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When and How to Take It

General considerations for when and how to take docosanol include the following:
  • The medication is to be used directly on the cold sore; it is not to be taken internally or to be used inside the mouth or nose.
  • Docosanol works best if you start using it at the first signs of a cold sore (tingling, redness, or a bump). You should apply it five times a day.
  • Wash your hands before and after each application. Apply the cream using a fingertip.
  • You can apply cosmetics on top of docosanol. However, you should use a disposable applicator (such as a cotton swab) to avoid spreading the virus to the cosmetic.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as directed by the package instructions.

Dosing Information for Docosanol

There is only one recommended docosanol dose, regardless of your age, weight, or other medications or medical conditions.
(Click Docosanol Dosing for more information.)

Drug Interactions

Docosanol is unlikely to interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Docosanol).

What If I Take an Overdose of Docosanol?

A docosanol overdose is unlikely, especially since each tube contains only a small amount of medication. It is not known what exactly to expect from an overdose.
If you happen to overdose on docosanol, seek immediate medical attention.

How Should It Be Stored?

Docosanol should be stored at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. It is a good idea to keep a tube of docosanol with you so that you can use it at the first signs of a cold sore.
Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children.
7 Easy Tips for Starting Solids

Docosanol -- Medication for Cold Sores

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