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Precautions and Warnings With Docosanol

Precautions and warnings with docosanol should be reviewed prior to treatment. This includes reading the dosing directions carefully and talking with your healthcare provider before taking it in certain circumstances. For example, precautions and warnings state that the medication should not be used for more than 10 days per each outbreak, and you should talk to your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Docosanol: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking docosanol (Abreva®) if you:
  • Have any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Docosanol

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking docosanol include the following:
  • Do not share docosanol with anyone, as this may spread the cold sore infection.
  • Do not use docosanol in or near the eyes. Also, do not apply the medication to the inside of your mouth (docosanol is not approved to treat canker sores).
  • Docosanol is not approved for use in children under the age of 12 years old.
  • You should not use docosanol for more than 10 days at a time. After 10 days, you should contact your healthcare provider if your cold sore has not healed.
  • Docosanol is unlikely to interact with other medications (see Drug Interactions With Docosanol).
  • The manufacturer of the drug recommends that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding consult their healthcare providers before using docosanol (see Abreva and Pregnancy and Abreva and Breastfeeding).
6 Quick Tips for Getting Kids to Take Medicine

Docosanol -- Medication for Cold Sores

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