Penciclovir

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Generic Name: Penciclovir Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Uses

What is Penciclovir used for?

Penciclovir is used to treat “cold sores/fever blisters” (herpes labialis). It can speed up healing of the sores and decrease symptoms (such as tingling, pain, burning, itching). Penciclovir belongs to a class of medications known as antivirals. It works by stopping the growth of the virus. This medication does not cure herpes, and it does not prevent passing the infection to someone else. It does not prevent future occurrences.

How should I take Penciclovir?

Use this medication at the first sign of infection (such as tingling, burning, redness, or sores). Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying this medication. Clean and dry the affected areas before applying the medication. Apply a thin layer of penciclovir cream to completely cover the area of the cold sore or the area of tingling/itching/redness/swelling, and rub in gently. Apply the cream every 2 hours (except during sleep) for 4 days or as directed by your doctor.

Apply to skin only. Do not apply this medication in or near the eyes since this medication can irritate the eyes. If you do get medication in your eyes, flush with plenty of water. Do not apply inside the mouth or nose.

Dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Do not use this drug more often or for longer than prescribed.

Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. This medication works best when the amount of drug absorbed by the skin stays at a constant level. Therefore, use this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, use it at the same times each day.

Cold sores (herpes) can spread easily. Penciclovir cream does not prevent the spread of herpes. Avoid close physical contact with others (such as kissing) during an outbreak until the cold sores have completely healed. Also, try not to touch the cold sore, and wash your hands if you do touch the cold sore.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens after treatment is finished.

How do I store Penciclovir?

Penciclovir is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store Penciclovir in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of Penciclovir that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush Penciclovir down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using Penciclovir?

Before using penciclovir, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to famciclovir; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

It is not known if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using this Penciclovir during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking Penciclovir. Penciclovir is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from Penciclovir?

Redness, burning, stinging, or numbness may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the following symptoms of a serious allergic reaction: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Interactions

What drugs may interact with Penciclovir?

Penciclovir may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Does food or alcohol interact with Penciclovir?

Penciclovir may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with Penciclovir?

Penciclovir may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this Penciclovir.

What is the dose of Penciclovir for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Herpes Simplex Labialis

Apply cream to affected area every 2 hours while awake

Duration of therapy: 4 days

Comments: Treatment should begin as early as possible (i.e., during the prodrome or when lesions appear).

Use: For the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores)

Other Comments

Administration advice:

-For external use only; only use on herpes labialis on the lips and face.

-Do not apply to mucous membranes; use particular care to avoid applying in or near the eyes.

-Apply a layer of this drug to cover only the cold sore area (or area of tingling [or other symptoms] before appearance of cold sore); rub in until cream disappears.

Storage requirements:

-Store at 20C to 25C (68F to 77F); excursions permitted to 15C to 30C (59F to 86F).

Patient advice:

-Begin treatment at earliest sign of cold sore (e.g., tingling, redness, itching, bump).

-Wash hands before and after applying this drug.

What is the dose of Penciclovir for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Herpes Simplex Labialis

12 years or older: Apply cream to affected area every 2 hours while awake

Duration of therapy: 4 days

Comments: Treatment should begin as early as possible (i.e., during the prodrome or when lesions appear).

Use: For the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores)

Precautions

Safety and efficacy have not been established in patients younger than 12 years.

How is Penciclovir available?

Penciclovir is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Topical cream.

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of Penciclovir, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: April 11, 2018 | Last Modified: April 11, 2018

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