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ZOVIRAX COLD SORE CREAM

Active substance(s): ACICLOVIR / ACICLOVIR

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SUMMARY OF PRODUCT CHARACTERISTICS

1

NAME OF THE MEDICINAL PRODUCT
Zovirax Cold Sore Cream

2

QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE COMPOSITION
100mg Aciclovir equivalent to 5% w/w

3

PHARMACEUTICAL FORM
Cream

4

CLINICAL PARTICULARS

4.1

Therapeutic indications
Zovirax Cold Sore Cream is indicated in adults and children for the treatment of
Herpes simplex virus infections of the lips and face (recurrent herpes labialis).

Immunocompromised Patients
Zovirax Cold Sore Cream is not recommended for use in immunocompromised
patients. Such patients must be advised to consult a physician concerning the
treatment of any infection.

4.2

Posology and method of administration
Route of administration – Topical
Adults and children
Zovirax Cold Sore Cream should be applied five times daily at approximately
four hourly intervals, omitting the night time application. Zovirax Cold Sore
Cream should be applied to the lesions or impending lesions as soon as
possible, preferably during the earliest stages (prodrome or erythema).
Treatment can also be started during the later (papule or blister) stages.
Treatment should be continued for at least 4 days. If healing has not occurred,
treatment may be continued for up to 10 days. If lesions are still present after
10 days, users should be advised to consult a doctor. Users should wash their
hands before and after applying the cream, and avoid unnecessary rubbing of

the lesions or touching them with a towel, to avoid aggravating or transferring
the infection.
Use in the Elderly
No special comment.

4.3

Contraindications
Zovirax Cold Sore Cream is contraindicated in patients known to be hypersensitive to
aciclovir, valaciclovir,propylene glycol or any of the excipients of Zovirax Cold Sore
Cream

4.4

Special warnings and precautions for use
Zovirax Cold Sore cream should only be used on cold sores on the mouth and
face. It is not recommended for application to mucous membranes, such as in
the mouth or eye and must not be used to treat genital herpes.
Particular care should be taken to avoid contact with eye. People with
particularly severe recurrent herpes labialis should be encouraged to seek
medical advice.
Cold sore sufferers should be advised to avoid transmitting the virus,
particularly when active lesions are present.
Zovirax cold sore cream is not recommended for use by people who know that
they are immunocompromised. Such individuals should be encouraged to
consult a physician concerning the treatment of any infection.
The excipient propylene glycol can cause skin irritations and the excipient
cetyl alcohol can cause local skin reactions (e.g. contact dermatitis).
Ocular herpes
Zovirax Cold Sore Cream must not be used for treatment of ocular herpes
infections.
Genital herpes
Zovirax Cold Sore Cream must not be used for treatment of genital herpes.

4.5

Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction
No clinically significant interactions have been identified.

4.6

Fertility, Pregnancy and lactation
Systemic administration of aciclovir in internationally accepted standard tests did not
produce embryotoxic or teratogenic effects in rats, rabbits or mice.

In a non-standard test in rats, foetal abnormalities were observed, but only following
such high subcutaneous doses that maternal toxicity was produced. The clinical
relevance of these findings is uncertain.
A post-marketing aciclovir pregnancy registry has documented pregnancy outcomes
in women exposed to any formulation of Zovirax. The birth defects described
amongst Zovirax exposed subjects have not shown any uniqueness or consistent
pattern to suggest a common cause.

The use of Zovirax Cold Sore Cream should be considered only when the
potential benefits outweigh the possibility of unknown risks however the
systemic exposure to aciclovir from topical application of aciclovir cream is
very low.
Limited human data show that the drug does pass into breast milk following systemic
administration. However, the dosage received by a nursing infant following maternal
use of Zovirax Cold Sore Cream would be expected to be insignificant.
Fertility
There is no information on the effect of aciclovir on human female fertility.
See Clinical Studies in section 5.2.

4.7

Effects on ability to drive and use machines
None known.

4.8

Undesirable effects
The following convention has been used for the classification of undesirable effects in
terms of frequency:Very common ≥1/10, common ≥1/100 and <1/10, uncommon ≥1/1000 and <1/100,
rare ≥1/10,000 and <1/1000, very rare <1/10,000.
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Uncommon
- Transient burning or stinging following application of Zovirax Cold Sore Cream
- Mild drying or flaking of the skin
- Itching.
Rare
- Erythema

- Contact dermatitis following application. Where sensitivity tests have been
conducted, the reactive substances have most often been shown to be components of
the cream base rather than aciclovir.
Immune system disorders
Very rare
- Immediate hypersensitivity reactions including angioedema and urticaria.

4.9

Overdose
No untoward effects would be expected if the entire 2g contents of Zovirax Cold Sore
Cream containing 100mg of aciclovir were ingested orally or applied topically.

5

PHARMACOLOGICAL PROPERTIES

5.1

Pharmacodynamic properties
Aciclovir is an antiviral agent which is highly active in vitro against herpes simplex
virus (HSV) types 1 and 2. Toxicity to mammalian host cells is low.
Aciclovir is phosphorylated after entry into herpes infected cells to the active
compound aciclovir triphosphate. The first step in this process is dependent on the
presence of the HSV-coded Thymidine Kinase. Aciclovir Triphosphate acts as an
inhibitor of, and substrate for the herpes-specified DNA polymerase, preventing
further viral DNA synthesis without affecting normal cellular processes.
In two large, double blind, randomised clinical studies involving 1,385 subjects
treated over 4 days for recurrent herpes labialis, Zovirax Cold Sore Cream 5% was
compared to vehicle cream. In these studies, time from start of treatment to healing
was 4.6 days using Zovirax Cold Sore Cream and 5.0 days using vehicle cream
(p<0.001). Duration of pain was 3.0 days after start of treatment in the Zovirax Cold
Sore Cream group and 3.4 days in the vehicle group (p=0.002). Overall,
approximately 60% of patients started treatment at an early lesion stage (prodrome or
erythema) and 40% at a late stage (papule or blister). The results were similar in both
groups of patients.

5.2

Pharmacokinetic properties
Pharmacology studies have shown only minimal systemic absorption of aciclovir
following repeated topical administration of Zovirax Cold Sore Cream.
Clinical Studies
In a study of 20 male patients with normal sperm count, oral aciclovir administered at
doses of up to 1g per day for up to six months has been shown to have no clinically
significant effect on sperm count, motility or morphology.

5.3

Preclinical safety data
The results of a wide range of mutagenicity tests in vitro and in vivo indicate that
aciclovir does not pose a genetic risk to man.
Aciclovir was not found to be carcinogenic in long term studies in the rat and the
mouse.
Largely reversible adverse effects on spermatogenesis in association with overall
toxicity in rats and dogs have been reported at systemic doses of aciclovir greatly in
excess of those employed therapeutically. Two-generation studies in mice did not
reveal any effect of orally administered aciclovir on fertility.

6

PHARMACEUTICAL PARTICULARS

6.1

List of excipients
Poloxamer 407
Cetostearyl alcohol*
Sodium laurilsulfate*
White soft paraffin
Arlacel 165

(Macrogol stearate 100 and Glycerol monostearate)

Liquid paraffin
Dimeticone
Propylene glycol
Purified water
* Alternatively emulsifying wax

6.2

Incompatibilities
None known.

6.3

Shelf life
36 months in aluminium tubes.
24 months in pump container.

6.4

Special precautions for storage
Store below 25ºC, do not refrigerate.

6.5

Nature and contents of container
Zovirax Cold Sore Cream is stored in two types of container:
Aluminium tube - collapsible lacquered aluminium tubes with plastic screw caps. The
tubes contain a latex end-seal at the crimped end and a membrane seal at the nozzle
end. A spike is incorporated into the structure of the cap. Pack size: 2G
Pump assembly - Polypropylene container with pump assembly and polypropylene
cap.
Pack size: 2G

6.6

Special precautions for disposal
For external use only.

7

MARKETING AUTHORISATION HOLDER
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (UK) Trading Limited,
980 Great West Road
Brentford
Middlesex
TW8 9GS
United Kingdom

8

MARKETING AUTHORISATION NUMBER(S)
PL 44673/0039

9

DATE OF FIRST AUTHORISATION/RENEWAL OF THE
AUTHORISATION
14th May 1993 / 15th June 1999

10

DATE OF REVISION OF THE TEXT

06/04/2016

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Source: Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

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