Penciclovir (On the skin)
Treats and relieves pain from 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 penciclovir. Tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to acyclovir, famciclovir, valacyclovir, or ganciclovir.
How to Use This Medicine
- Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use and how often.
- Use this medicine on the sores on your lips or face. It should not be used in your mouth. Do not put the medicine in or near your eyes.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using this medicine.
- Start using the medicine at the first sign of a cold sore (tingling, swelling, or itching).
- Your doctor may tell you to use enough of the cream to cover the cold sores, every 2 hours (while you are awake) for 4 days.
If a dose is missed:
- Use the medicine as soon as possible, unless it is almost time for your next dose.
- Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next regular dose.
- Do not apply two doses at the same time.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the cream at room temperature away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Do not freeze.
- Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- You should not use any other medicine on the sores, unless your doctor has told you to.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk with your doctor before using this medicine.
- Tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after using this medicine for several days, or if your symptoms get worse.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild burning, itching, stinging, or redness
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