Docosanol

Docosanol treats cold sores and fever blisters in adults and children 12 years of age and older. When used early, it could knock out your cold sore in 2½ days.

Docosanol Overview

Updated: 

Docosanol is an over-the-counter medication used to treat cold sores and fever blisters. Docosanol belongs to a group of drugs called antivirals. It helps to protect healthy cells from the cold sore infection. It shortens healing time and duration of symptoms of cold sores/fever blisters.

This medication comes in a cream form and is applied to the affected area of the face or lips 5 times a day. 

Common side effects of docosanol include redness and headaches. 

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Uses of Docosanol

Docosanol is an over-the-counter medication used to treat cold sores and fever blisters on the face or lips in adults and children 12 years of age and older.

 

Docosanol Brand Names

Docosanol may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Docosanol Drug Class

Docosanol is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Docosanol

Common side effects of docosanol include skin irritation, burning or stinging, and headache.

This may not be a complete list of docosanol side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

Docosanol Interactions

No drug interactions have been determined by the manufacturer. However, you should tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Not all drug interactions are known or reported and new drug interactions are continually being reported.

Docosanol Precautions

Docosanol is for external use only.

When using this product:

  • apply only to affected areas
  • do not use in or near the eyes
  • avoid applying directly inside your mouth
  • do not share this product with anyone. This may spread infection.
 
Do not use if you are allergic to any ingredient in this product.

Stop use and ask a doctor if your cold sore gets worse or the cold sore is not healed within 10 days.

Keep out of reach of children.

If swallowed, get medical help or contact a poison control center right away (1-800-222-1222).

 

Docosanol Food Interactions

Medications can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of docosanol, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this medication.

Docosanol and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

No studies have been conducted with docosanol in pregnant women. Consult your physician.

Docosanol and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

No studies have been done with docosanol in breast-feeding women. Consult your physician.

Docosanol Usage

Use docosanol exactly as directed.

For adults and children 12 years or over:

  • wash hands before and after applying cream
  • using a Q-tip or with clean fingers, apply cream to affected area on face or lips at the first sign of cold sore/fever blister (tingle)
  • use enough to completely cover the affected area and the area around it
  • early treatment ensures the best results
  • rub in gently but completely
  • use 5 times a day until healed, around every 3-4 hours while awake

If you miss a dose, apply as soon as your remember and then reapply the next dose on schedule.

Stop use and ask a doctor if your cold sore gets worse or is not healed within 10 days.

Docosanol Dosage

Use docosanol 5 times a day until cold sore/fever blister is healed.

Docosanol Overdose

Small amounts consumed by licking the affected area will be minimal and should not be concerning. 

If large amount of the tube contents is swallowed, get medical help or contact a poison control center right away (1-800-222-1222).

Do not use for longer than 10 days.

 

Other Requirements

  • Keep this an all medicines out of reach of children.
  • Store at room temperature.