About penciclovir cream
|Type of medicine||Antiviral cream|
|Used for||Treatment of cold sores|
|Also called||Fenistil®; Vectavir®|
Penciclovir is an antiviral agent. It works by attacking the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores. It does not kill the virus, but it does prevent it from multiplying. This means that although it may have little effect on existing blisters, it can prevent them from getting worse. Also, if you use penciclovir cream as soon as your symptoms start then the cold sores may not last as long as usual and may be less severe.
Before using penciclovir cream
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using penciclovir cream it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant. This is because, if you are expecting a baby, medicines should only be given on the advice of a doctor.
- If your immune system is not working properly (for instance, if you have AIDS).
- If you are taking or using any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
How to apply penciclovir cream
- Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about the specific brand of cream you have been given, and a full list of side-effects which you may experience from using it.
- Apply the cream every two hours while you are awake. Dab the cream on the area rather than rubbing it in. This will minimise any damage to the blisters, which could cause pain and spread the virus around.
- Start using the cream at the first sign of infection (for instance, when you first feel your skin tingling) and continue to use it for four days. Remember to wash and dry your hands before and after using penciclovir to prevent spreading any infection.
- If you forget to use the cream, apply it as soon as you remember and then continue using it at your usual times.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Try to keep the areas affected by blisters as clean and dry as possible, and only touch the cold sores when you apply the cream.
- Penciclovir cream is not intended for use in your mouth or near your eyes. If you have sores in either of these areas, you should make another appointment to see your doctor, as an alternative preparation may be more suitable for you.
Can penciclovir cream cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Common penciclovir side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 10 people who use this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Mild stinging, burning, or numbness||These effects do not usually last for long, but if any become troublesome speak with your doctor or pharmacist|
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to penciclovir, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store penciclovir cream
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 63rd Edition (Mar 2012) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Helen Allen||Peer Reviewer: Dr Helen Huins|
|Last Checked: 26/09/2012||Document ID: 3684 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.