Skip to Content

User Reviews for Abreva to treat Herpes Simplex

The following information is NOT intended to endorse drugs or recommend therapy. While these reviews might be helpful, they are not a substitute for the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care.

Abreva Rating Summary

User Ratings
10
   
24%(70)
9
   
8%(24)
8
   
8%(24)
7
   
3%(9)
6
   
1%(3)
5
   
3%(7)
4
   
2%(4)
3
   
3%(9)
2
   
5%(13)
1
   
47%(141)
4.7/10 Average Rating
304 Ratings with 310 User Reviews

What next? Compare all 44 medications used in the treatment of Herpes Simplex.

Reviews for Abreva

"I've gotten cold sores since I was younger and they're always about the same until I bought Abreva last night, HUGE MISTAKE! It got so much bigger and extra blisters spreading onto my face under my lip. Went to doctors today and she said that my cold sore had gotten severely infected. She prescribed me valacyclovir 1G to be taken 3x daily for 7 days! DON'T EVER USE ABREVA!!!!!!!!"

   
1.0

Upset user of abreva (taken for less than 1 month) June 21, 2019

0 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I just joined the pool of unfortunate souls who fell victim to this harmful product. It's overpriced, the applicator isn't user friendly, and yes, it made the cold sore way worse than it's ever been before. I usually get these sores right after having the flu. Sometimes, they're barely visible. This time, I had one tiny little spot in the center of my lip. I applied the product generously to the entire area. The entire bottom lip blew up within a few hours. There needs to be class action lawsuit and a recall of this horrible product."

   
1.0

Anonymous June 21, 2019

0 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"ABREVA DOES NOT WORK!!! FDA needs to ban it from the market! If I could post a picture, I would! I agree with everyone else’s statements! Use Valtrex if you’re not allergic to it! Attack unsightly cold sore blisters as soon as they appear with Campho-Phenique Max strength! Throw away the Abreva in your drawer right now! Do it now! It does not work! I used it at the first sign of the tingle! 3 hours later, my entire left side of my lip was swollen and a large cluster of blisters were visible! Talk about embarrassing! We need to start a petition to get Abreva off the market! It is a scam!!!! Used a q-tip to apply it! Ha! The end result- a swollen upper lip that’s semi hardened on that side with multiple blisters! I have used in the past. I will say within the last 8-10 years, I believe they have secretly changed the formulation especially if you’re applying it at the first indication of a cold sore/ fever blister!"

Anonymous (taken for less than 1 month) June 19, 2019

0 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I agree with everyone here that says it made their cold sore 10x worse. I get cold sores like once a twice a year and the last time I started to get one, I immediately applied abreva and the next day my lip was enormously swollen and spread to my bottom lip..I personally feel the best thing for cold sores Is to apply orajel for cold sores to it, ibuprofen for pain, benadryl for the itching and to use peroxide to clean it with cotton balls or just pouring it over affected area. Abreva is awful and not to mention ridiculously expensive!!"

   
1.0

Tao (taken for less than 1 month) June 14, 2019

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"They must have changed the formula?!?! I'm having the same awful experience most of you are. Felt the tingle Ran to the pharmacy as fast as I could(drove) When I got there in the morning there was only the $40 2 pack and nothing else on the shelf?! I didn't have a choice. Got it and it's the most massacistic way I've ever spent money. Put it on. Took a nap (keeping my face positioned up,) and woke up two hrs later to my lip swollen 4x the normal size. Three massive blisters spanned my lip after using this product. It used to help me in the past and now my worst nightmare has happened. I'm too embarrassed to go to work like this and can't concentrate on anything but the throbbing pain that feels like my lip will actually burst."

   
1.0

Izzy (taken for 2 to 5 years) June 13, 2019

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I have used abreva multiple times and don’t feel that it’s helpful. It does make it more swollen but allows it the crust faster but drying it out. I don’t use it anymore but strongly encourage people to ask their docs for valtrex. It’s a pill mediation specifically for herpes 1 or 2 - the virus that causes the blisters. Works super well!!! I’ll have a tiny bump and take one pill and it’ll be gone the next day. It never gets bigger as long as I take it right away. The process is much more manageable and less embarrassing since it rarely ever gets to the scabbing stage."

   
2.0

Halalag (taken for 2 to 5 years) June 9, 2019

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I get cold sores maybe once a year and usually just wait for them to go away on their own. Decided to try Abreva this time around. Worst mistake of my life. Within a few days of using the cream it had spread to a painful quarter-sized patch of fluid-filled blisters all over my upper lip and the skin below my nose. I've NEVER seen anything like it; it was so hideous that people would flinch when they looked at me (as I still had to go to work and have a life while this was going on). Took almost three months to heal, and I still have a scar from it. I don't know what they put in Abreva but stay away."

   
1.0

S June 6, 2019

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Used abreva in the past and had no issues. This week I started feeling tingling on my face and went and bought a tube it’s been 3 days and my lip is now swollen and spreading. I’m happy to see I’m not the only one this happened to. Definitely will never buy again and hope some of the suggestions on here will work for me and I can get rid of this embarrassing bubble on my face."

   
1.0

April June 6, 2019

0 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"After using Abreva during the tingling stage, my sore spread to other parts of my upper lip which has never happened before. It's almost as if the drug is bottling up the virus and the virus explodes cause it has no where to go. Whatever the reason, this is the worst outbreak I've ever had. Will try a different product next go around."

   
1.0

Stinkybadass (taken for less than 1 month) June 5, 2019

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Have had cold sores since the 60's. When Abreva first came out I bought some and it worked wonderfully. Not anymore and not at all. This is reflected in the reviews. Older ones are almost all positive and newer ones almost all negative. I believe the reason people are having sores explode, becoming the worst they have ever had is that it no longer has ANY of the active ingredient in the cream and when its applied it spreads the virus around without blocking it from entering healthy cells. I plan to call company and complain loudly and maybe the FDA as well."

   
1.0

SR71 June 4, 2019

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I wish I'd read these reviews before sending my husband to the pharmacy yesterday to buy me some Abreva. I get cold sores from time to time, and this time I decided to actually buy something to speed along the healing process. BAD IDEA. I applied abreva to my very small, barely noticeable cold sore yesterday afternoon. By bedtime, literally 4 hours after the first application, my lip was swollen to twice it's normal size and what started as a tiny spot is now dime sized. It literally looks like someone punched me in the face. Anywhere I applied the abreva broke out into a huge cold sore. My lip looks terrible and it hurts and itches like crazy. I am so upset! What was supposed to help made everything significantly worse!! I should have just left it alone! I called the doctor and they are calling me in a prescription for Valtrex so that maybe this monstrosity will go away! I have never been so embarrassed. Seriously... This is the worst cold sore I've ever had in my life!"

   
1.0

RSS June 4, 2019

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I took Abreva and it made my cold sore worse !! It started with a small cold sore and I just wanted it to go away as I had an important event coming up so I rushed to go buy it. Instead it made my cold sore bigger and my lip is sooooo swollen. I try to do cold compress every couple hours but the swelling won’t go down. I watched some videos and they recommended apple cider vinegar . My cold sore is not in the drying up/ crusting stage bit my like is so swollen which makes it completely worse. I bought this item so it could help me not make everything worse. I definitely deserve a refund !!!"

   
1.0

Jd June 2, 2019

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Used this once and I ended up with the worst cold sore I ever had. DO NOT USE"

   
1.0

Caltin (taken for less than 1 month) May 29, 2019

4 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Abreva has not worked for me. I strongly recommend lemon balm. It’s cheaper than abreva and actually works. I put a few drops on a qtip and apply it for 10 minutes. I do this a few times a day and the cold sore is gone the next day. My cold sore last a day or two, rather than a week or more like it did before I used lemon balm."

   
1.0

Abby (taken for less than 1 month) May 20, 2019

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I had a tiny little sore on my lip yesterday and I used abreva and today it’s the size of a quarter reaching to my chin. I will not be using this again. Abreva made my cold sore worse!!!"

   
1.0

B (taken for less than 1 month) May 17, 2019

3 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Ive tried Abreva, the CVS brand, and the RightAid brand over the last 4 years. I've also put nothing on the cold sore. My conclusion, is none of these over the counter medicines do anything to make the cold sore go away quicker. At this point I've tried everything. What has helped is the following; as soon as you feel that first tingle in the lip, you have to immediately take Lysine pill and immediately put ice on it as often as you can. This worked for me, and a couple times it completely stopped the sore from developing in the first place. This last time I was lazy and waited over night to get ice and take the Lysine and it was too late. It still will shorten the life of the cold sore but still will be around for about a week if you wait until the sore is present. Also Rubbing alcohol 6 times a day will dry out the sore quicker. it worked for me"

   
1.0

expose the bad April 28, 2019

0 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I have been getting severe cold sores since I was 6 years old. I was so excited the first time I bought this product when my lips were tingling and I knew they were developing even thought it was 5 times as expensive as blistex and Carmex. I used it faithfully. By the next morning my lip was extremely swollen, 3 sores formed and I continued to use it 5-10 times per day. No luck, they lasted 10 days with the same severity. I have now used this product for two years hoping it will be different the next time. It never is. Unfortunately, I am not sure what tests were performed to allow the FDA approval and claim that it heals faster. I will go back to just using Carmex and planning for 10 days of pain and embarrassment:("

   
1.0

Nik April 19, 2019

1 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Exactly as others have said- I put it on at the first tingle. Used it religiously ALL day. This morning I woke up with TWO huge blisters, my entire lip swollen, and pain radiating down my jaw. I am 31 and have had cold sores since before I started kindergarten. Never in my life has a product caused them to WORSEN. Biggest mistake, and waste of money. I don't know what to use now."

   
1.0

Trentsmommy (taken for less than 1 month) April 17, 2019

3 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Abreva does NOT work. I've tried it numerous times and it's always the same result- nothing. I've had cold sores my entire life and the only thing that has ever worked was prescription valacyclovir (Valtrex). Don't waste your money or get your hopes up with Abreva."

   
1.0

John Joe (taken for less than 1 month) April 12, 2019

0 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Never in my life experienced the WORST product ever. As soon as I started using the product next day it got worst, I have my lip super swollen and it actually spread all over the lip. DON'T BUY IT!"

   
1.0

Jenny (taken for less than 1 month) April 8, 2019

0 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I’ve been getting cold sores for years, I was so excited I caught the cold sore this time when it was a tingle. I ran to the store, actually 3 because the first two were sold out of it, and bought some. I was recommended it by 3 friends. This is probably the second worst break out I’ve had in my life. I’m so sad. I’m two days in working with the police academy, I’m a college student and it’s embarrassing. I had high hopes for Abreva. Maybe it works for some people but not for me. It actually spread off my lip onto my face and it has never ever done that before."

   
1.0

Mom of 3 (taken for less than 1 month) April 5, 2019

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Abreva works for me. Me being a minimal wage worker, and break out every month.I CANNOT afford the twenty bucks every cold sore. This last pump I bought was all liquid and it ran out in a day!!! I cut it open and it wasn't near as big as the tube. I believe they are ripping people off."

   
1.0

Flutercat March 29, 2019

3 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I get cold sores less than once a year which gives me time to forget how useless a treatment Abreva is for me - so I buy another expensive tube every time. I hope I remember to try something different next time instead of wasting my money."

   
1.0

HBKK (taken for less than 1 month) March 26, 2019

2 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"I came here to read other reviews after buying my first tube of Abreva. Should have read the reviews first. Within hours of feeling the first symptom of a blister coming on I bought Abreva on my way home after work. Biggest mistake of my life. I usually use Camphonique. Or something along the lines. Might have spelled it wrong but nope. Decided to try the big name brand and waste twenty dollars thinking this has got to work and I caught it so early on all proud and what not. My damn lip is so swollen. And I thought maybe this is a normal reaction and the swelling will go down. After 2 whole days I've had enough. Went back to my camphor and the swelling went down within the hour. So mad at myself for not reading reviews before hand."

   
1.0

Cherry (taken for less than 1 month) March 25, 2019

5 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

"Don’t use Abreva! Used Abreva for one week and my blister got worse!"

   
1.0

Sarah (taken for less than 1 month) March 20, 2019

3 users found this comment helpful.
Did you?   Yes   No   |   Report inappropriate

Learn more about Herpes Simplex

Drugs.com Health Center

ICD-10 CM Clinical Codes (External)

Hide