Cold Sore Treatments

Unfortunately, there’s no known cure or prevention for people infected with the HSV virus – the virus that causes cold sores – although there are treatments that can help reduce the frequency and duration of a cold sore outbreak.

Over-The-Counter (OTC) Cold Sore Medications

OTC cold sore treatments can be found in just about any drugstore or pharmacy, and at many grocery stores and retail stores that carry various medications. Topical cold sore creams, ointment treatments are popular, and many help lessen the symptoms and discomfort associated with a cold sore outbreak. Some even claim to speed up the healing time of a cold sore. However, some of these medications require or repeated dosing over several days.

Prescription Cold Sore Treatments

If you seek medical attention for a cold sore outbreak, your doctor may write you a prescription for a cold sore medication. Prescription treatments for cold sores come in various forms, including topical creams and ointments, as well as oral medications. Your doctor will determine which prescription cold sore treatment is right for you based on your individual situation, as well as his/her familiarity with your symptoms and medical history.

If you’re a frequent cold sore sufferer, you may want to ask your doctor about prescription Sitavig. Sitavig is a breakthrough prescription cold sore spot treatment that’s safe, effective and discreet. Sitavig’s unique One-and-Done Dosing has been shown to stop a cold sore from developing in some patients when taken soon after symptoms emerge.¹

In addition, clinical trials demonstrated that Sitavig can help reduce the duration of cold sore outbreaks by approximately one day, and may also help lengthen the time between breakouts.¹*

Additional resources:

*Data on the incidence and delay of the next recurrence need further confirmation as they were obtained on a subset of patients.

  1. Bieber T, Chosidow O, Bodsworth N, Tyring S, Hercogova J, Bloch M, Davis M, Lewis M, Boutolleau D, Attali P and the LIP Study Group. Efficacy and safety of acyclovir mucoadhesive buccal tablet in immunocompetent patients with labial herpes (LIP): A double-blind, placebo-controlled, self-initiated trial. J Drugs Dermatol. 2014;13(7):791-798. View study (link will lead you to the JDD site).
Indication & Important Safety Information
Sitavig® (acyclovir), 50mg Muco-Adhesive Buccal Tablet is indicated for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores) in immunocompetent adults.
  • Sitavig should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity to acyclovir, milk protein concentrate, or other components of the product.
  • Sitavig has not been studied in pregnant women or in immunocompromised patients and no interaction studies have been performed. Sitavig’s safety and efficacy have not been established in pediatric patients.
  • Sitavig is a Pregnancy Category B product; therefore it should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. It is not known if Sitavig is excreted in breast milk; however, systemic absorption is minimal.
  • In a controlled clinical trial Sitavig's most common side effects (greater than or equal to 1%) were: headache (3%), dizziness (1%), lethargy (1%), gingival (gum) pain (1%), aphthous stomatitis (canker sores) (1%), application site pain (1%), application site irritation (1%), erythema (1%) and rash (1%). In the same trial these side effects ranged from 0%-3% for placebo.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088. Click here for Full Prescribing Information.