Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Cold sores generally clear up without treatment in two to four 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. Others are creams to be applied to the sores several times a day. In general, the pills work better than the creams. For very severe infections, some antiviral drugs can be given with an injection.

May 15, 2015

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