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Abreva Side Effects

In a clinical study, common Abreva side effects included headaches, stuffy or runny nose, and painful menstrual periods. However, side effects typically don't occur unless too much of the drug is taken. Since it can be difficult to tell if side effects of Abreva are caused by the medication or by other factors, tell your healthcare provider if you experience anything that doesn't seem "right" during treatment.

An Introduction to Abreva Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Abreva® (docosanol); 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 are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Abreva. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Abreva side effects with you.)

Common Abreva Side Effects

Abreva is a non-prescription medication. With prescription medications, the manufacturers must provide "prescribing information" that includes detailed information about side effects. However, such information is not available for most non-prescription medications, including Abreva.
Based on information submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before the drug was approved, the following Abreva side effects were reported in a clinical study:
  • Headaches -- in up to 12 percent of people
  • Painful menstrual periods -- up to 3 percent
  • Stuffy or runny nose -- up to 2 percent
  • Infection -- up to 2 percent.

Final Thoughts on Abreva Side Effects

You may experience some or none of the Abreva side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell if any particular side effect (such as nausea) is caused by Abreva or other factors. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any side effects while taking the drug. Also, let your healthcare provider know if you develop something that "just does not seem right." While it may not be a side effect of Abreva, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.

Abreva for Cold Sores

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