1 What is Abreva?

Brand: Abreva

Generic: Docosanol

Abreva is an anti-viral drug used for the relief of infections caused by viruses. It is used for the treatment of symptoms caused by herpes simplex viral infection on the mouth.

This drug does not eradicate the infection, but only its symptoms like pain and discomfort, and also helps in getting sores better. It is an over the counter drug available in the form of cream.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Abreva, the benefits of the treatment should be compared by the negative effects it is going to have on the body. For this purpose, detailed conversation between doctor and patient is necessary to have a good understanding of the drug, its effects and how to use it.

  • Detailed history of a patient is extremely important prior to any medical therapy and in this case, it is preferred that a drug be started after it.Allergies or any history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal products; history of drug usage, past medical or surgical procedure should also be kept in record to predict any drug interaction.
  • Physical examination should be done before starting this drug so that any physiological or pathological condition with which this drug may interfere may be ruled out.
  • Age specific assessment is necessary to maintain a safety profile. There is lack of enough evidence by studies to rule out specific side effects in children and elderly. It is also a much safer drug for use by pregnant and breastfeeding women due to its topical route.
  • Drug interactions may result due to use of multiple drugs at the same time. It is important for the doctor to inform the patient of all the possible effects of using additional drugs. The patient should not use any new drug before consulting the physician. Alcohol, tobacco and certain foods may also cause interactions harmful for the body.

3 Proper Usage

Proper usage of Abreva requires strict adherence to your doctor’s orders.

This medication is available in the form of an easy to use cream as an over the counter drug. It should be gently rubbed over the sores caused by infection after the appearance of symptoms. Do not overuse or miss any dose as indicated by your doctor or the label of the medication.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Abreva, there are some precautions you must take.

Precautions are the tips to enhance the working of any therapy and to reduce its side effects. There are several precautions to be observed while on therapy with this medication:

  • Do not apply the cream around the eyes or genitalia.
  • Use the cream as soon as possible after the appearance of symptoms for quick recovery.
  • Use the drug for long time for complete recovery from herpes.
  • Consult the doctor if any serious problem is suspected.
  • Storage of drug should be in a dry environment at room temperature. Keep it away from the reach of children.

5 Potential Side Effects

Abreva is associated with fewer side effects in comparison to systemic drugs as it is applied topically. It is important for the patient to have detailed information about these problems and refer to the doctor, if any effect is observed.

Most commonly observed side effect is headache while less common side effects include surface problems like acne, burning, dryness, and itching, rash, redness, soreness and swelling of skin. These side effects usually vanish after discontinuation of drug but still, it is better to ask medical personnel about their remedy.