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Drug for Herpes Wards Off Cold Sores (and Colds?)

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Q. My wife and I have each taken an acyclovir pill a day for 18 years. During that entire time, neither of us has had a fever blister, cold, flu, shingles or virus of any kind. We do not get flu shots.

I'm 75 and she's 60. I am amazed that acyclovir has not been promoted widely, considering how well it works. The generic is very cheap, and we have had absolutely no side effects.

A. Acyclovir (Zovirax) was the first FDA-approved antiviral drug against herpes infections. It is used to treat chickenpox, shingles and genital herpes as well as cold sores (fever blisters). We could find no evidence that prescription acyclovir would provide protection against other viruses such as those that cause influenza or colds. Perhaps your resistance to such infections is coincidental and a testimony to the strength of your immune system. 

Many people, like you, experience no side effects. A few report nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or headache. Some adverse reactions are rare but serious, including hallucinations, seizures and dangerous skin reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis.

If you have experience with acyclovir preventing any of these conditions, please share your story in the comments section below:

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Is this available by prescription only?

People's Pharmacy response: Yes.

When shaving too close or too often with an electric shaver my lips have reacted with cold sores, this also happens when I get chapped lips in cold weather. I have found that a pea sized amount of arnica gel rubbed gently into and around the lips will help stop cold sores from coming. I have also used arnica cream in the same way after the arnica gel. I repeat this several times a day. I have shared this with others who have had similar results no matter what the cause of the mouth sores may be.

I would like to know the mgs to take of Zovirax ? I used to break out a lot with shingles in my ear drum. I did get my shingles shot. It has helped. But since my ear pain was left undiagnosed. I now have Ramsey Hunt Syndrome. Very painful to live with. I read that a couple take 1 Zovirax everyday. Please help. Thank you! JMR

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