Xerese Cream

Xerese Cream
Xerese Cream
Xerese Cream is a prescription medication used for the treatment of cold sores caused by the herpes virus. It combines two active ingredients, acyclovir and hydrocortisone, to reduce symptoms and speed up healing time.
Active Ingredient: Acyclovir and hydrocortisone
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Side Effects

Dry/cracked lips, burning, stinging, redness, skin color changes, or dry/flaky skin may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the US – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

How long does it take for this medicine to take effect?

The effectiveness of Xerese Cream in accelerating the healing of cold sores and reducing symptoms can be observed shortly after the commencement of treatment. For optimal results, treatment should begin at the earliest sign of a cold sore, such as tingling, redness, itching, or bump. Patients may notice an improvement in symptoms within a few days of starting treatment.

How long do the effects of this medicine last?

The duration of the therapeutic effects of Xerese Cream can vary depending on the stage at which treatment was initiated and individual healing response. The cream is typically applied for a course of treatment lasting several days, as directed by a healthcare provider.

Is it safe to consume alcohol while taking this medicine?

There are no known direct interactions between topical application of Xerese Cream and the consumption of alcohol. However, systemic absorption of both acyclovir and hydrocortisone from topical application is minimal, and alcohol consumption is unlikely to affect the efficacy of the treatment. Nonetheless, moderation in alcohol intake is advisable for overall health.

Is this a habit forming medicine?

Xerese Cream is not habit-forming and does not have the potential for abuse or dependence. It is used for its specific therapeutic effects on cold sores and does not produce psychoactive effects.

Can this medicine be taken during pregnancy?

Xerese Cream falls under FDA Pregnancy Category B for acyclovir and Category C for hydrocortisone, indicating animal studies have not shown a risk to the fetus in the case of acyclovir, and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women for both components. The cream should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus, and pregnant women should consult with their healthcare provider before use.

Can this medicine be taken while breast-feeding?

Both acyclovir and hydrocortisone are excreted in human milk in small quantities. While adverse effects in nursing infants are unlikely, especially with topical application, breastfeeding mothers should consider the potential risks and benefits and consult with their healthcare provider before using Xerese Cream.


This medication contains 2 ingredients: acyclovir and hydrocortisone. It is used to treat cold sores/fever blisters caused by a virus (herpes simplex). Acyclovir is an antiviral medication that works by stopping the growth of the virus. Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid that helps relieve itching, pain, and burning symptoms. This medication can speed up healing of cold sores, but it does not cure herpes or prevent passing the infection to someone else. It also does not prevent cold sores from returning.

How to use Xerese Cream

Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start using this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Use this medication at the first sign of a cold sore. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying this medication. Clean and dry the affected area before applying the medication. Apply a thin layer on the affected area as directed by your doctor, usually 5 times a day (every 3 to 4 hours) for 5 days. Apply enough cream to cover all affected areas. Do not rub the area because it may spread to other areas around your mouth or make your cold sore worse. Do not apply other skin products (including make-up, sunscreen, or lip balm) or cover the affected area with a bandage. To prevent washing off the medication, do not bathe, shower, or swim for 30 minutes after application.

Do not apply this medication in the eyes or nose, inside the mouth, or on the genitals.

Cold sores (herpes) can spread easily. Acyclovir/hydrocortisone cream does not prevent the spread of herpes. Avoid sharing eating utensils, cups, razors, or towels during an outbreak. Also, try not to touch the cold sore (including kissing), and wash your hands if you do touch the cold sore.

Use this product regularly to get the most benefit from it. Tell your doctor if your condition lasts or gets worse after 2 weeks.


Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to acyclovir or hydrocortisone; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history.

Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.

This product may pass into breast milk in small amounts. However, it is unlikely to harm a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.


This medicine may be harmful if swallowed. If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.

Do not share this medication with others. Doing so may spread the infection.

Try to avoid or prevent conditions that stress your body and can trigger a cold sore outbreak, such as getting a cold or flu, not getting enough sleep, or staying in the sun without applying sunblock.

If you miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Use your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.

Store at room temperature. Keep all medications away from children and pets.

Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.


Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

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