Acyclovir cream (On the skin)
Treats herpes labialis (cold sores).
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to acyclovir or similar medicines (such as valacyclovir). Do not use this medicine to treat genital herpes.
How to Use This Medicine
- Use this medicine as soon as possible after you notice the beginning of a cold sore (tingle, pain, burning, blisters, or itching).
- This medicine is for use on your face or lips only. Do not get it in your eyes, or inside your mouth or nose.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
- Apply a thin layer to the affected area. Rub it in gently.
- Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless your doctor has told you to.
If a dose is missed:
- If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to apply the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store this medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of the used medicine container and any leftover medicine after you have finished your treatment. You will also need to throw away old medicine after the expiration date has passed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Do not use cosmetics or other skin care products on the treated skin areas.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
- This medicine should not be used on a child under 12 years old unless your doctor tells you to.
- Do not use this medicine for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Very dry, chapped, or cracked lips.
- Itching, redness, swelling, burning, or stinging of your skin where the cream is applied.
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088
- Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013
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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013