Zovirax Ointment

Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 6/9/2022
Zovirax Ointment Side Effects Center

What Is Zovirax Ointment?

Zovirax Ointment (acyclovir ointment) is an antiviral drug used to treat cold sores and genital herpes. Zovirax is available in generic form.

What Are Side Effects of Zovirax Ointment?

Common side effects of Zovirax Ointment include:

  • mild, temporary burning, stinging, or itching where the medicine is applied;
  • dry, cracked, or peeling lips; or
  • dryness or flaking of treated skin.

A serious allergic reaction to Zovirax Ointment is rare. Get medical help right away if you notice symptoms of a serious allergic reaction to Zovirax Ointment, including rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, or trouble breathing.

Dosage for Zovirax Ointment

Zovirax Ointment should be applied in sufficient quantity to adequately cover all lesions every 3 hours, 6 times per day for 7 days. The dose size varies depending upon the lesions. Before using Zovirax, tell your doctor if you are allergic to valacyclovir, another antiviral medication.

What Drugs, Substances, or Supplements Interact with Zovirax Ointment?

This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as polyethylene glycol), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

Zovirax Ointment During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication. It is unknown if this medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.

Additional Information

Our Zovirax Ointment Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


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Zovirax Ointment Consumer Information

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Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Common side effects may include:

  • dry, cracked, or peeling lips;
  • dryness or flaking of treated skin;
  • burning, stinging, or itching when the medicine is applied.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Zovirax Ointment (Acyclovir Ointment)


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Zovirax Ointment Professional Information


In the controlled clinical trials, mild pain (including transient burning and stinging) was reported by about 30% of patients in both the active and placebo arms; treatment was discontinued in 2 of these patients. Local pruritus occurred in 4% of these patients. In all studies, there was no significant difference between the drug and placebo group in the rate or type of reported adverse reactions nor were there any differences in abnormal clinical laboratory findings.

Observed During Clinical Practice

Based on clinical practice experience in patients treated with ZOVIRAX Ointment in the US, spontaneously reported adverse events are uncommon. Data are insufficient to support an estimate of their incidence or to establish causation. These events may also occur as part of the underlying disease process. Voluntary reports of adverse events that have been received since market introduction include:

General: Edema and/or pain at the application site.

Skin: Pruritus, rash.

Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Zovirax Ointment (Acyclovir Ointment)


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© Zovirax Ointment Patient Information is supplied by Cerner Multum, Inc. and Zovirax Ointment Consumer information is supplied by First Databank, Inc., used under license and subject to their respective copyrights.

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