Aciclovir Cream

Order Aciclovir 5% cream to put an end to cold sores

Aciclovir is an antiviral medication that treats herpes infections, including cold sores, chickenpox and shingles. While also available as oral medication, the OTC topical cream usually is sufficient.

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Strength Quantity Price Stock
5%1 x 2g tube£7.99In Stock
5%2 x 2g tubes£13.99In Stock
5%1 x 10g tube£18.99In Stock
Prices exclude a prescription fee. This treatment requires a quick online consultation,
which a doctor will review to determine if a prescription is appropriate.

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What is Aciclovir cream?

Aciclovir is an antiviral medication used to treat infection caused by the herpes virus, including cold sores, chicken pox and shingles. It is available on prescription as an oral medication, or as a topical cream which can be bought over the counter. Aciclovir cream is used for treating minor infections and is usually sufficient for the treatment of cold sores. Aciclovir cream is used solely for the purpose of treating the symptoms of and cold sores, and cannot be used in a preventative capacity or for the treatment of genital herpes. 

How long does it take for Aciclovir to work?

Aciclovir cream does not cure herpes or cold sores, but reduces the severity of outbreaks, helps sores to heal, and reduces itching and pain. Cold sores tend to begin healing within 10 days, and application of Aciclovir cream can help to speed up this process.

Am I still contagious when taking Aciclovir?

Cold sores are contagious whilst the cold sore symptoms are present. Therefore, if you have a cold sore, you should avoid kissing anyone from the moment you first feel a tingling sensation right up until the cold sore has completely disappeared. 


Active ingredients

The active ingredient is aciclovir. 1g of cream contains 50mg aciclovir (5%).

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients of Aciclovir cream are stearoyl macrolglyceries, dimeticone, cetyl alcohol, liquid paraffin, white soft paraffin, propylene glycol and purified water.

Please Note: Inactive ingredients may differ between different brands of generic medication.


How to use Aciclovir cream

For effective treatment of cold sores, Aciclovir cream should be used as soon as possible after the start of the infection. Wash your hands thoroughly before application. Apply a thin layer of cream to the infected area, taking care not to rub the skin more than is necessary for the cream to absorb. Apply 5 times per day, at intervals of about 4 hours, for 5 days. If the infection does not heal in this time, continue to apply the cream for up to an additional 5 days.

Aciclovir dosage

Aciclovir cream contains 5% aciclovir and is for external use only. A thin layer of the cream should be applied 5 times per day at 4 hourly intervals. Infection should heal within 5 days but if not, continue using the cream for up to another 5 days.

Side Effects

Aciclovir side effects

Side effects of Aciclovir cream are rare, and when they do occur are usually localised. Uncommon side effects, which affect less than 1 in 100 people, include:

  • A burning or stinging feeling after applying cream. This feeling tends to go away.
  • Itching.
  • Drying or flaking of the skin.

Rare side effects, affecting less than 1 in 1,000 people, include:

  • Redness of the skin.
  • Skin rash.

Very rarely, a patient may experience an allergic reaction to Aciclovir cream. Stop using the treatment immediately and seek medical attention if you experience the following:

  • Rash.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Weal.
  • Swelling of the lips, face and/or eyelids.


You should not use Aciclovir cream if you are allergic to any of its active or inactive ingredients. It should not be applied to mucus membranes, such as the inside of the mouth and nose, the eyes and inside the vagina. This cream should not be used to treat mouth ulcers or herpes infections near the eyes.If you cold sore is severe, seek your doctors advice before using Aciclovir cream. 

If your immune system is weakened for some reason, such as cancer treatment, bone marrow transplant or HIV infection, seek your doctor’s advice before using Aciclovir cream.

Drug interactions

You should inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, have taken or are planning on taking any other medications, including over the counter or prescription-free medications. 

Aciclovir and pregnancy

Although Aciclovir cream is thought to be safe to use during pregnancy, speak to your doctor for advice before beginning the treatment.

Aciclovir and breastfeeding

The active ingredient of Aciclovir cream, aciclovir, has been found to pass into breastmilk, although it is not thought of as harmful to a nursing infant. Speak to your doctor for advice before beginning treatment.

Treatment Options

Aciclovir Tablets vs Aciclovir Cream

Aciclovir can be used both as a topical cream, which is available to buy over the counter, or as an oral medication, which is only available on prescription. Aciclovir cream is usually a sufficient treatment for cold sores, but should not be used inside the vagina, mouth or eyes. For more serious outbreaks of herpes infection, such as genital herpes, or for preventing chronic outbreaks, your doctor may prescribe Aciclovir tablets for a period of time. 

Non-prescription alternatives

Some strengths of Aciclovir cream can be bought over the counter without a prescription. However, there are some measures you can take at home to help heal cold sores:

  • Eat cool, soft food, and avoid eating foods that you know to trigger cold sores 
  • Wash your hands regularly with hot water and soap, especially before and after applying Aciclovir cream.
  • Use a lip balm containing SPF to protect cold sores from sun exposure
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash
  • Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen can help reduce pain and swelling of the infected area.


Is Aciclovir addictive?

Aciclovir cream is not considered to be addictive. It is best to begin application as soon as possible after the start of the infection. Do not exceed the stated dose.

Is Aciclovir and antibiotic?

Aciclovir is an antiviral medication, administered to treat viral infections. It is not an antibiotic, which are used to treat bacterial infections.

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