Zovirax (Acyclovir) Ointment, Cream
What is topical Zovirax used for?
Although all of the acyclovir patents have expired, there is currently no generic version of Zovirax ointment or cream on the U.S market.
How effective is Acyclovir cream?
Topical acyclovir 5% cream applied 5 times a day decreases pain and the duration of hard crust. The beneficial effects may be achieved when the treatment is started during an “early” lesion stage (prodrome or erythema) as well as when the lesion is in the “late” stages (papule, vesicle, or ulcer)5.
Can Zovirax cream be used on genital herpes?
Officially, Zovirax cream is not approved for genital herpes. However, topical acyclovir cream may be useful in the treatment of first and recurrent episodes of genital herpes2, and sometimes compares quite favourably with oral treatment3. It helps to reduce the duration of pain, healing time, viral shedding and duration of new lesion formation.
For the prevention of recurrent herpes outbreaks consider Acyclovir tablets.
Difference between Cream and Ointment
Zovirax Cream is approved for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores) only. It is supplied as 2 g tubes and 5 g tubes.
Each gram of cream 5% contains 50 mg of acyclovir in an aqueous base (cetostearyl alcohol, mineral oil, poloxamer 407, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, water, and white petrolatum).
Zovirax Ointment is approved for the treatment of initial genital herpes. It is supplied as 15 g tubes.
Each gram of ointment 5% contains 50 mg of acyclovir in a polyethylene glycol (PEG) base. The delivery of acyclovir from PEG ointment through skin is very poor.
Both topical Zovirax products are manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline for Biovail Corporation.
Topical Acyclovir alternatives
Last updated: May, 2015
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