Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Cold sores generally clear up without treatment within two weeks. Several types of prescription antiviral drugs may speed the healing process. Examples include:

  • Acyclovir (Xerese, Zovirax)
  • Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
  • Famciclovir (Famvir)
  • Penciclovir (Denavir)

Some of these products are packaged as pills to be swallowed, while others are creams to be applied to the sores. In general, the pills work better than the creams. Some antiviral drugs can be administered intravenously for severe infections.

May 23, 2012

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