Zovirax cream is an antiviral medication used to treat various viral infections caused by the herpes simplex virus. Its active ingredient, acyclovir, works by inhibiting the replication of the virus, thereby reducing the severity and duration of symptoms. This topical cream is specifically formulated to target herpes labialis, commonly known as cold sores or fever blisters, which appear on the face and lips. Zovirax cream provides local antiviral action without systemic absorption, making it an effective and convenient treatment option.
Although Zovirax cream is generally safe and well-tolerated, there are certain precautions to consider before using this medication. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting Zovirax cream if you:
- Have a known allergy to acyclovir or any other component of the cream
- Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Have any medical conditions or are currently taking any medications
In case of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, or swelling, discontinue use and seek medical attention immediately.
Possible Side Effects
Zovirax cream is generally well-tolerated, but like any medication, it may cause some side effects. Commonly reported side effects include:
- Burning or stinging sensation at the application site
- Itching or dryness
- Redness or rash
If these side effects persist or worsen, contact your healthcare professional. Although rare, serious side effects may occur. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any signs of an allergic reaction or severe skin irritation.
Before applying Zovirax cream, thoroughly wash and dry the affected area. Use a clean finger or cotton swab to apply a thin layer of cream, gently rubbing it into the skin until it is absorbed. Avoid contact with eyes, nose, or mouth. Wash your hands after application to prevent the spread of the virus.
Zovirax cream should be applied 5 times a day, approximately every 4 hours, for a total treatment duration of 4 days. If symptoms persist after this time or worsen, consult a healthcare professional. If you accidentally miss a dose, apply it as soon as you remember. If it is close to the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular dosing schedule.
An overdose of Zovirax cream is unlikely due to its topical nature. However, excessive application could increase the risk of side effects. If you suspect an overdose or have inadvertently applied too much cream, seek medical advice or contact a poison control center.
Zovirax cream has a low potential for drug interactions, as its topical application minimizes systemic absorption. However, it is recommended to inform your healthcare professional about all prescription and non-prescription medications, as well as herbal products and supplements, you are currently using. This will help identify any potential interactions or contraindications.
Questions and Answers for Zovirax cream
Q: Can Zovirax cream be used to treat genital herpes?
A: No, Zovirax cream is specifically formulated for the treatment of cold sores or fever blisters on the face and lips. Genital herpes requires different treatment options, including antiviral oral medications.
Q: Can I apply makeup or lip balm over Zovirax cream?
A: Yes, once Zovirax cream has been absorbed into the skin, you can apply makeup or lip balm over it. However, it is important to avoid direct contact of the cream with any cosmetic products.
Q: Can Zovirax cream be used in children?
A: Zovirax cream can be used in children 12 years of age and older. For children younger than 12 years, consult a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment options.
Q: Can Zovirax cream prevent the spread of herpes to others?
A: Zovirax cream is primarily intended to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms, but it may also help decrease the risk of transmission. However, it is important to avoid close contact, sharing personal items, and engaging in sexual activity during an outbreak to prevent the spread of the virus.
Q: How long does it take for Zovirax cream to work?
A: Zovirax cream should be applied as soon as the first symptoms of a cold sore appear. When used as directed, it may accelerate the healing process and reduce the duration of the outbreak.