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  • Generic Name: (acyclovir/hydrocortisone)
    Other Brands: N/A
  • Last Revised: 07/2015
    • What is this medication and its most common uses?

      Xerese is a topical medicine (applied directly on the skin) used to shorten the healing time and prevent worsening of cold sores. Xerese contains two medicines that work in two different ways: acyclovir and hydrocortisone.

    • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

      How does this medication work?

      Acyclovir works by lowering the ability of the virus to multiply in your body. Hydrocortisone works by reducing inflammation. Together, they help to improve your condition.

      What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

      What: Xerese has been shown to reduce the size and symptoms of cold sores, such as tenderness.

      When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you use Xerese exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

      How do I know it is working?

      You may start to notice an improvement in your symptoms after you start using Xerese. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions and order tests to assess how well your infection is being treated.

    • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

      The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

      Common side effects may include: drying or flaking of the skin; burning, tingling, or redness after application; changes in skin color at application site; application site reactions including inflammation.

    • Who should not take this medication?

      Do not use Xerese if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

    • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

      Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Xerese. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you become sick very easily, if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What is the usual dosage?

      The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

      Adults and children ≥6 years: Apply to the affected area(s) 5 times a day for 5 days, as directed by your healthcare provider.

    • How should I take this medication?

      Use Xerese exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not use it more often or stop using Xerese without first talking to your healthcare provider.
      Apply a sufficient amount of Xerese to cover the affected area(s), including the outer edge of the cold sore.

      It is important that you begin treatment as soon as possible after your symptoms start (such as itching, redness, burning or tingling, or when the cold sore appears). Xerese may not help you if you start treatment too late. If you do not see an improvement in your condition within 2 weeks, call your healthcare provider.

    • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

      Do not get Xerese in your eyes, inside your mouth or nose, or on your genitals.

      Do not bandage, cover, or wrap the treated skin area unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider.

      Do not rub the cold sore because it may spread to other areas or make your cold sore worse.

      Do not use other skin products (such as make-up, sunscreen, or lip balm) or other skin medicine on the cold sore or the area around the cold sore.

    • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

      No significant interactions have been reported with Xerese at this time. However, always tell your healthcare provider about any medicines you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

    • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

      The effects of Xerese during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

    • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

      If you miss a dose of Xerese, apply it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not apply two doses at once.

    • How should I store this medication?

      Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.

    • Who should I contact in case of emergency or overdose?
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      In the event of a medical emergency call your doctor or 9-1-1 immediately. In the event of overdose, call your doctor or poison control for further instructions.
      National Poison Control#: Call 1-800-222-1222

      This PDR+ drug information has been developed by the Physicians’ Desk Reference Network (PDRN), a source of medication information trusted by doctors for over 65 years.

      This monograph summarizes the most important information about your medication and does not cover all the information you may need. If you have any questions or concerns or want to learn more about your medication, ask your healthcare provider; he/she will be able to provide answers to your questions. This medication should only be used by the patient for whom it was prescribed and should not be shared with other people.
    • Additional patient resources.
      back to top Use your PDR® Pharmacy Discount Card when you or a family member fills a prescription and ask for your PDR® Discount every
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