) is a non-prescription cold sore
medication. It is the only non-prescription cold sore treatment approved to shorten the healing time and the duration of cold sore symptoms
Abreva is made by Avanir Pharmaceuticals and is distributed by GlaxoSmithKline.
Cold sores are caused by viruses -- specifically, the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Abreva is not an antiviral medication in the traditional sense, since it does not attack the virus. Instead, the medication works by changing the cell membranes of healthy, uninfected cells. These changes help prevent the cold sore virus from getting into healthy cells, thereby helping to limit the cold sore infection.
It is important to understand that once a person has been infected with the cold sore virus, the virus never goes away. It remains inactive in certain nerve cells of the body, waiting to become active again. Treatment with Abreva does not prevent future cold sore outbreaks.