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docosanol topical

Generic Name: docosanol topical (doe KOE sah knoll)
Brand Name: Abreva, Abreva Pump

What is docosanol topical?

Docosanol is an antiviral medication used to treat cold sore infections caused by the herpes simplex virus. Docosanol shortens the healing time and the length of time symptoms are present.

Docosanol topical is used to treat cold sores on the face and lips.

Docosanol may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about docosanol topical?

Cold sores are contagious before, during and after an outbreak or when blisters are present. Cold sore sufferers should avoid close physical or intimate contact, such as kissing, when having an outbreak.

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Do not share docosanol topical with anyone. Sharing may spread the infection.

Avoid getting this medication in the eyes or mouth.

Who should not use docosanol topical?

Before using docosanol topical, tell your doctor if you have any other medical conditions or if you use any other medications.

The FDA has not evaluated the effects of docosanol topical used during pregnancy. Do notuse docosanol topical without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether docosanol topical passes into breast milk. Do not use docosanol topical without first talking to your doctor if you are breast feeding a baby.

Docosanol topical is not approved for use by children younger than 12 years old.

How should I apply docosanol topical?

Use docosanol exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Wash your hands before and after applying docosanol topical.

Docosanol topical should be applied at the very first sign of a cold sore, such as the tingle, redness, bump, or itch.

Docosanol topical is a smooth, white cream that dries clear. It won't sting or burn and it has no medicinal smell or taste.

Remove any cosmetics before applying docosanol topical. Apply enough docosanol topical to completely cover the cold sore or fever blister and rub in gently and completely.

Docosanol topical is usually applied five times a day until healed. Stop using docosanol topical and see your doctor if the cold sore gets worse or the cold sore is not healed with in 10 days.

If at any time the medication is accidentally removed, re-apply it as soon as possible.

Cosmetics, such as lipstick, may be applied over docosanol topical. However, use a separate applicator, such as cotton swab, to apply cosmetics over an unhealed cold sore to avoid spreading the infection.

Do not share docosanol topical with anyone. Sharing may spread the infection.

Avoid getting this medication in the eyes or mouth.

Store docosanol topical at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Do not freeze.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember, then re-apply the next dose on schedule. It does not matter if the time interval between those doses is reduced.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this medication is not likely to occur. If you suspect an overdose or ingestion of docosanol topical, call an emergency room or poison control center for advice.

What should I avoid while using docosanol topical?

Cold sores are contagious before, during and after an outbreak or when blisters are present. Cold sore sufferers should avoid close physical or intimate contact, such as kissing, when having an outbreak.

Cosmetics, such as lipstick, may be applied over docosanol topical. However, use a separate applicator, such as cotton swab, to apply cosmetics over an unhealed cold sore to avoid spreading the infection.

Do not share docosanol topical with anyone. Sharing may spread infection.

Docosanol topical side effects

No serious side effects are expected with docosanol topical treatment. If you suspect an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; rash; hives; itching; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face) seek emergency medical attention.

Other less serious side effects are also uncommon. Headache has been reported.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Docosanol topical dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Herpes Simplex:

Apply docosanol topical in a quantity sufficient to cover the affected lesions and immediately surrounding skin five times a day until the lesions are healed.

What other drugs will affect docosanol topical?

It is not known whether docosanol topical will interact with other medications. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all other medicines you are using, especially other topical preparations, and talk to your doctor and pharmacist before using any prescription or over-the-counter medicines during treatment with docosanol topical.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about docosanol written for health professionals that you may read.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 1.07. Revision Date: 2013-12-03, 12:32:41 PM.

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