Brands Names: Sitavig, Zovirax
Price Range: $19.95 – $26.25
What is Zovirax Cream
Zovirax is the brand name for Acyclovir. Zovirax ointment is meant only for external use. Zovirax is a very effective antiviral drug that can be used to prevent and treat herpes outbreaks. The herpes virus often affects the skin and mucous membranes. Therefore, Zovirax ointment can be directly applied to affected areas.
Zovirax ointment is manufactured at two concentration levels:
- Zovirax ointment 5% is a formulation for topical administration to treat cold sores on lips, skin, and other areas.
- Zovirax ophthalmic ointment 3% is a formulation meant for the eyes
Zovirax ointment is an effective medicine for treating herpes in different locations. Zovirax is available in the form of cream, tablets, and solution for injections. The latter is used only in severe cases and only in hospital settings.
Zovirax is mostly prescribed for treating herpes outbreaks. This works by blocking viral DNA while stopping replication. However, Zovirax does not affect human DNA. Zovirax ointment should not be used for common skin problems such as pimples with a bacteriological origin.
Zovirax can be prescribed for treatment in the following cases:
- To treat herpes outbreaks, which are in the first or second stage.
- This medication can be used to prevent the spread of herpes breakouts and cold sores, reduces the risk of complications, and accelerates the healing of affected areas.
Zovirax can also be used to treat other conditions such as:
- Herpes stomatitis
- Herpetic keratitis
- Eye inflammation (Zovirax ophthalmic ointment 3%)
- Chickenpox and shingles in adults
- Frequent herpes due to HIV-induced immunodeficiency, severe surgery, or chemotherapy
Since styes of the eye are usually caused by staphylococcal bacteria. Therefore, although Zovirax ophthalmic ointment 3% contains antibiotic properties, it is not effective for treating an eye stye. Zovirax ophthalmic ointment 3% should be used for treating herpes.
As well as intended effects, Zovirax ointment may cause unwanted side effects. This most commonly occurs because of improper use related to overdosing of the active ingredient and composition. Some individuals demonstrate allergic reactions to Zovirax.
Therefore, to avoid potential complications and make treatment with Zovirax more effective, carefully follow included instructions when applying ointment.
Always apply ointment using medical gloves or individual fingertips to avoid spreading the herpes virus to non-outbreak areas of the body.
The minimum interval between Zovirax ointment applications should be at least 4 hours. The maximum number of ointment applications should be no more than 5-6 times per day. For elderly adults and patients with renal failure, the number of applications should not exceed 2-3 times per day;
Use Zovirax ointment for 5-10 days until cold sores become dry and covered with crust prior to healing. However, if there is no improvement in cold sores beyond this period, a doctor should be consulted for a different treatment.
After applying Zovirax ointment, do not wash it off and avoid showering for 1.5-2 hours.
Only apply Zovirax ointment on affected areas. A small amount of ointment is enough to treat the entire affected area.
Side effects encountered when using Zovirax ointment may include:
- Discomfort and pain in the place of ointment application
- Burning and itching as well as allergic reactions in the form of urticaria
- Inflammation of the external genitalia (e.g., vulvitis) in women
If any of the aforementioned symptoms are experiences, immediately stop using Zovirax ointment and see a doctor. In most instances, after discontinuing the use of Zovirax ointment, side effects can be expected to quickly disappear.
When using Zovirax it is important to remember that this medication does not prevent people from becoming infected with herpes. Zovirax should not be used to treat chickenpox in children since it is a benign condition.
Zovirax ophthalmic ointment 3% is used for herpetic reactions affecting the eyes. This medication can be applied to the eyes up to 5 times per day for up to three days. Clinical trials have demonstrated that this is a safe and effective medicine. Contact lenses should not be worn while being treated with Zovirax ophthalmic ointment 3%. In cases of herpes keratitis, Zovirax ophthalmic ointment 3% may not be strong enough, and instead should be used in combination with other medications. Only a doctor is able to make a proper diagnosis and prescribe a treatment.
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