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Zovirax Cream

Zovirax cream, an FDA-approved medication, contains Acyclovir as its active ingredient. It effectively combats cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. By inhibiting virus growth, it alleviates symptoms and accelerates healing. It is available in the strength: Zovirax cream 5%. Available in 2, 5, or 10-gram tubes, it offers easy application for patients aged 12 years or older. To use, simply wash your hands before and after applying. Though generally well-tolerated, it may cause mild side effects like stinging or rash. Precautions include avoiding contact with eyes and informing healthcare providers of allergies or medical conditions. In case of a missed dose, apply immediately without doubling up. Store it in a cool, dry location distant from sunlight and children. Always adhere to healthcare professionals’ guidance and warnings for optimal safety and efficacy.

Product Overview

Zovirax cream is an FDA-approved medication containing the active ingredient Acyclovir, which effectively treats cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus. By inhibiting the growth and spread of the virus, it reduces the severity and duration of cold sore outbreaks, providing relief and promoting healing. It contains 5% Acyclovir as the active ingredient. It is available in tubes containing 2, 5, or 10 grams of cream for convenient application. 

Simply wash your hands before and after applying the cream, then gently rub it onto the affected area. It is suitable for adults and children 12 years old and older with normal immune systems. While generally well-tolerated, Zovirax cream may cause side effects such as stinging, burning, or rash at the application site. It is advisable to avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes and to wash hands thoroughly after application. 

Precautions, such as informing healthcare providers of any allergies or medical conditions before use, should be taken. In case of a missed dose, apply it as soon as remembered, but do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one. It should be kept in a cool, dry location, distant from direct sunlight and children. Always follow the guidance and warnings healthcare professionals provide for optimal use and safety.

Uses of Zovirax Cream

  • It treats cold sores around the mouth and on the lips.

[Important Warning: You should not use Zovirax cream on your genitals, eyes, mouth, or nose.]

How to Use Zovirax Cream?


Strengths and Forms

Form: Topical cream 

Strength: Zovirax Cream 5%

Recommended Dosage for Different Patients

For Adults with Herpes Simplex Infection: Use four to six times daily for up to ten days on the affected area(s).

For Children with Herpes Simplex Infection: The dosage and use of this medicine should be determined by a physician.

[Note: These Zovirax cream dosage recommendations may differ from individual to individual. Discuss it with your healthcare professional, and they’ll decide your dosage accordingly.]

How to Take It?

Here is the important guidance for applying Zovirax cream:

  • Adhere strictly to your healthcare provider’s instructions for using Zovirax cream.
  • Apply the cream when you notice the first symptoms of a cold sore, like itching, redness, burning, or tingling, or when the sore appears.
  • Before and after applying the cream, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Make sure the affected area is clean and dry before applying Zovirax cream.
  • Apply Zovirax cream to the affected area five times daily for four days, ensuring coverage of the outer edges.
  • Refrain from using other skin products on the affected area during treatment.
  • Avoid rubbing the cold sore to prevent spreading it to other areas around your mouth or worsening the condition.

[Note: Your doctor will decide the right amount of Zovirax cream for you based on your condition, following guidelines and studies on the drug. They’ll adjust your Pregnyl dosage as needed over time.]

How Does Zovirax Cream Work?

Zovirax cream contains Acyclovir, which inhibits the replication of the herpes simplex virus (HSV), which causes cold sores and genital herpes. Acyclovir penetrates virus-infected cells and becomes activated by viral enzymes. It then competes with guanosine triphosphate (GTP) for viral DNA polymerase, an essential enzyme for viral DNA replication. Incorporating it into the viral DNA chain and terminating its elongation, Acyclovir effectively halts viral replication. This mechanism prevents the virus from spreading and decreases the stringency and duration of cold sore outbreaks when Zovirax cream is applied promptly at the onset of symptoms.

Important Safety Information

Side Effects

Common side effects of Zovirax cream may include:

  • Dry lips
  • Skin sloughing
  • Skin dryness
  • Cracked lips
  • Burning skin
  • Itching
  • Flakiness of skin
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Skin swelling
  • Temporary burning or stinging on the skin where the cream is applied

Mild side effects of Zovirax cream may include:

  • Temporary redness or inflammation of the skin
  • Tingling sensation
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting (rare)

Adverse side effects of Zovirax cream may include:

  • Severe allergic reactions, such as redness, itching/inflammation (particularly of the face/throat/tongue), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing
  • Severe skin irritation, including blistering, peeling, or severe redness
  • Symptoms of a rare but severe condition called neurotoxicity include confusion, hallucinations, tremors, or seizures.

[Note: This list may not cover all possible side effects of Zovirax cream. Always consult with your healthcare giver for medical advice about side effects.]


Allergic Reactions: Individuals allergic to Acyclovir or any of the cream’s inactive ingredients should avoid its use. Allergic reactions may include redness, itching, inflammation, dizziness, or difficulty breathing. Seek immediate medical help if any allergic reaction occurs.

Avoid Contact with Eyes: Zovirax cream is for external use only and should not be applied to the eyes. Avoid its contact with the eyes, mouth, nose, or any other mucous membranes. If accidental contact happens, rinse thoroughly with water.

Avoiding Transmission: Zovirax cream does not prevent the spread of herpes to others. Avoid direct contact with infected areas, and do not share razors, towels, or other personal items to prevent transmission to others.

Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: You should consult a healthcare professional before using Zovirax cream if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. While there’s limited data on the safety of Acyclovir during pregnancy, it’s generally considered safe when used as directed.

Consultation with Healthcare Provider: Before starting Zovirax cream, individuals with a history of kidney problems or immune system disorders should consult a healthcare provider. The cream may require dosage adjustments in such cases.

Effectiveness and Resistance: Zovirax cream may not be effective against every strain of the herpes virus. Additionally, prolonged or repeated use of the cream may lead to the development of resistant strains.

Not a Cure: Zovirax cream is not a cure for herpes infections. It helps to relieve symptoms and shorten the duration of outbreaks, but it does not eliminate the virus from the body.

Sun Sensitivity: Some individuals may experience increased sensitivity to sunlight while using Zovirax cream. Use sunscreen and shielded clothing when outdoors to reduce the risk of sunburn.

Topical Irritation: Mild irritation, burning, or stinging at the application site may occur. If these symptoms stay or worsen, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.


Follow Instructions: Use Zovirax cream exactly as your healthcare provider directs or as instructed on the product label. Do not use more or less than the prescribed amount; do not use it more frequently or longer than recommended.

Hand Hygiene: You should wash your hands thoroughly before and after applying Zovirax cream to prevent the spread of the virus.

Avoiding Irritants: Avoid using Zovirax cream on broken or irritated skin. If the affected area is irritated, wait until it has healed before applying the cream.

Avoiding Certain Substances: Avoid applying cosmetics or other skincare products to the affected area while using Zovirax cream, as they may interfere with its effectiveness or cause irritation.

Proper Storage: Store Zovirax cream at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Do not refrigerate. Keep the tube tightly closed when not in use.

Keep Out of Reach of Children: Keep Zovirax cream out of reach of children and pets. Accidental ingestion may cause harm. If swallowed, seek medical attention immediately.

Medical History: Let your healthcare provider know about any medical conditions you have, particularly kidney problems or immune system disorders, as these may affect your suitability for Zovirax cream.

Avoiding Sexual Contact: If using Zovirax cream for genital herpes, avoid sexual contact while lesions are present to prevent transmission of the virus to your partner. Use appropriate barrier protection (such as condoms) even when lesions are not visible.

Regular Check-ups: For long-term use, especially for recurrent outbreaks, it’s crucial to have regular follow-ups with your healthcare professional to observe the effectiveness of the treatment and discuss any changes in your condition.

Discontinuation of Use: If your symptoms do not improve within a few days of using Zovirax cream or worsen, discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.

Zovirax Cream Contraindications

  • It is not recommended for patients with known hypersensitivity to Acyclovir or any formulation component.

Missed Dose

  • If you remember shortly after missing a dose, apply the cream as soon as you remember.
  • If your next planned dose is approaching, ignore the missed dose and continue as usual. To make up for the missed dose, do not apply extra cream.
  • Making up for a missed dose should not be done with a double dose. Applying too much cream can increase the risk of side effects without providing additional benefits.
  • Resume your regular dosing schedule as prescribed by your healthcare provider.
  • If you frequently forget to apply Zovirax cream or have difficulty sticking to the prescribed schedule, inform your healthcare provider. They may provide guidance or suggest alternative methods to help you remember your doses.

[Note: If you have missed a Zovirax cream dose and are still determining when to take the next one, immediately consult your doctor or pharmacist.]


Overdosing on Zovirax cream may cause skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, and, rarely, systemic effects like headache or allergic reactions.

[Note: If you applied more than the recommended dose of Zovirax cream, get medical help immediately or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.]


  • Keep the cream at room temperature, ideally between 68°F to 77°F.
  • Do not expose the cream to excessive heat or cold. Avoid freezing.
  • Keep the tube tightly closed when not in use to prevent it from drying out or getting contaminated.
  • Store Zovirax cream out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Store the cream in a dry location, away from moisture and humidity.

[Note: Discuss the proper storage and disposal of Zovirax cream with your healthcare professional.]

Zovirax Cream Interactions

  • Talimogene laherparepvec

[Note: There could be other drugs that interact with Zovirax cream. Tell your doctor about prescription, over-the-counter medicines, and herbal products.]

Zovirax Cream Alternatives

  • Denavir (penciclovir)
  • Famvir (famciclovir)
  • Valtrex (valacyclovir)
  • Abreva (docosanol)
  • Viractin (docosanol)
  • Sitavig (acyclovir buccal)
  • Lidocaine Cream (lidocaine)
  • Blistex (docosanol)

[Note: Your doctor will choose the best Zovirax cream alternative for you. Don’t use any of these alternative medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Taking them by yourself may cause serious side effects.] 

Frequently Asked Questions

How quickly does Zovirax cream work?

The cream is used to treat cold sores (herpes labialis). When applied at the first sign of infection, it can speed up healing and lessen the signs like tingling, pain, burning, and itching. Although the exact duration for sores to heal is unknown, using Zovirax cream 5 times a day for 4 days can significantly shorten healing time.

How often should I apply Zovirax cream?

Zovirax cream should be applied 5 times daily for 4 days. Start using it immediately upon the first sign of cold sore lesions. Consistent application can help speed healing and alleviate symptoms like tingling, pain, burning, and itching. 

How Long After Starting Acyclovir Are You Contagious? 

Acyclovir does not cure HSV-1 or HSV-2, so it is always contagious. The infection can spread via skin contact, genitals, lips, or body fluids. During active breakouts (oral or genital herpes), carriers are more contagious. Taking precautions during these times is crucial to prevent spreading the viral infection to others.

Is Zovirax cream available over the counter?

Zovirax cream is prescription-only and not available over the counter. If you need Acyclovir, you can make an appointment with a healthcare provider to obtain a prescription.

Our Guarantee

At, we assure you the most affordable price when you buy Zovirax cream from Canada. Rest easy knowing that your order will be dispatched from a reputable Licensed Canada Pharmacy Online, adhering to the highest standards of quality and authenticity. Our discounted medications are shipped directly from Canada to your doorstep, ensuring a swift and secure delivery experience. To conveniently access Zovirax cream at a substantial cost, call us at 1-888-779-2193 toll-free.


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