Zovirax cream is an antiviral medication that is used to treat cold sores, which are caused by herpes simplex viruses. The prescription medication helps the body fight the infection by preventing the virus from multiplying. Although Zovirax cream cannot prevent an outbreak, it can help cold sores to heal quicker when applied at the first signs of an outbreak. Potential side effects include dry lips and dry skin.
What Is Zovirax Cream?Zovirax® cream (acyclovir cream) is a prescription antiviral medication used to treat cold sores in adults and adolescents age 12 and older.
This article refers to the cream form of Zovirax, which is different from the ointment form (see Zovirax Ointment).
How Does It Work?Cold sores are caused by viruses -- specifically, the herpes simplex viruses (HSV). Zovirax cream is an antiviral medication that helps the body fight the infection by preventing the virus from multiplying.
It is important to understand that once a person has been infected with these viruses, they never go away. They remain inactive in certain nerve cells of the body, waiting to become active again. In addition, treatment with Zovirax cream does not prevent future outbreaks of cold sores.