Cold sore is a common condition affecting almost 90% of adults by the age of 50 as per the National Institute of Health. Cold sores are the blister around the lips, cheeks, and nostrils and are caused by Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 and type 2. It is a contagious infection which can travel from one person to another person when comes in direct contact. Most of the cases, the virus remains in dormant state and gets activated by triggers like fever or infection.
Cold sores are recurrent in nature and have a horrible tingling sensation. Is there any solution to extremely painful and damaging cold sores? By far the most effective treatment option available in the market is a topical form of Acyclovir for cold sores. The medicine is indicated for the suppression and prevention of recurrent cold sores in immunocompromised patients in adolescents of age 12 years and older.
Acyclovir treating cold sores
A synthetic nucleoside alternative which is active against herpes simplex virus causing infection of cold sores. It is antiviral in nature and acts against the causative virus and reduces the severity and length of their outbreaks.
Acyclovir Cream can strongly bond with the enzyme thymidine kinase which is encoded by the HSV virus. The medicine when taken gets converted into acyclovir triphosphate which competitively blocks the enzyme viral DNA polymerase and gets entered into viral DNA. It blocks the process of viral DNA synthesis, thus reduces the outbreak of the virus. It is highly selective in nature and has low cytotoxicity.
Acyclovir Dosage for Cold Sores
It is available in the topical dosage form and contains 50 mg of Acyclovir as an active ingredient. It is available with Acivir Cream 5%. The therapy is initiated when lesions start appearing. Applying medicine as early as you discover any lesion will always give the best results. The dose is usually recommended 5 times per day for consecutive 4 days. The dose is same for the adolescents 12 years of age and older as in the adults. The best and effective dose is always recommended by the doctor depending on the severity of the condition.
- Wash your hands before you apply the cream
- Clean and dry the skin with towel
- Apply the cream to cover the cold sore and rub it gently until it gets absorbed
- Repeat the procedure 5 times or as per the doctor recommendation
- Wash your hands after applying cream so that cream should not be left on it
- Ensure the cap on the tube is tightly closed
- Store the cream at room temperature and keep them out of the reach of children
Acyclovir is intended for topical use only. Avoid applying it near the eyes, inside the mouth or nose. It should be applied on the affected and external areas of lips and face. In case of any hypersensitive reaction consult your doctor. Till date, acyclovir cream is one of the most promising medicines for the reduction of lesion outbreaks on the skin.
Acyclovir is proven at combating herpes symptoms and is available in the form of 400 mg dispersible tablets. It can be consumed for both long and short term period.
Uses of Acyclovir 400mg
Acyclovir 400mg is a prescription medicine clinically approved by the Food and Drug administration for the treatment and prevention of recurrence of herpes simplex virus infection including genital herpes and for the treatment of varicella zoster virus including shingles and chicken pox. It is also approved for people with weak immune system or immunocompromised patients. The medication doesn’t cure herpes infections. The virus stays in your body for a long time and causes symptoms again later.
Acyclovir 400mg falls into the category of antiviral, which works in a similar way. It exerts its mode of action by lowering the ability of the herpes virus to multiply in your body. This action is helpful in treating the symptoms of your infections. However, this antiviral medication does not cure herpes infections. The infection caused by a virus includes shingles, cold sores, genital herpes, or chickenpox. Even with Acyclovir 400mg, the virus may still live inside your body. Your symptoms of infections may recur even after the current infection disappears.
Side Effects of Acyclovir 400mg
The antiviral medication does not cause drowsiness, but it can give rise to other problems. These problems are often referred to the side effects of the medicine. Some of the more commonly reported side effects of dispersible oral tablets are stated below:
All these side effects are mild in nature does not cause serious complications. However, some people may also experience serious side effects associated with the medication. In such cases, it is advisable to inform health care provider and inform about the life threatening symptoms. Some of these serious side effects that an individual taking Acyclovir 400mg may experience are as follows:
- Unusual changes in your behaviour and blood. Symptoms may include:
- Aggressive behaviour
- Trouble speaking
- Unsteady or shaky movements
- Hepatic impairment
- Muscle pain
- Fatigue which indicates the decrease in red blood cells
- Skin reactions including hives, hair loss, breaking or loosening of skin, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, rash
- Symptoms of kidney failure include blood in the urine, pain in the side and back
- Changes in your vision
- Symptoms of an allergic reaction including rash, swelling of your throat or tongue, difficulty breathing, hives
Drug interaction takes place when a drug changes the way another drugs works. This can prevent the medication from working well. To avoid any drug interaction, your health care specialist should manage all of your medications carefully. Drugs interact differently in each person, therefore, be sure, to inform your health care provider about all the medications including supplements, vitamins, and other herbal products. You can discuss with your health care provider, about how your antiviral medication might interact with something else you are taking.
Acyclovir is an antiviral drug, which is highly active against herpes simplex virus type I and II and varicella zoster virus.
Acyclovir –An introduction
The antiviral drug falls into the category of drugs known as antivirals. This medicine has been formulated to treat and prevent genital herpes. It is also useful for the acute treatment of herpes zoster and varicella. Herpes virus is responsible for causing all these infections. Acyclovir helps in healing shingles and chickenpox by stopping the virus from reproducing and spreading to other parts of the body. The drug is produced in several different forms and all are approved for treating infections that are caused by the herpes virus. Your health care specialist will suggest you the best form according to your condition. After evaluating you and determine your health condition, your health care professional will prescribe the dose that will best suit you.
About Cold Sores
Cold sores are common infections in children and adults caused by the herpes virus. There are two types of herpes virus namely HSV type I and HSV type II. HSV type II is usually found in the mouth while HSV II develops in the genitals. Cold sores are blisters that occur on and around the lips. They are painful sores and are also called fever blisters. There is no cure for the problem, but the condition can be prevented by using effective antiviral medications. One of the most effective medications that work against herpes virus is Acyclovir.
Acyclovir for Herpes labialis) cold sores
For the treatment of Herpes labialis or cold sores, it is recommended to use the cream form of the medication. It is suggested to apply the cream topically five times daily for four days. It is always best to start applying Acyclovir topically at the time the first symptoms have started. During the treatment, it is important to assess lesions and on a regular basis. Start the treatment as soon as possible just after herpes simplex symptoms develop and within a day of a herpes zoster outbreak.
Note that the additional use of over the counter creams or ointments may delay healing and cause spreading of lesions. The antiviral medication is not a cure for herpes viruses. The virus will remain in the ganglia, and this medication will prevent the multiplication and spreading of the virus to other parts of the body.
Effect of other drugs on Acyclovir
The antiviral drug can harm your kidneys. This effect might increase when you use certain another drug during the Acyclovir treatment. Such drugs include probenecid, injected antibiotics, drugs to treat bowel disorders, Arthritis medications, other antiviral agents, etc. There are possibilities that other drugs can interact with your antiviral topical agent. Therefore, it is important to inform your health care provider about all the topical and oral medications that you are using at the time of Acyclovir.