Acyclovir and Hydrocortisone

Acyclovir and Hydrocortisone Overview

Reviewed: October 10, 2013

Acyclovir/hydrocortisone is a prescription medication used to treat cold sores. This topical cream contains two medicines, acyclovir and hydrocortisone. Acyclovir, an antiviral medication, prevents the virus causing the cold sores from multiplying. Hydrocortisone, a corticosteroid, reduces inflammation, pain, swelling, redness, and itching.

This medication comes in the form of a cream that is applied 5 times a day for 5 days. 

Common side effects include drying or flaking of the skin, redness of the skin, swelling, and changes in skin color. 

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Uses of Acyclovir and Hydrocortisone

Acyclovir/hydrocortisone is a prescription medication used to treat cold sores in adults and children 12 years and older.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Side Effects of Acyclovir and Hydrocortisone

Common side effects include:

  • drying or flaking of the skin
  • tingling or burning
  • redness 
  • changes in your skin color where the cream is applied (pigmentation changes)
  • swelling
  • bitter taste

This is not a complete list of acyclovir/hydrocortisone side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.