Cold sore treatment
Antiviral aciclovir 200mg tablets and cream for the treatment of topical cold sores available to buy online.
All medication supplied is UK licensed.
|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|
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.
|Order value||Prescription fee|
|up to £10||£1.00|
|up to £20||£2.00|
|up to £40||£3.00|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 cold sore medication on prescription - you are required to answer a short medical questionnaire before your order can be completed.
The order process
Answer short medical questionnaire
Choose medication, register, and pay
Doctor issues prescription online
Pharmacy team post medication direct
“Excellent service very quick and easy”07 April 2021 – Anonymous
“Value for money”07 April 2021 – J K. from E
“Great service great product dr fox bang on everytime....”07 April 2021 – Anonymous
“Consistently good service.”07 April 2021 – Stiofan O., Belfast
“Very smooth online process. I didn't have to contact customer services directly so no idea how good they are in that department but in everything else I was impressed.”07 April 2021 – Anonymous
“Very quick delivery”07 April 2021 – Anonymous
“Whole experience went smoothly. Would definitely recommend.”07 April 2021 – Anonymous
“Good and fast service”07 April 2021 – Anonymous
“Fast order processing and delivery”07 April 2021 – Anonymous
“Great product and service”07 April 2021 – Anonymous
“Service very good”07 April 2021 – Anonymous