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What You Need to KnowCold sores are proof that life can be unfair: Some people get them, others don't.
Find health and lifestyle advices & Get answers!Share real-life experiences with more than 250,000 community members! Besides being itchy and painful, cold sores (also called fever blisters) make you feel self-conscious.
It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. This is an infection of the lip caused by herpes simplex virus, HSV-1 that causes outbreak of small blisters commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters. Usually these medicines work for only one kind or group of virus infections.Acyclovir is used to treat the symptoms of chickenpox, shingles, herpes virus infections of the genitals (sex organs), the skin, the brain, and mucous membranes (lips and mouth), and widespread herpes virus infections in newborns.
It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. These sores are usually found on or around the mouth where they typically remain for up to 3 weeks. Most common side effects include headache, lightheadedness, or feelings of general illness.
Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. After the initial outbreak, the virus stays in the carrier’s body, remaining dormant in the facial nerves.
Although acyclovir will not cure herpes, it does help relieve the pain and discomfort and helps the sores (if any) heal faster.Acyclovir may also be used for other virus infections as determined by your doctor. It is estimated that more than 50 million adults in the United States develops Herpes labialis episodes every year. This infection affects almost 60% of all Americans in any given time.Causes of Herpes labialisHerpes labialis infection occurs when a virus comes into contact with skin of the mouth, mucosal tissue or small wounds on the surface of the mouth. They're caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), passed on through contact with infected skin or body fluids. In most cases, people suffering from Herpes labialis are infected by type 1 strain of herpes simplex virus. However, it is also possible to develop Herpes labialis as a result of infection by the type 2 strain.
For acyclovir, the following should be considered:AllergiesTell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to acyclovir or any other medicines.
Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.
About one-third of people will suffer from occasional relapses, but the severity of later outbreaks is usually much less than the original outbreak. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.TizanidineVaricella Virus VaccineUsing acyclovir with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. Who Gets Cold Sores and WhyMore than half of us have been infected with the HSV-1 virus, usually from well-meaning kisses from relatives or romantic partners. Causes of reactivation are stress, sunlight, sunburns, fever, weak immune system, or local skin trauma.Symptoms of Herpes labialisIn many cases of Herpes labialis infection, there won’t be any symptoms at all.

However, if the symptoms appear they typically manifest in inflammation of the mucous tissues of the cheek and gum. This condition is known as acute herpetic gingivostomatitis and it resolves in up to 10 days.
Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.Other Medical ProblemsThe presence of other medical problems may affect the use of acyclovir.
The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid.To help clear up your herpes infection, chickenpox, or shingles, keep taking acyclovir for the full time of treatment, even if your symptoms begin to clear up after a few days.
Many people have familiar triggers that tend to bring HSV-1 out of seclusion, causing cold sores. After a couple of weeks or months, virus may start to activate causing the sensations of itching or tingling in the affected area.
Inflammation occurs later on, when virus begins reproducing and infecting cells situated at the end of the nerve.
Some people get cold sores twice a year; for others, it's a frustrating, stressful, monthly ritual.
Pre-sore stage is characterized by the appearance of tiny, hard, inflamed papules and blisters that are usually itchy and sensitive touch. Canker Sores Aren't the SameCold sores usually appear on the lip; canker sores affect the inside of the mouth. The most contagious stage is open lesion stage in which vesicles break to create weeping ulcer. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine.
Healing occurs in up to a couple of days, when new skin begins to form underneath the scab.
When You're ContagiousA cold sore is caused by skin damage as the herpes virus reproduces inside infected cells.
Cold sores are most contagious when blisters are present and just after they break open, until the skin is completely healed and looks normal again. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. But some people can transmit the virus through their saliva at any time, even if they never get cold sores. Do not double doses.StorageStore the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
The cold sore virus is usually present on an infected person's lip, even if there's no obvious sore. Even though you may get herpes if your partner has no symptoms, the infection is more likely to be spread if sores are present. Because HSV-1 can also live in saliva, sharing kitchen utensils or drinking glasses can also spread it.
Therefore, it is best to avoid any sexual activity if either you or your sexual partner has any symptoms of herpes. However, spermicidal (sperm-killing) jelly or a diaphragm will probably not help.acyclovir Side EffectsAlong with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects.

Easing Cold Sore PainWhile the first outbreak can last up to 2 weeks, recurrent outbreaks usually last about 1 week. There is no cure for cold sores, but some over-the-counter creams and gels can help with burning and pain. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Antiviral CreamsAntiviral creams can reduce the time it takes a cold sore to heal if applied at the first sign of a cold sore. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
Prescription Cold Sore MedicationsOral antiviral prescription medications can also reduce the amount of healing time when taken at the first sign of a cold sore -- red or itchy skin, for example.
It is not a substitute for a medical exam, nor does it replace the need for services provided by medical professionals.
Another one, a single-dose acyclovir tablet (Sitavig), is put directly on your gums and releases medicine as it dissolves. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before taking any prescription or over the counter drugs (including any herbal medicines or supplements) or following any treatment or regimen.
Only your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for you.The use of the Thomson Healthcare products is at your sole risk. These products are provided "AS IS" and "as available" for use, without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. They are not as common, but cold sores can appear anywhere on the face, including on the cheek, chin, or nose. Additionally, THOMSON HEALTHCARE MAKES NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTIES AS TO THE OPINIONS OR OTHER SERVICE OR DATA YOU MAY ACCESS, DOWNLOAD OR USE AS A RESULT OF USE OF THE THOMSON HEALTHCARE PRODUCTS.
ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE ARE HEREBY EXCLUDED. Can You Spread It on Your Body?It's possible, though rare, to spread the cold sore virus from one part of the body to another. Thomson Healthcare does not assume any responsibility or risk for your use of the Thomson Healthcare products. It can happen by touching a cold sore, then touching an area of broken skin or a mucous membrane, the moist protective lining of skin found in areas like the eyes or vagina. You can prevent this self-spread -- or autoinoculation -- by washing your hands and not touching the cold sore. When Herpes Infects the EyeOther areas the cold sore virus can infect are the finger (herpetic whitlow) and the eye (ocular herpes). When kids get herpetic whitlow, it's usually because they've spread the virus from a cold sore by finger- or thumb-sucking.
Preventing OutbreaksIt can be tough to prevent cold sores, but reducing your triggers can help.

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