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Pronunciation: pen-SICK-low-vihr
Class: Antiviral agent

Trade Names

- Cream 10 mg/g


Selectively inhibits herpes viral DNA synthesis and replication.

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Indications and Usage

Treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores) in adults.


Standard considerations.

Dosage and Administration


Topical Apply to lesions every 2 h while awake for 4 days. Start treatment as early as possible, during the prodrome or when lesions first appear.


Store at room temperature (59° to 86°F). Do not freeze.

Drug Interactions

None well documented.

Laboratory Test Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions


Application-site reaction.



Category B .




Safety and efficacy not established.


Adverse reaction profile similar to younger patients.

Patient Information

  • Instruct patient to begin treatment as soon as possible, during the prodrome, or as soon as lesions appear.
  • Advise patient to apply the medication exactly as directed and to only apply to lesions on the face and lips.
  • Advise patient to avoid applying cream to mucous membranes, within or near eyes.
  • Advise patient to wash hands before and after applying cream.
  • Advise patient to discontinue use and notify health care provider if local irritation develops.
  • Advise the patient that the use of additional OTC creams or ointments may delay the healing process or even spread the disease.
  • Instruct the patient to notify the health care provider if the symptoms do not improve in 7 days of topical therapy.
  • Instruct the patient to apply sufficient ointment to cover all lesions every 2 hr while awake.
  • Advise the patient to use a finger cot or glove when applying the ointment to prevent the spread of virus.

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