Cold sores are never fun and now that they have been linked to the Herpes Simplex Virus they can be embarrassing as well. They give people the wrong idea about what you have going on with your body. While cold sores are related to the Herpes Simplex it is a very different strain from the STD that everyone confuses it with.
A cold sore is just an indication that a virus is present. It often will appear when you are under a lot of stress or when you have recently been sick with the flu, fever or a virus. Unfortunately there is no permanent cure for Herpes cold sores they will just keep coming back but you can treat them and reduce the outbreak with Acyclovir.
Like all medications there are pros and cons to taking this medication for cold sores that you should know about because you do want to make an informed decision about what you are putting into your body.
How Does it Work?
Acyclovir is an anti viral medication. It works by keeping the virus from shedding its hard coating so that it cannot attack healthy cells. It does not kill the virus but it does keep the virus from replicating in your body. Studies have indicated that this medication is effective within the first few days of taking it. It is available in topical form and in pill form. Both are available with a prescription from your doctor. The pros and cons of this medication are reviewed below.
List of Pros of Daily Acyclovir
1. Gets Rid of Cold Sores
Clearly the most obvious pro of taking this medication is that it gets rid of cold sores. If you have a cold sore and start taking Acyclovir it will speed things up and your cold sore will disappear.
2. Future Outbreaks.
Some studies indicate that if you take Acyclovir daily it will prevent future cold sore outbreaks.
List of Cons of Daily Acyclovir
1. You Have to Act Quickly
If you do not start taking or applying this medication as soon as symptoms appear then the results will not be as staggering when it comes to reducing or removing the cold sore. You have to start taking or applying the medication as soon as symptoms appear waiting even 2 days will greatly reduce the results. Of course if you are in tune with your body you will recognize the signs that a cold sore is getting ready to crop up. Many doctors recommend taking Acyclovir daily to keep cold sores at bay. If you take it daily than you do not have to worry about looking for signs and symptoms.
2. Side Effects
There are some negative side effects with this medication although they are mild they are still bothersome. Stomach upset for the pill form and mild allergic reaction for the topical form are possible.
3. Daily Doses Can Be a Bother
Taking anything every day can become a bother. It is just one more thing that you have to worry about each day. A lot of people forget to take a dose which can render the medication ineffective.
4. Medication Interactions
Anyone that is taking medication for the treatment of HIV or Aids should not use this medication. Anyone that is taking medication for the treatment of epilepsy also should not use this medication because there may be negative side effects. Discuss your medications with your doctor before starting any new medication.
This medication can be expensive depending on your health insurance plan you may have to pay out of pocket.
Cold sores are a pain. They literally can be painful but more so the negative social stigma that is associated with them can be more of a pain. Treating cold sores has always typically been treating the symptoms. This medication can actually help you to not only treat the actual cold sore to reduce the amount of time that it sticks around but can also help you to avoid future outbreaks.
Of course there are plenty of people that would say this is not a cure either because there is no evidence that it kills the virus it just prevents the virus from emerging. Some people feel that because there are side effects that taking anything daily for something as simple as a cold sore can upset your bodies homeostasis and cause more problems that did not exist before.
It seems to be a safe method of controlling cold sores, at least the research has pointed to the idea that it is safe. Ultimately if it is something that bothers you than you should take the Acyclovir to help reduce the incidence of cold sores. It is well worth the low risk of side effects to feel good about yourself and to not have to worry about dealing with all the pains that cold sores bring you.