Virus Home > Zovirax Ointment Warnings and Precautions

It's important to review Zovirax ointment warnings and precautions prior to starting treatment. This includes understanding that the medication will not cure genital herpes, it is not intended to treat herpes infections of the eyes, and Zovirax ointment cannot prevent an outbreak of genital herpes or cold sores. Zovirax ointment warnings and precautions also extend to people who have certain allergies.

Zovirax Ointment: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking Zovirax® ointment (acyclovir ointment) 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 of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Zovirax Ointment Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking Zovirax ointment include the following:
  • The medication is not intended for use in the eyes, and should not be used to treat herpes infections of the eye.
  • There is no evidence that Zovirax ointment prevents the spread of cold sores or genital herpes to other people. Also, the medication will not help prevent an outbreak of cold sores or genital herpes.
  • Zovirax ointment will not cure genital herpes. You should avoid sexual contact while having an outbreak (or if you think you are about to have an outbreak). You should always use condoms, as genital herpes can be spread at any time.
  • The medication should be started as soon as possible after the first signs of genital herpes or cold sores, as it is most effective when taken early in the course of the infection.
  • Zovirax ointment is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that it is probably safe for use during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using the drug while pregnant (see Zovirax Ointment and Pregnancy).
  • It is unlikely that Zovirax ointment applied to the skin can pass through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Zovirax Ointment and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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