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Cold sores. What can a GP prescribe?

(22 Posts)
CarpeJugulum Mon 08-Oct-12 17:52:30

Off to the GP for repeat medication review, but I am currently inundated with cold sores which never really seem to go away sad and recur every few weeks.

I'm planning on mentioning this (and the fact that it may not be cold sores exactly, more of an allergic reaction to lip balms/creams to sort cold sores out), but am a bit wooly as to what they can prescribe to deal with the symptoms (I know it's the herpes virus and incurable at this time)?

Anyone got any ideas?

notnowImreading Mon 08-Oct-12 17:58:00

It's worth talking to the doc as if you are having a lot of cold sores it may be because your immune system is a bit buggered, eg because of anaemia or something else. They probably won't give you anything much - just acyclovir or pencyclovir, which are cheaper to buy over the counter. They might, however, give you acyclovir tablets/syrup if it's really bad. It's what they give for shingles.

MissKeithLemon Mon 08-Oct-12 17:58:09

I get Acliclovir on prescription when mine get bad, doesn't work immediately but is good.

PandaG Mon 08-Oct-12 18:02:17

Zovirax - or anything with the ingredient acyclovir in - you can buy it OTC in a pharmacy. I had it prescribed as a child, don't know if Dr would prescribe it to an adult - I think it woud be cheaper to buy than to pay scrip charge.

would be good to ask the Dr about your lips though, oin case it is an allergic reaction and he can suggest something else

internationalvulva Mon 08-Oct-12 18:05:31

There is a relatively new drug that you can take that is supposed to suppress the outbreak of cold sores. my DM has it as she and i both suffer from them loads. I've had 5 in the last 6 months, she hasn't had a single one! I can't tell you what it is as she can't remember though, sorry, that's not too helpful really is it!??

internationalvulva Mon 08-Oct-12 18:06:19

It's NOT Zovirax or the compeer patches though. That much I do know!

coffeeinbed Mon 08-Oct-12 18:09:03

There are some pills they can prescribe.
Have you tried the zapper?

HarlettOScara Mon 08-Oct-12 18:13:36

I have found that taking 1000mg of Ester-C daily has vastly reduced my coldsore outbreaks. It's a high dose of Vitamin C but which doesn't aggravate the digestive system like Vit C can.

Since I started taking it daily about 8 months ago, I have had 2 coldsores...both when I actually had a cold and therefore a lowered immune system. Prior to that, I had at least 2 per month and often more than that.

The light zapper thing does seem to work if you catch the coldsore at the onset and kills them off more quickly if you don't, IME.

CarpeJugulum Mon 08-Oct-12 19:25:40

Zapper? Erm. I didn't know there was such a thing?!

It seems to be that my lips chap (they go tight and sore but not tingly) in cold weather/sunny hot weather, so I try putting on Chapstick/suncream and the next thing I know, I have an outbreak of cold sores/icky oozy things. I then apply the Zovirax cream and it seems to make them multiply. Compeed patches do seem to work better, but aren't always appropriate to apply (they just peel off if the cold sore is more on the inside of my lip). hmm sad Hence wondering if I have more of an allergy reaction IYSWIM. I've even tried Zovirax at the chapping stage to no avail.

I'll discuss with GP all of these wonderful suggestions and hope that she can suggest something to speed up the healing.

Bubblegum78 Mon 08-Oct-12 19:29:10

I have tried them all!

I use Cymex, you can buy it at any chemist, it cost £3.99 and it clears your cold sore quicker than any other cream I have used. Its also stops it getting worse once it's broken out.

There is genuinly nothing you can buy that will stop them breaking out. So this is the next best option. x

PandaG Mon 08-Oct-12 19:32:03

I think exposure to sun can sometimes cause coldsores, so maybe very frequent high spf sunscreen for your lips may help?

Zovirax should be used as soon as there is the slightest tingle, it can ward fully blown coldsores off. Once the coldsore has really appeared I don't think it is any use at all.

Hope the GP can suggest something useful!

lyndie Mon 08-Oct-12 19:32:35

Hi, a dermatologist once put one of my patients on a 6 month course of oral aciclovir and it really helped her lessen the number and severity of her outbreaks.

Karoleann Mon 08-Oct-12 21:02:51

I've actually taken oral acyclovir and have a supply which I use if we have a wedding/holiday coming up.

I also find not using lipstick or lip balm helps - I au spect I may be allergic to eosin.

Currently I'm just smothering my lips in acyclovir a lot which helps too!

MaureenMLove Mon 08-Oct-12 21:11:33

DD is a sufferer, but we know what causes them, so that helps a bit. She usually gets them after a cold or if she's had a succession of late nights etc. So run down immune system really.

She has L-Lysine herbal tablets. They are bloody enormous and we have to cut them into pieces, but if she takes them as soon as she gets a cold or as soon as she knows she's going to have late nights, it lessens the severity of the coldsores. You can get them from Holland and Barratt.

msrisotto Mon 08-Oct-12 21:14:37

Zapper Zapper Zapper!! You need this and the GP can prescribe it (you can buy it in Boots but it's much more expensive than on prescription ~ £25)

It's called the Virulite CS Machine, google it. It works by emitting a special light onto it. Anyway. I got one a few years ago after repeatedly getting massive, painful cold sores. It reduced the frequency - I used to get the every 3 months or so, now it is more like once or twice in a year, and they are smaller and less painful now.

msrisotto Mon 08-Oct-12 21:15:30
Here it is on amazon. I repeat - get it on prescription!

MaureenMLove Mon 08-Oct-12 21:18:51

I might suggest DD goes for the zapper now actually. She's 17 and still at school, so it would be free and this is the time that she cares the most about her looks and is more likely to have late nights! grin

Next coldsore, I'll pack her off to the doctors!

MakesCakesWhenStressed Tue 09-Oct-12 08:44:11

I take L-Lysine, it does seem to help. I also find I'm allergic to most lip balms and they make my lips really painful Burt's Bees mint lip balm seems to be the only one that doesn;t send my lips into meltdown. Good luck x

notnowImreading Tue 09-Oct-12 20:37:24

If you go to Greece or Turkey you can get oral acyclovir over the counter. How's that for a holiday souvenir?!

CarpeJugulum Thu 11-Oct-12 17:56:59


Been to GP and she's prescribed the acyclovir cream, but has referred me to the practice nurse for blood tests on my vitamin levels plus a few other things. Apparently my level of reinfection is not normal (no kidding! hmm ) and she wants to rule out any underlying issues.

Have also ordered the zapper via Amazon as my health authority does not prescribe it, only creams and tablets.

notnowImreading Thu 11-Oct-12 19:35:54

Unless she's prescribed for you a massive tube of acyclovir, I would skip it and go for Fenistil (pencyclovir). I've found it is three days faster than acyclovir, which will probably help with your reinfection rate. It's good that she's taking you seriously though - definitely worth going, then.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 11-Oct-12 19:38:21

Bubblegum i have taken your advice and got some Cymex.It's great.


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