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Having a cold sore does not sound serious, but they are extremely contagious and cannot be cured, only treated. Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are a result of an infection by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Many people have been infected with this virus but are unaware of it as it has remained dormant while others deal with outbreaks of cold sores.
Zovirax Cream or generic Acyclovir is a man-made purine nucleoside analogue medication that will not stop the cold sores from appearing, but can shorten the length of time they last after appearing. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
When applied at the first indication of a cold sore erupting, (usually a tingling sensation), Zovirax Cream is drawn to a particular viral enzyme called thymidine kinase (TK). The active ingredient, Acyclovir, is then converted several times until it becomes Acyclovir Triphosphate. Now it is able to stop the replication of the herpes viral DNA, effectively reducing the virus’ ability to grow in numbers. Zovirax Cream will not prevent the spread of HSV whether there is an active sore or not so you must take precautions to avoid infecting your spouse, partner, and your children through skin-to-skin contact.
Cold sores are caused by the HSV-1 virus while the HSV-2 virus causes genital outbreaks and both of these viruses can affect the mouth or genitals. Zovirax Cream is formulated to treat HSV-1 but your doctor may recommend the ointment if you experience an HSV-2 outbreak.
Certain triggers may cause a cold sore outbreak, including exposure to sunlight, menstruation, emotional stress, fever, or fatigue. It’s estimated that between 60% and 90% of all people in the United States have been exposed to HSV-1. This does not mean that every one of those exposed will get cold sores. The prevalence of genital herpes (HSV-2) also remains high, with as many as 1 in 5 adults being infected.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding before applying Zovirax Cream so you are aware of any health risks. To determine if Zovirax Cream is the right topical medicine for you, explain other medical conditions or allergies you have to your doctor and list any current OTC and Rx drugs you currently take or use, including herbal remedies and dietary or vitamin supplements.
Do not share Zovirax Cream with anyone even if their symptoms are similar. Be certain to wash your hands before and after applying Zovirax Cream to avoid spreading the virus. At the first sign that a cold sore is coming, start applying Zovirax Cream to take advantage of the benefits of a shortened appearance of the sore. All medications should be kept out of children’s reach and sight.