Docosanol (On the skin)
Antiviral (About this – PubMed Health)
Uses of This Medicine
Topical docosanol is used to treat the symptoms of herpes simplex virus infections around the mouth. Although topical docosanol will not cure herpes simplex, it may help relieve the pain and discomfort and may help the sores (if any) heal faster.
Docosanol is available over the counter.
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to apply and how often. Do not use more medicine or apply it more often than your doctor tells you to. Start using this medicine at the first sign of a cold sore or fever blister (pain, burning, tingling).
Apply a thin layer to the affected area. Rub it in gently and thoroughly.
Never share your medicine with anyone.
If a dose is missed:
If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, apply it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to apply the medicine and skip the missed dose.
Do not apply extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:
Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze.
Keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
When Not To Use
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to docosanol.
Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
There may be other brand names for this medicine.