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Herpes & Cold Sores

How Much Acyclovir Should I Take for a Cold Sore?

By Lizzie De La Cruz
Cold sores are frustrating to deal with. These painful blisters appear on the most visible parts of your body and seem to pop up at the worst possible time. Not only are they a little embarrassing, but they are also painful and uncomfortable. Anyone struggling with a cold sore outbreak thinks the same thing: how do I get rid of this as fast as possible? Luckily, you can take acyclovir for cold sores, a safe and effective antiviral medication.
How much acyclovir should you take? That depends.

The right dose of acyclovir for Cold Sores

The recommended dosage of acyclovir for cold sores varies from person to person. Individuals with frequent outbreaks may require a higher dosage than those with only a few cold sores a year (“outbreak” means the appearance of any cold sore blisters). Adults with higher body weight may also require more acyclovir
Adults are often prescribed an 800 mg tablet. This is taken several times per day for the duration of the outbreak. Children can also take acyclovir, though the dosing is based on their age and weight.

Will my Cold Sore go away faster if I take more acyclovir?

What happens if you take extra acyclovir? Will that speed up your recovery? Probably not. Your body can only absorb so much of a medicine at a time. If you take extra acyclovir, a lot will pass straight through you and will not affect your cold sore. While acyclovir is safe, taking doses higher than the prescribed amount can lead to side effects like nausea or vomiting.
As always, follow the recommendations of a doctor to see the best results of your treatment.

Preventing Cold Sores before they strike

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. If you catch the disease, this bug can hang out in your body your whole life. There is no way to completely eliminate the virus, though there are strategies to reduce the chance of it reoccurring.
Stress and fatigue may trigger cold sores, so keeping control of your schedule will lower your chance of an outbreak. Exposure to the sun can also be a trigger, so try to protect your face when you venture out. Hormonal shifts, such as pregnancy and menstruation, can also lead to cold sores.
For people dealing with more than 6 outbreaks per year, you can use acyclovir for cold sore preventative treatment. This means taking acyclovir every day. This will reduce your risk of outbreaks by at least 80%. Preventative treatment will also decrease the chance of spreading the virus to others to only 1%.

Living with Cold Sores

There are no cures to the herpes simplex virus. Once you have the disease, you have to learn to live with it. Antiviral medication, such as acyclovir for cold sores, will help you manage the disease and reduce the chance of severe outbreaks. Luckily, wisp is here to help you through it. Talk with our doctors to discuss how much acyclovir is right for you.

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