Aciclovir Cream 5%

  • Fast acting cold sore cream
  • Highly effective when applied early to a cold sore
  • Kills the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that causes cold sores

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Disclaimer: The prices displayed should only be used as a reference of our prices for this medicine. If you are approved for treatment, our prescribers will decide on a suitable treatment for you to jointly consider.

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prescription included

Fast next day delivery

order before 2pm

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What is Aciclovir 5% cream?

Aciclovir 5% is an antiviral cream that is used for the treatment of recurrent cold sores. It is an unbranded version of a treatment called Zovirax, which is widely available and very well known.

Aciclovir 5% cream can effectively treat cold sores and genital herpes reducing their length and severity when applied in the early stages of an outbreak.

You can buy this cream from Medicine Direct following an online consultation with one of our registered doctors, who will assess your symptoms and prescribe this medication if they decide it is suitable for you to use. You can then order Aciclovir 5% cream from our online pharmacy. Place your order by 2pm and we can offer you next day delivery, absolutely free.

What is Aciclovir 5% cream used to treat?

Aciclovir cream is used in the treatment of cold sores that keep coming back. This cream contains the active ingredient aciclovir which can, in most cases, help to heal cold sores within five days of treatment.

Recurring cold sores usually appear in the same place they did last time. Before a cold sore turns to a blister around the lip, the skin in the affected area often feels to be burning or stinging, which is a sign you are going to develop a cold sore. Aciclovir cream should be applied to your lip as soon as you start to feel this sensation.

It works by killing the herpes simplex virus (HSV) that causes cold sores to appear. If your cold sore is caught at an early stage, using Aciclovir cream may prevent it from developing into a blister on the lip or face.

When to see a doctor

If you have not seen an improvement after nine days of using this treatment, you should make an appointment to see a doctor. They may recommend trying a different form of treatment.

The earlier you start to use Aciclovir cream, the more effective it will be. You should not use it if it is more than 5 days after you develop a cold sore; always try to begin applying Aciclovir cream as soon as you feel a cold sore beginning.

Who can use Aciclovir cream?

Aciclovir cream is an effective treatment for cold sores, but it is not suitable for everyone to use.

You should not use this cream without speaking to your doctor if:

  • You are allergic to aciclovir or any of the other ingredients contained in this medicine (please refer to the Ingredients tab for a full list)
  • You have ever had an allergic reaction to another medicine or skin product

You have any conditions where your immune system is impaired or your body is not able to fight infections properly, such as HIV or you have had a bone marrow transplant.

Buy online safely

Never order any form of medicine online unless it is from a pharmacy that is registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), like Medicine Direct.

All of our doctors are also registered with the General Medical Council, which means they can give prescriptions just like your local GP. We offer a confidential and swift service; all of our orders are despatched in discreet packaging and if you order by 2pm, we can offer you free next day delivery.

Dosage and Directions

Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Acciclovir Cream.

Always use Aciclovir 5% cream exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before applying it. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure of how to use it.

This cream is for external use only.

How to use Aciclovir cream

Wash your hands with soap and water before applying the cream.

Squeeze a small amount of the cream onto a clean finger.

Apply the cream to the cold sore, gently rubbing it into the skin until the cream has been absorbed.

Apply Aciclovir 5% cream to the cold sore(s) five times each day. Ideally, do this every four hours.

Re-wash your hands after you have applied the cream, this will stop the cold sores from spreading and reduce the chance of them becoming infected.

How to store

Store in a cool, dry place but not in a fridge. Do not share tubes of this cream with other people. Do not keep using past the use-by date. Keep it out of the sight and reach of children.

Is Aciclovir cream available over the counter?

This medication is available on prescription. You can order Aciclovir cream from Medicine Direct following an online consultation with a certified doctor. They will review the answers you give in our online questionnaire and prescribe you this treatment if they believe it to be the most suitable for your specific condition. You can then order the medicine from our online pharmacy. Order by 2pm for free next day delivery.

Do I need a prescription for Aciclovir cream?

Yes, you do need a prescription. One of our registered doctors can prescribe Aciclovir cream after an online consultation. It is then available to buy from our online pharmacy.

Side effects

Like all medicines, Aciclovir cream comes with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone will get them.

In most cases, people who apply this treatment will not suffer any side effects; if they do, they are usually mild and subside as treatment progresses.

Common undesired effects of using this medication may include:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Dry or flaky skin
  • A burning or stinging sensation that occurs after you apply the cream (this should go away)

Please note, this list is not exhaustive. Always read the patient information leaflet for a comprehensive list of reactions you may suffer. Refer to the Side Effects tab on this page for a list of more serious reactions.

Serious Side Effects

The most common side effects of Aciclovir cream can be found on the main product page.

Some people may be allergic to Aciclovir cream; if this is the case, your symptoms may include:

  • Rash, hives or itching
  • Fever
  • Feeling dizzy

Serious allergic reaction

In rare cases, it is possible that you may suffer a serious allergic reaction to this medication.

Stop using this cream and either dial 999 or go to A&E straight away if you exhibit any of the following symptoms. You may require immediate treatment in hospital if:

  • You develop a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • You are wheezing
  • You are finding it difficult to speak or breathe
  • You have swelling in your face, lips, tongue, mouth or throat
  • You have tightness in the chest or throat

Always refer to the patient information leaflet for a comprehensive list of side effects you may experience.

If you are concerned about side effects, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor or pharmacist before you start your course of treatment.

Warnings and drug interactions

Before taking a new form of medicine, you should always make sure you tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are currently using any other medication. This includes any prescription or non-prescription medication, herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements you are currently taking or have recently taken. Certain medicines can interact with Aciclovir, increasing your risk of side effects and potentially stopping one or both medicines from working effectively.

Before you start to use Aciclovir cream

Do not apply this cream to the inside of your mouth or the vagina.

If you have cold sores which are spreading to other areas and are very sticky or have a thick crust, these may be signs of a bacterial infection. If you experience this, you should see your doctor; you may require treatment with antibiotics.

Seek medical attention if you keep developing cold sores frequently as this may be a sign of reduced immunity.

Speak to your doctor if your cold sore has not healed after 10 days of treatment with Aciclovir.

If you have any questions or concerns at all, we strongly advise you to discuss these with your doctor before you start to use this medicine.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

No specific studies have been carried out on the safety of women using Aciclovir cream while pregnant or breastfeeding.

For this reason, you should make sure your doctor is aware if you are currently pregnant, are trying to get pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You are not advised to purchase this treatment if you are pregnant or breastfeeding unless your doctor specifically recommends that you do so.

For more information on the use of acciclovir during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


This product contains aciclovir 5% as the active ingredient.

Inactive ingredients also contained are: poloxamer 407, cetostearyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, white soft paraffin, liquid paraffin, propylene glycol, purified water, glycerol monostearate and polyoxyethylene stearate, dimethicone 20.

You should not purchase this medicine if you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed above.

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Written bySonia Khan MPharm: 2076091

Updated on: 04/06/2021

This content has been written by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan and has been medically reviewed by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh

Sonia Khan
MPharm: 2076091


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