Xerese and Pregnancy
When used in normal doses, Xerese (acyclovir and hydrocortisone) is generally considered safe to use during pregnancy. Because only a small amount of the drug is absorbed through the skin, very little of the medication is expected to reach the fetus where it could cause problems. If you are pregnant, it's still a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before starting treatment.
Xerese™ (acyclovir and hydrocortisone) is a prescription cream used in the treatment of cold sores. It is a combination of two medications -- acyclovir and hydrocortisone. Xerese is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy because only a very small amount of the drug is absorbed through the skin into the body.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category B is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but do not appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies.
Medications that have been shown to be safe for use in pregnancy in humans but have caused problems in laboratory animals are also given a Category B rating.
However, it is important to note that animals do not always respond to medicines the same way that humans do. Therefore, a pregnancy Category B medicine should be given to a pregnant woman only if the healthcare provider believes that the benefits to the woman outweigh any possible risks to the unborn child.
Xerese has not been studied in animals or pregnant women. Acyclovir, one of the active ingredients in it, did not cause birth defects when given to pregnant mice, rats, or rabbits.
Based on the results of an observational study that followed women who used acyclovir while pregnant, the medication does not appear to cause birth defects. However, not enough women were followed to say with certainty that acyclovir is completely safe for use during pregnancy, or to rule out the possibility of rare birth defects from its use.
Hydrocortisone, the other active ingredient in Xerese, has been shown to cause birth defects and other problems, such as cleft palate, cataracts, and miscarriage, when injected into the muscle of pregnant mice and rabbits. It also may slightly increase the risk for cleft lip and decreased infant birth weight when taken orally by pregnant women, especially in large doses.
However, it is important to keep in mind that Xerese is a topical medication and very little of it is absorbed through the skin into the body after normal use. Therefore, the medication would be unlikely to reach the developing fetus where it could cause problems. For this reason, Xerese is generally considered safe during pregnancy.