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Zovirax (Acyclovir) cream is used to treat cold sores (fever blisters; blisters that are caused by a virus called herpes simplex) on the face or lips. Acyclovir ointment is used to treat first outbreaks of genital herpes (a herpes virus infection that causes sores to form around the genitals and rectum from time to time) and to treat certain types of sores caused by the herpes simplex virus in people with weak immune systems. Acyclovir is in a class of antiviral medications called synthetic nucleoside analogues. It works by stopping the spread of the herpes virus in the body. Acyclovir does not cure cold sores or genital herpes, does not prevent outbreaks of these conditions, and does not stop the spread of these conditions to other people. Acyclovir Cream (Generic) is available for purchase.
Topical acyclovir comes as a cream and an ointment to apply to the skin. Acyclovir cream is usually applied five times a day for 4 days. Acyclovir cream may be applied at any time during a cold sore outbreak, but it works best when it is applied at the very beginning of a cold sore outbreak, when there is tingling, redness, itching, or a bump but the cold sore has not yet formed. Acyclovir ointment is usually applied six times a day (usually 3 hours apart) for 7 days. It is best to begin using acyclovir ointment as soon as possible after you experience the first symptoms of infection. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Use topical acyclovir exactly as directed. Do not use more or less of it or use it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms should improve during your treatment with topical acyclovir. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor. Acyclovir cream and ointment are for use only on the skin. Do not let acyclovir cream or ointment get into your eyes, or inside your mouth or nose, and do not swallow the medication. Acyclovir cream should only be applied to the skin where a cold sore has formed or seems likely to form. Do not apply acyclovir cream to any unaffected skin, or to genital herpes sores. Do not apply other skin medications or other types of skin products such as cosmetics, sun screen, or lip balm to the cold sore area while using acyclovir cream unless your doctor tells you that you should.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient. Read this information before you start using acyclovir and each time you refill your prescription.
Topical acyclovir may cause side effects including:
Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away. Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Topical acyclovir may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while using this medication.
Q: Why is Zovirax Cream prescribed?
A: It is used to treat cold sores.
Q: Does Zovirax Cream have a generic alternative?
A: Acyclovir Cream (Generic) is available for purchase.
Q: What if I miss a dose of Zovirax Cream?
A: Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply extra cream or ointment to make up for a missed dose.
Q: How should I store this medication?
A: Zovirax Cream should be kept in the container it came in, with the cap on and tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom)