13.10.3 Antiviral preparations
|1st choice||No treatment|
Aciclovir cream 5%
(encourage OTC purchase)
Apply to lesions every 4 hours (5 times daily) for 5-10 days, starting at first sign of attack
- Topical antiviral preparations should not be routinely prescribed. They only reduce mean duration of an episode by less than a day and need to be initiated at the onset of symptoms before vesicles appear.
- Topical aciclovir is available over the counter and can be used by people who find it helpful.
- Systemic treatment is necessary for buccal or vaginal infections and for herpes zoster (shingles).
- Consider oral antiviral treatment for people with persistent, severe or prolonged episodes of recurrent labial herpes simplex infections.