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Xerese Cream

Generic Name: acyclovir and hydrocortisone topical (a SYE kloe vir and HYE droe KOR ti sone TOP ik al)
Brand Names: Xerese

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Apr 14, 2020.

What is Xerese Cream?

Xerese cream contains a combination of acyclovir and hydrocortisone. Acyclovir is an antiviral medicine. It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. Hydrocortisone is a topical (for the skin) corticosteroid. It reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation.

Xerese cream is a prescription medicine that is used to treat cold sores in adults and children at least 6 years old.

Xerese cream is for use for cold sores on the lips and around the mouth. This medication will not treat herpes lesions that affect the genitals or the eyes.

Important Information

Xerese cream will not cure or prevent herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of the infection.

Herpes infections are contagious and you can infect other people, even while you are being treated with Xerese. Acyclovir and hydrocortisone will not prevent the spread of genital herpes. Avoid sexual intercourse or use a latex condom to prevent spreading the virus to others.

Xerese is for use for cold sores on the lips and around the mouth. This medication will not treat herpes lesions that affect the genitals or the eyes.

Use this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared.

Stop using Xerese and call your doctor at once if you have severe burning, stinging, or irritation of treated skin.

Before taking this medicine

Tell your doctor if you have ever had a weak immune system (caused by disease by or using certain medicines).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Xerese Cream is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 years old.

How should I use Xerese Cream?

Apply Xerese cream exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.

Start using this medicine as soon as possible after the first appearance of symptoms (such as tingling, burning, itching, or redness). Xerese may not be effective if taken after you already have symptoms.

Wash your hands before and after applying the medicine. Also wash the skin area to be treated.

Apply a thin layer of Xerese cream to cover the cold sore or tingly area. Do not rub the cold sore, to avoid making it worse or spreading the virus to other areas of your mouth.

Do not cover the treated skin with a bandage. Do not apply sunscreen, lip balm, or cosmetics to the treated cold sore area.

Xerese cream is usually applied 5 times per day for 5 days in a row. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks.

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

Xerese dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Herpes Simplex Labialis:

Apply a quantity sufficient to the affected area 5 times a day for 5 days

Comments:
-Initiate therapy as early as possible after the first signs/symptoms (i.e., during the prodrome or when lesions appear).
-Each dose should be applied to sufficiently cover the affected area, including the outer margin.

Use: For the early treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores) to reduce the likelihood of ulcerative cold sores and to shorten the lesion healing time

Usual Pediatric Dose for Herpes Simplex Labialis:

6 years or older: Apply a quantity sufficient to the affected area 5 times a day for 5 days

Comments:
-Initiate therapy as early as possible after the first signs/symptoms (i.e., during the prodrome or when lesions appear).
-Each dose should be applied to sufficiently cover the affected area, including the outer margin.

Use: For the early treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores) to reduce the likelihood of ulcerative cold sores and to shorten the lesion healing time

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not apply two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of Xerese cream is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid while using Xerese Cream?

Avoid letting infected areas come into contact with other people. Avoid touching an infected area and then touching your eyes. Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of infection.

Do not share this medicine with another person, even if they have the same symptoms you have.

Avoid getting this medicine in your eyes, nose, mouth, or vagina.

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Xerese cream: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have severe burning, stinging, or irritation of treated skin.

Common Xerese side effects may include:

  • mild burning or tingling after applying the medicine;

  • skin dryness or flaking;

  • swelling; or

  • skin redness or discoloration.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect Xerese?

Medicine used on the skin is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Xerese only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.