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Important Instructions for Abreva

When and How to Take Abreva

General considerations for when and how to take Abreva include the following:
  • The medication is to be used directly on the cold sore; it is not to be taken internally or to be used inside the mouth or nose.
  • Abreva works best if you start using it at the first signs of a cold sore (tingling, redness, or a bump). You should apply it five times a day.
  • Wash your hands before and after each application. Apply the cream using a fingertip.
  • You can apply cosmetics on top of Abreva. However, you should use a disposable applicator (such as a cotton swab) to avoid spreading the virus to the cosmetic.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as directed by the package instructions.

Dosing Information for Abreva

There is only one recommended Abreva dose, regardless of your age, weight, or other medications or medical conditions.
(Click Abreva Dosage for more information.)

Side Effects of Abreva

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Abreva. However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Possible side effects of Abreva include, but are not limited to:
  • Headaches
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Stuffy or runny nose.
(Click Abreva Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects that you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)

Abreva for Cold Sores

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