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Abreva vs. Valtrex

Reviewed on 6/19/2019

Are Abreva and Valtrex the Same Thing?

Valtrex (valacyclovir) and Abreva (docosanol cream) are antiviral medications used to treat herpes labialis (cold sores).

Valtrex is also used to treat infections with herpes zoster (shingles) and herpes simplex genitalis (genital herpes).

Abreva is available as a generic and over-the-counter (OTC).

Valtrex is an oral drug and Abreva is a topical (for the skin) medication.

Side effects of Valtrex and Abreva that are similar include skin rash.

Side effects of Valtrex that are different from Abreva include headache, dizziness, tired feeling, depression, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, joint pain, menstrual pain, stuffy nose, and sore throat.

Side effects of Abreva that are different from Valtrex include skin itching and redness where the medicine is applied.

Valtrex may interact with lithium, methotrexate, pain or arthritis medicines, medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis and bowel disorders, medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, IV antibiotics, antiviral medicines, injectable osteoporosis medications, and chemotherapy and cancer medicines.

Abreva may interact with other drugs.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Abreva?

Common side effects of Abreva include:

  • skin itching,
  • rash, and
  • redness where the medicine is applied

What Are Possible Side Effects of Valtrex?

Common side effects of Valtrex include:

  • headache,
  • dizziness,
  • tired feeling,
  • depression,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach pain,
  • joint pain,
  • menstrual pain,
  • skin rash,
  • stuffy nose,
  • or sore throat.

What is Abreva?

Abreva (docosanol cream) is a cold sore/fever blister treatment used to treat cold sores/fever blisters on the face or lips. It shortens healing time and duration of symptoms such as tingling, pain, burning, and/or itching. Abreva is available as a generic and over-the-counter (OTC).

What is Valtrex?

Valtrex (valacyclovir) is an antiviral medication used to treat infections with:

  • herpes zoster (shingles),
  • herpes simplex genitalis (genital herpes),
  • and herpes labialis (cold sores).

SLIDESHOW

Rosacea, Acne, Shingles, Covid-19 Rashes: Common Adult Skin Diseases See Slideshow

What Drugs Interact With Abreva?

Abreva may interact with other drugs.

What Drugs Interact With Valtrex?

Valtrex may interact with digoxin, diuretics (water pills), blood thinners, antifungal medications such as ketoconazole, antibiotics such as ampicillin, iron, or methotrexate, and HIV or AIDS medications such as atazanavir and nelfinavir.

Valtrex may interact with, lithium, methotrexate, pain or arthritis medicines, medicines used to treat ulcerative colitis, medicines used to prevent organ transplant rejection, IV antibiotics, antiviral medicines, or cancer medicines. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

How Should Abreva Be Taken?

Apply enough Abreva cream to completely cover the cold sore and follow the directions on the package. Rub in gently but completely. Use 5 times a day until cold sores/fever blisters have healed.

How Should Valtrex Be Taken?

The dose of Valtrex depends on the condition being treated. Valtrex is taken as caplets that may be taken with or without food.

QUESTION

Ringworm is caused by a fungus. See Answer
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Drug information found in the drug comparisons published on RxList.com is primarily sourced from the FDA drug information. The drug comparison information found in this article does not contain any data from clinical trials with human participants or animals performed by any of the drug manufacturers comparing the drugs.

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You may also report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA by visiting the FDA MedWatch website or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

References


FDA. Valtrex Prescribing Information.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2008/020487s014lbl.pdf


GSK. Abreva Drug Information.

https://www.abreva.com/

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