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Docosanol

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Notes
Related terms
Uses
Dosing
Safety
Author information

Notes

    Related terms
    • U.S. Brand Names: Abreva® [OTC]
    • Pharmacologic Category: Antiviral Agent, Topical

    Uses
    • It is used to treat herpes infections.
    • Docosanol works to harm the virus and fight the infection.

    Dosing

    How to take

    • Do not take this drug by mouth. Use on your skin only. Keep out of your mouth, nose, and eyes (may burn).
    • Wash your hands before and after use.
    • Clean affected part before use. Make sure to dry well.
    • Use a rubber glove to put on the ointment. This stops the spread of infection.
    • Put a thin layer on the affected skin and rub in gently.

    Missed Dose

    • Use a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not use two doses or extra doses.

    Storage

    • Store at room temperature. Do not freeze.

    Safety



    Avoid

    • If you have an allergy to docosanol or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.

    Precautions

    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Headache.

    Monitoring

    • Change in the health problem being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?
    • Follow up with the doctor.

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • If you think there was an overdose, call your local poison control center or ER right away.
    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Very bad headache.
    • Very bad skin irritation.
    • Any rash.
    • Health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/disposal-defaire-eng.php#th to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. You may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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