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This page discusses prescription antiviral medications that have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of colds sores (fever blisters). The mode of action associated with prescription antiviral medications is one where they are used to interfere with herpes virus replication (the production of more virus particles, called virions).
In comparison, once a lesion has reached the Blister stage (the point of maximum viral presence) or beyond, an antiviral will have no practical effect because the stages involving the bulk of virus production have already passed. Even when a lesion is being treated with an antiviral, the risk of transmission of the herpes virus to others, or to other parts of your own body, remains and therefore precautions should still be taken.
Topical medicines for cold sores are those that are applied as an ointment or cream directly to the surface of the lesion. Denavir® cream was the first antiviral medication to be granted FDA approval for use in the treatment of cold sores. Its instructions state that it should be applied repeatedly throughout the day every 2 waking hours (roughly 9 times a day) for 4 days on those external areas of the lips or face where the cold sore is forming. Zovirax® cream received FDA approval for use in the treatment of cold sores in late 2002, although other formulations of this medication have been used in treating herpes for many years (including an "off-label" use in the treatment of cold sores in the years prior to 2002).
The cream is applied to the area where the cold sore is forming 5 times per day, for 5 days.
The idea with this product is that the steroid component helps to stifle the extent of the inflammation reaction that takes place in response to the presence of the virus particles and the destruction they have caused.
We think that the answer to this question is best answered by your health care professional. A study by Hull (2014) evaluated the use of an acyclovir (5%) and hydrocortisone (1%) cream (Xerese®).
Opstelten (2008) reviewed 10 studies that had evaluated the use of acyclovir cream (found in Zovirax®).
This same literature review stated that two penciclovir studies (the compound found in Denavir®) reported findings that were similar as those for acyclovir.
We found three studies (Femiano 2001, Lin 2002, McKeough 2001) that each studied the head-to-head effectiveness of acyclovir cream (the compound found in Zovirax®) and penciclovir cream (the compound found in Denavir®) in the treatment of cold sores.
Historically, oral antiviral medications have not routinely been used in the treatment of cold sores.
Depending on the practitioner, it may be that these medicines are more likely prescribed in situations where there's a history of especially severe or disfiguring lesions, cases involving newborn babies or immunocompromised patients.
As with all other antiviral approaches, starting the medication as early as possible (during the Tingle stage) is key for effectiveness. All prescription medications should only be used under the direction and supervision of a health care professional. Herpes simplex virus infects an individual’s mucous membrane and skin, and creeps through the pathway of the nerves to reach the nerve clusters. The virus, as mentioned, can be transmitted by contracting body fluids from the infected individual. When the virus successfully destroys the cell that is hosting it while replicating, the initial symptoms will occur, such as tingling sensation, inflammation and the appearance of cold sores or fever blisters on the skin.
This type of herpes condition occurs within the genital areas and its surrounding areas, such as the buttocks and thighs.
Oral herpes or non-genital herpes normally affect the lips and mouth of the infected individual. Although the virus is not life threatening, cases of death are reported due to the condition as well. During a sexual intercourse, it is necessary to use protection and avoid contacting individuals with weakened immune system, such as kids, diabetics and elderly.
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A persons initial infection with the Herpes Simplex Type 1 virus may result in multiple diffuse vesicles in the mouth called Stomatitis, though many initial infections are without any symptoms.


Initial Herpes Simplex virus type 1 is transmitted through close contact with oral secretions.
Initial Herpes Stomatitis and recurrent Herpes Cold Sores usually can be diagnosed by inspection. Most experts would recommend treating the initial Herpes Stomatitis with oral antiviral medication if started in the first 72 hours, in order to shorten the illness and decrease the severity. Caption: Herpes infection seen at the back of a patient's mouth during a throat examination.
Licence fees: A licence fee will be charged for any media (low or high resolution) used in your project. But by reducing the total number of virions that are involved, they limit the lesion's extent and severity. That's because at this point the rate of viral replication has not yet reached its peak and can still be stifled. The FDA has given approval for 3 topical products for the treatment of cold sores:  1) Denavir® 1% (penciclovir).
The cream is applied to those external areas of the lips or face where the cold sore is developing, 5 times a day for 4 days.
Having said that, research seems to suggest that the combination medication Xerese® (antiviral plus steroid) is more effective than just-antiviral medications. It found that the total area of the cold sore lesions that formed were 50% smaller than when no treatment was used. However, one of these studies also reported a reduction in the duration of pain, by 0.5 days. The conclusions drawn by all three of these studies seem to suggest that penciclovir cream is the more effective of the two. However, short-course regimens of valacyclovir (Valtrex®) and famciclovir (Famvir®) now do have FDA approval for this use and have been shown to accelerate lesion healing and decrease pain. However, further studies have concluded that both types of HSV can cause genital herpes and oral herpes symptoms. These fluids include genital fluids like vaginal discharge or semen, saliva or fluid coming from the sores that breakout due to the infection. When the virus is done replicating, it will start spreading into the skin cells and end up looking like clustered blisters. Therefore, it is necessary to start treating the condition as soon as symptoms become visible. Upon noticing the first sign of the condition, for example the presence of herpes on lip it is necessary to talk to your physician immediately to determine what could have triggered the activation of the virus. There was one controversial case when an infant died of herpes during a ritual circumcision. You can check out overviews, treatments, causes, symptoms and preventive measures for the condition to help you manage cold sore problems. Type in the keyword, hit the search button and let us provide you helpful information regarding Cold Sores. Recurrent Herpes Cold Sores only occur after an initial infection, and only after a latency period of months to years. It presents with multiple intraoral vesicular blisters and erosions which often have a red border.
The blisters of the Herpes Cold Sores will eventually dry out and begin to scab, and it can then be difficult to determine if they have been secondarily infected by bacteria. The red spots on the palate and at the back of the throat (pharynx) are due to an infection with the Herpes simplex (cold sore) virus.
The virus will still reside in your body and your risk for continued outbreaks will remain the same. It was also found that the virus infects approximately 20% adult and adolescent population in the US.
These viruses will then enter the body through the eyes, mouth or damaged skin that exposes the mucous membrane.


However, in case symptoms are present, it would start showing up within one or two weeks after being infected by the virus through sexual intercourse. However, you should know that there is no cure available for herpes simplex virus and there are no fever blister or cold sore medicine, but there are antiviral medications that can help treat its symptoms. Your physician can also provide you information regarding the possible treatment options for the condition as well as the preventive steps that you should take to avoid its recurrence. These blisters occur on the buccal mucosa (soft tissue on the inside of the cheeks), the gums, on the inside of the lips and sometimes the soft palate. Incubation period is usually about one week, but may be as long as a month or a short as 2-3 days. If the diagnosis is in doubt, your provider may swab an unroofed blister for a viral culture, or scrape the base of a blister for a smear on a microscope slide, or for a newer test called a direct immunofluorescent smear. At this time, there is no medication to consistently benefit the Recurrent Cold Sores once they have been detected. These can attack an individual together or separately and cause either genital or oral herpes.
About 10% to 25% of these people do not show any symptoms of the virus, but regardless of that, they can still transmit the virus to other individuals.
However, it will unpredictably activate later on and will then enter the shedding stage where the virus transmits from one individual to another. The infection due to HSV is recurrent by nature and it is necessary for the affected individual to be prepared for future outbreaks. Recurrent Herpes Cold Sores represent reactivation of a latent or sleeping virus that has survived for months or years after the initial infection. Herpes viral infections may be very dangerous in newborns and individuals with compromised immune systems. There is evidence that oral antiviral medication taken every day or at the first sign of the prodrome may be helpful. There are two types of herpes simplex virus; HSV1, which causes infections of the nose, mouth and face, and HSV2, which infects the genitals. Herpes simplex virus can be transmitted through direct physical contact or by contracting fluids, like genital discharge or saliva, from the infected individual. This is considered as the initial stage of the condition and infected individuals will not notice any symptoms of infection.
The symptoms of the condition are more severe during its primary outbreak and gradually become milder with the succeeding outbreaks. Just like genital herpes, oral herpes may also recur at any given time and the first outbreak is the most troublesome.
It is also important to follow precautionary measures to prevent the virus from being transmitted to other individuals. Recurrent Herpes Cold Sores occur only months or years after an initial infection, and are sometimes preceded by a prodrome (premonitory symptom) of a day of tingling, burning or pain on the lip.
Sometimes the trigger for reactivation can be sunlight exposure, trauma, or emotional stress.
They can be spread to the cornea of the eye, to skin sites far from the mouth, and can cause infections of the brain.
There is no cure for herpes simplex infection, but outbreaks can be treated with the antiviral drug acyclovir.
If you have had Herpes Simplex type 1 infection already and you have a normal immune system, you cannot catch it again from another person.



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