss a dose of acyclovir/hydrocortisone 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/hydrocortisone cream.

Important safety information:

  • Do not use acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream for genital herpes.
  • Do not get acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream in your eyes or on the inside of your nose or mouth. If acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream gets in your eyes, flush them with cool tap water.
  • Do not use other skin products such as cosmetics, sunscreen, or lip balm on the cold sore area while you are using acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.
  • If treated cold sores get worse or if they do not heal within 2 weeks, check with your doctor.
  • Acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream is not a cure for cold sores and it does not prevent the spread of the virus to others. Do not share drinking cups, eating utensils, razors, towels, or toothbrushes. Ask your doctor if you have questions about preventing the spread of cold sores.
  • Acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream may cause harm if it is swallowed. If you may have taken it by mouth, contact your poison control center or emergency room right away.
  • Acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 12 years old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream while you are pregnant. It is not known if acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream is found in breast milk after topical use. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you use acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of acyclovir/ hydrocortisone 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:

Bitter taste; burning, drying, flaking, irritation, redness, tingling at the application site.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); dizziness; excessive itching; swelling or skin color changes to the application site.

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/hydrocortisone cream:

Store acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream at room temperature, between 68 to 77 degrees F (20 to 25 degrees C) in a tightly capped container. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not freeze or leave in a car in cold or hot weather. Keep acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Acyclovir/hydrocortisone 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/hydrocortisone 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/hydrocortisone cream. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to acyclovir/hydrocortisone 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/hydrocortisone cream.

Issue Date: April 2, 2014
Database Edition 14.2.1.001
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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