Zovirax is a prescription medication drug (also known under the generic medication name, Acyclovir) which is used to treat cold sores, shingles, chickenpox and sometimes genital herpes. These infections are caused by the herpes simplex and herpes zoster viruses, although the medication doesn’t cure the infections, Acyclovir can reduce the severity and length of their outbreaks.
Zovirax, Valtrex and Famvir: Antiviral Medications on the Market
Zovirax is the earliest of the antiviral medications on the market, as it’s been available since 1982 from the topical type as an ointment lotion, and since 1985 as a tablet computer. The cream formulation for topical administration ought to be applied 5 times per day for 4 days. Now Acyclovir is available in a generic form and is the only antiviral available as intravenous medication.
There are just two other FDA approved medications on the market which deal with the herpes virus: Valacyclovir (brand name Valtrex) and Famciclovir (brand name Famvir).
Valtrex, made by GlaxoSmithKline, was approved by the FDA in 1995 and was the 2nd antiviral medication to come to market in the USA. Valtrex comes in pill form and can be a prodrug of acyclovir (meaning that the body converts it to acyclovir after it has been consumed ). Valtrex delivers acyclovir better, allowing the body to consume a lot of the drug.
This has the extra advantage of having less administration throughout the day.
Famvir is produced by Novartis and is also a nicely absorbed prodrug. The body converts Famvir to the extended acting antimicrobial drug penciclovir that can be taken less frequently than acyclovir.
How Zovirax (Acyclovir) Treats Cold Sores
Cold sores, also known as herpes labialis or fever blisters, are highly contagious sores on the lip and outer edge of the mouth.
Cold sore outbreaks heal quicker when Acyclovir is accepted, compared to allowing the virus run its program. New sores are also kept from forming and associated itching and pain of cold sores can also be decreased. Acyclovir can also help reduce the length of time the pain stays after the sores have healed.
For those with a weakened immune system and much more regular outbreaks, Acyclovir can lessen the amount of prospective episodes and decrease the probability of serious ailments from cases where the virus spreads to other areas of the body (including the eyes).
Why Cold Sores Keep Coming
Zovirax is an antiviral drug but it is not a cure for the herpes virus. The viruses that cause these illnesses continue to dwell within the body even if symptoms and outbreaks aren’t visible.
Antiviral medications work best when started at the first symptom of an outbreak, as directed by your physician. It may not work as well in the event that you postpone treatment. Treatment should be started as early as possible after the first onset of signs and symptoms (such as itching or tingling, or when lesions first appear).
Keeping the amount of antiviral drugs on your body at a constant level is vital in fighting the virus. For this reason, make certain to take your medication at evenly spaced intervals, at the very same times every day.
Continue taking the full prescribed amount of your medication, even if your symptoms go away after a couple of days. Don’t alter your dosage or skip any doses, follow the advice of your doctor.
Be sure to inform your doctor if your condition persists or worsens even once you’ve completed your prescribed medication dosage.