Zovirax (Acyclovir ointment) is a prescription medication approved for the following uses:
* Treating non-life-threatening genital herpes or cold sores in people with weakened immune systems (such as those with HIV or AIDS)
* Treating an initial genital herpes infection (but not for subsequent outbreaks) in people with normal immune systems.
Zovirax Ointment Uses for Genital Herpes
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that is caused by a virus, usually herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2).
Symptoms of genital herpes may include:
* Vaginal discharge
* Painful urination
Genital herpes blisters usually heal within one to two weeks. Most people who are infected will have recurrent outbreaks. Zovirax ointment is not a cure for genital herpes, however, and the virus will always remain in your body. When used for genital herpes treatment, Zovirax can help the blisters heal more quickly.
Cold sores (known medically as herpes labialis) are caused by a virus, usually herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1). Cold sores, also called fever blisters, usually occur on the lips or mouth (unlike canker sores, which occur inside the mouth). Cold sores can be quite contagious (they can spread to other people easily). Most people have been infected with the cold sore virus, even if they have never had a cold sore.
The cold sore virus never really goes away, but remains inactive in certain nerve cells in the body. The virus can become active again at any time, often triggered by stress or illness, and can cause cold sores.
Zovirax ointment is not approved for treating cold sores in people with normal immune systems. However, Zovirax ointment is approved to treat cold sores (as well as genital herpes) in people with weakened immune systems. Certain medical conditions (such as HIV or AIDS) or medications (such as chemotherapy or immunosuppressants) can cause a weakened immune system.
How Does Zovirax Ointment Work?
Genital herpes and cold sores are caused by viruses - specifically, the herpes simplex viruses (HSV). Zovirax is an antiviral medication that helps the body fight the infection by preventing the virus from multiplying.
Zovirax treatment, or treatment with any of the other antiviral medications, must be initiated within the first three days of the herpes zoster outbreak.
Side Effects Zovirax ointment:
Zovirax has the potential to cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or headache. Other potential side effects of Zovirax ointment include confusion, rash, agitation, anemia and an allergic reaction to the medication.
Zovirax interacts with some other prescription medications such as phenytoin and theophylline. Always tell the health-care provider who is prescribing Zovirax ointment, or any other prescription medication, what other medications you are taking.
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