Name: Abreva

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember, then re-apply the next dose on schedule. It does not matter if the time interval between those doses is reduced.

Abreva Pharmacokinetics



Not appreciably absorbed into systemic circulation following topical application to healthy skin or herpes labialis lesions.13

In vitro studies using cadaver skin indicate dermal penetration following topical application is minimal and appears to be limited to the dermis and stratum corneum.13



Metabolic fate of topically applied docosanol not fully determined.11 13 Metabolized to n-docosanoic acid and incorporated into cellular lipids and phospholipids.11 13


20–25°C.1 Do not freeze.1

Abreva and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

No studies have been conducted with Abreva in pregnant women. Consult your physician.

Abreva and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

No studies have been done with Abreva in breast-feeding women. Consult your physician.





Apply only to affected areas

Not for use in or near eyes

Avoid applying inside mouth

Sharing product with other people may spread infection

Stop using product if cold sore gets worse or not healed within 10 days

If swallowed by child contact poison control right away

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to docosanol topical: topical cream


This drug is generally well tolerated, however, application site reactions, including burning and stinging as well as headache have been reported.[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Application site reaction, burning, stinging[Ref]

Nervous system

Frequency not reported: Headache[Ref]

Some side effects of Abreva may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

Other Comments

Administration advice:
-Rub in gently and completely
-Wash hands before and after use

Storage requirements:
-Avoid freezing.

Patient advice:
-Use a separate applicator (e.g., cotton swab) to apply cosmetics over an unhealed cold sore to avoid spreading infection.
-Remove cosmetics prior to application for best results.
-Begin using this drug at the first sign of a cold sore (e.g., tingling, redness, bump, or itching).

Docosanol topical Pregnancy Warnings

Animal studies have not been reported. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy.

The manufacturer makes no recommendation regarding use in pregnancy. US FDA pregnancy category: Not formally assigned to a pregnancy category.

Docosanol topical Breastfeeding Warnings

The manufacturer makes no recommendation regarding use during lactation. Excreted into human milk: Data not available Excreted into animal milk: Data not available Comments: The effects in the nursing infant are unknown.