Most cold sores heal on their own without prescription medicines. But some antiviral medicines (such as acyclovir or famciclovir) when taken orally (tablets) may
be helpful in reducing the frequency and severity of attacks of
Doctors may prescribe oral antiviral medicines that
can be taken daily to prevent future outbreaks of cold sores. These medicines
may also be given during periods of increased risk of getting cold sores
(such as during cosmetic surgery or sun exposure).
John Gamba was 9 years old when a dentist failed to anesthetize a back molar properly and hit a nerve dead-on. The result was a lifelong fear of dentists that reached a peak in his 20s, when he stopped going to the dentist entirely. "I couldn't even drive by a dentist's office without getting stressed out," he tells WebMD.
Gamba was 38 when a chipped back molar began to decay, eventually causing him constant pain. "I was paralyzed. I couldn't even consider going [to the dentist's office]," says...
A lower dose of oral acyclovir is needed for people who have
reduced kidney function.
Famciclovir (Famvir) is sometimes used to treat the herpes virus that causes
cold sores and genital herpes (as well as the virus that causes shingles). This medicine is available only by
prescription and is taken orally in tablet form.
If you are pregnant or nursing, you should talk with your doctor
before taking famciclovir.
This medicine is not recommended for people who have had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.