Acyclovir/hydrocortisone (On the skin)

Introduction

Acyclovir (ay-SYE-kloe-vir), Hydrocortisone (hye-droe-KOR-ti-sone)

Treats herpes labialis (cold sores). Also helps the cold sores to heal faster.

Brand Name(s)

Xerese

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 hydrocortisone.

How to Use This Medicine

Cream

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine is only for use on the lips and around the mouth. Do not get it in your eyes, inside your mouth or nose, or on the genital area. If the cream does get on these areas, rinse it off with water right away.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
  • Clean and dry the affected area before applying this medicine.
  • Apply a thin layer to the affected area that covers the cold sore.
  • Do not rub the cream into the cold sore. Rubbing may spread the virus to other areas around your mouth or make your cold sore worse.
  • Do not cover the treated area with a bandage unless your doctor has told you to.
  • Do not bathe, shower, or swim until 30 minutes after applying the medicine.
  • Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
  • This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

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 the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, 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 breastfeeding, or if you have a weak immune system.
  • Do not use this medicine for a skin problem that has not been checked by your doctor.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Drying or flaking of the skin.
  • Itching, redness, swelling, burning, or stinging of your skin where the cream is applied.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Changes in skin color 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

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: September 18, 2013

         
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