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Zovirax vs. Denavir

Are Zovirax and Denavir the Same Thing?

Zovirax (acyclovir) and Denavir (penciclovir cream) are antiviral medications used for different types of viral infections.

Zovirax interferes with the replication of herpes viruses and is used to treat shingles, chickenpox, and genital herpes.

Denavir is used topically (on the skin) for the treatment of recurrent cold sores.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Zovirax?

Common side effects of Zovirax include:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Denavir?

Common side effects of Denavir include:

  • application site reactions (such as redness, burning, stinging, numbness, rash, pain, itching, skin discoloration, or hives),
  • changes in the sense of taste,
  • headache, or
  • swollen mouth or throat.

A very serious allergic reaction to Denavir is rare. 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, or trouble breathing.

What Is Zovirax?

Zovirax (acyclovir) is a synthetic nucleoside analogue that interferes with the replication of herpes viruses used to treat:

  • shingles,
  • chickenpox,
  • and genital herpes.

What Is Denavir?

Denavir (penciclovir cream) is an antiviral medication used topically (on the skin) for the treatment of recurrent cold sores.

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What Drugs Interact With Zovirax?

Zovirax may interact with probenecid. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use.

What Drugs Interact With Denavir?

Do not use other topical medications to treat the same area at the same time as Denavir topical, unless directed by your doctor. No other medicines have been reported to interact with Denavir topical. Tell your doctor all prescription or over-the-counter medications you use. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using Denavir. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

How Should Zovirax Be Taken?

Zovirax tablets are available in 200, 400 and 800 mg strengths and as a liquid suspension with 200 mg strength per 5 ml. Usual doses are 800 mg every 4 hours, 5 times a day for 10 days for shingles; doses for genital herpes infection are the same interval but start with 200 mg. Doses for chickenpox is the same as shingles except it goes for only 5 days for adults; for children ages 2 and up are weight based (20 mg per Kg) up to 40 Kg, 5 times a day for 5 days. Over 40 Kg, the person gets the adult dose for 5 days.

How Should Denavir Be Taken?

A dose of Denavir should be applied every 2 hours during waking hours for a period of 4 days. Treatment should be started as early as possible (i.e., during the prodrome or when lesions appear).

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References

GSK. Zovirax Drug Information.
https://www.gsk.com/en-gb/products/our-consumer-healthcare-products/skin-health/zovirax/
FDA. Denavir Drug Information.
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2013/020629s016lbl.pdf
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