Cold sore treatment

Antiviral aciclovir 200mg tablets and cream for the treatment of topical cold sores available to buy online.

Read medical information and answer medical questions to buy treatment online.

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All medication supplied is UK licensed.

Aciclovir 200mg tablets pack photo

Aciclovir tablets (200mg)

25-50 tablets from £8.95

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Aciclovir cream pack photo

Aciclovir cream 5% (2gm-10gm)

Tubes from £4.50

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Prices

Treatment type Quantity Cost
Aciclovir 200mg tablets 25 tablets (one treatment) £8.95
Aciclovir 200mg tablets 50 tablets (two treatments) £13.95
Aciclovir cream 5% 2gm tube £4.50
Aciclovir cream 5% 4gm (2 x 2gm tube) £7.00
Aciclovir cream 5% 10gm (large tube) £11.00

Price match guaranteePrice match guarantee
Prescription issued online - small prescription fee per order.

Prescription fees

Dr Fox supplies medicine on prescription and charges a small prescription fee based on the order value of each prescription.

Prescriptions are issued by our doctors online and sent electronically to our pharmacy.

If you have your own private or NHS paper prescription please post to our pharmacy (details).

Dr Fox prices are 25%–50% lower than other UK online clinics.

Order value Prescription fee
up to £10 £1.00
up to £20 £2.00
up to £40 £3.00
over £40 £4.00

Delivery charges

UK delivery only: £2.90 per consultation via Royal Mail 24 Signed For (1-3 working days with tracking).

Parcel forwarding services are not permitted. Use only UK home or work delivery address.

Returns and refunds - unwanted items can be returned within 14 working days for a full refund.

Medical information

Written and reviewed by a team of doctors. Dr Fox is regulated by the CQC, GPhC, & MHRA.

What are cold sores?

Cold sores are sores on the lips caused by a herpes virus - usually HSV1 (herpes simplex virus type 1), but occasionally HSV2 (herpes simplex virus type 2) which more commonly causes genital herpes. Aciclovir tablets and cream are antiviral treatments which can reduce the severity and duration of cold sores. Tablets may be a more convenient treatment than cream.

Is it a cold sore?

People who have had cold sores before usually recognise the symptoms, mainly because the sores come up in exactly the same place each time. There is often a tingling sensation for 24 to 48 hours before the redness, then blistering, then an ulcer develops.

Most cold sores usually last 7-10 days before completely healing, usually without scarring. If symptoms are not improving after a few days, or are worsening, or there is a high fever and generalised flu-like symptoms, consult a doctor.

People who have not had cold sores before, and have symptoms for the first time, should consult a doctor.

Sores starting around the nose that are yellow, sticky, and crusty - and spread out over a period of a few days - are likely to be impetigo, not cold sores. Impetigo is a bacterial infection treated with antibiotics, not aciclovir, which is an antiviral.

Below is a photograph of a typical cold sore.

photo of a cold sore

Aciclovir cream and tablets

Aciclovir cream and aciclovir 200mg tablets are supplied by Dr Fox pharmacy to treat recurrent cold sores on the lips. Some people have cold sores which come up time and again in the same place on the lips. This is because after the first infection the virus stays living in the body and so new cold sores can break out - usually at times of stress or in response to triggers such as fatigue, cold weather, strong sun or wind exposure, or menstruation. In some cases cold sores come up without an obvious trigger. Early treatment with either aciclovir cream or tablets will usually reduce the severity and the duration of the sore.

Treatment with either tablets or cream should be started as soon as symptoms begin, preferably at the tingling stage, before a sore breaks out on the skin surface. If treatment is started more than a few days after the onset of symptoms, it is likely to be ineffective.

Dose of aciclovir

Apply aciclovir cream or take one aciclovir 200mg tablet 5 times daily (every 4 hours during the day time, leaving out a dose overnight). Tablets can be swallowed whole or dissolved in water and are continued for 5 days (25 tablets total in one course). Cream is usually continued for about the same length of time, until the sore has almost completely healed. Both treatments are equally effective.

Higher strength aciclovir tablets are available (aciclovir 400mg and 800mg), but are not supplied by Dr Fox pharmacy for the treatment of cold sores. 400mg aciclovir tablets are supplied for the treatment of recurrent genital herpes.

Some patients with severe and frequent sores take daily aciclovir long-term to prevent outbreaks of cold sores or genital herpes. This treatment requires aciclovir to be taken for months at a time and is not available from Dr Fox.

Cautions

Aciclovir can be used by almost all people under 65, unless they are sensitive to it. Most people can take aciclovir tablets, even with other prescribed medication.

Consult a doctor if taking:

  • Probenecid, used to treat gout.
  • Cimetidine, used to treat stomach ulcers.
  • Mycophenolate mofetil, used to stop your body rejecting transplanted organs.
  • Ciclosporin (an immunosuppressant drug).
  • Theophylline or Aminophylline (used in asthma and other breathing problems).
  • Zidovudine (used in HIV infection).

People with significantly reduced kidney function may require reduced doses of aciclovir tablets.

People who have been diagnosed with a neurological illness should consult their doctor before taking aciclovir tablets.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The manufacturers of aciclovir cream and tablets advise avoidance in pregnancy and breastfeeding. This is precautionary advice, and there is no evidence of harm to developing pregnancies or breastfed infants.

Side effects of aciclovir

Most people do not experience significant side effects. Of those who experience side effects the most common (affecting between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100) are dizziness and headache or nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain, fatigue and fever, skin reactions, or photosensitivity.

People who are affected by drowsiness should not drive or operate machinery.

A full list of cautions and side effects can be found in the manufacturer's patient information leaflets:

Cold sores and genital herpes

Cold sores are sometimes called the 'kissing disease'. Spread of herpes viruses are more likely when there is an open sore on the surface of the skin. This is the time when the virus is being shed from the surface of the skin and is most likely to be spread from one person to another.

Cold sores and genital herpes infections are caused by similar types of herpes viruses - HSV1 and HSV2. Because of this, a cold sore infection can spread by direct contact from the lips to the genital region, or vice versa. The cold sore virus can also be spread from the lip region of one person to the lip region of another and from the genital region of one person to the genital region of another.

How to prevent passing the virus to others

When you have a cold sore, it is therefore very important to avoid intimate contact and also to avoid sharing towels, flannels, and other items such as lipstick, lip balm, and lip gloss. Wash your hands with soap and water after touching the cold sore and be careful not to transfer the virus to your eyes especially if you wear contact lenses.

Buy treatment

Dr Fox supplies aciclovir on prescription - you are required to answer a short medical questionnaire before your order can be completed.

Dr Tony Steele

Authored 18 February 2015 by Dr Tony Steele
Last updated 17 September 2020

Reviewed by Dr A. Wood
Last reviewed 08 September 2020

References

  1. Medical questions
  2. Choose treatment
  3. Complete order

Answer medical questions to order(cold sore treatment)

Have you read the medical information on cold sores and aciclovir?

See brief medical information.

Are planning to use aciclovir whilst pregnant or are breastfeeding?

Have you been diagnosed with reduced immunity from any cause?

For instance you have:

  • Had a bone marrow transplant or low white blood cell count.
  • Been diagnosed with a neurological abnormality or any condition leading to permanently low oxygen levels.

Note: most people who are troubled with cold sores have normal immune systems.

Have you been diagnosed with severe liver or kidney disease?

Includes conditions which could reduce kidney function - does not include occasional urinary infections. Kidney disease can be part of the ageing process and people over 65 should check with their GP.

Are you taking any of the following medication?

  • Probenecid (used to treat gout).
  • Cimetidine (used to treat stomach ulcers).
  • Mycophenolate mofetil (used to stop your body rejecting transplanted organs).
  • Ciclosporin (an immunosuppressant drug).
  • Theophylline or aminophylline (used in asthma and other breathing problems).
  • Zidovudine (used in HIV infection).

Are you aware aciclovir cream is not for internal use or for use in or around the eye?

Not for use in the vagina, mouth, or anus.

Are you aware you should seek medical advice if sores are getting worse or are not healing after 10 days?

Do you have any further medical information or questions?

Is there anything you do not understand or do you need further help?

Do the following apply to you?


The order process

Answer short medical questionnaire

Choose medication, register, and pay

Doctor issues prescription online

Pharmacy team post medication direct


Recent reviews

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