Best Cold Sore Medicine: Key Features, Pros, And Cons

Woman blowing her nose

Cold sores can cause a phenomenal drag in your day because they are not only painful but also make you uncomfortable. Cold sores never go away completely because they can stay hidden within the cells in your nerves waiting for external stressors to stimulate another flare up. Anything that weakens the immune system such as allergies, stress, hormonal imbalances, and other ailments may trigger a fresh outbreak. However, with the best cold sore medicine, you can ease such discomfort and pain quickly.


The pharmaceutical industry is flooded with many medicines for cold sores. This makes it challenging for anyone to find the best medicine that will address their cold sore problem efficiently. This article is a review of some of the best cold sore medicines you can consider in case you or a loved one has cold sores.

Comparison Table


Best Cold Sore Medicine FAQs

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With a myriad of options claiming to offer the best solutions for cold sores, you may experience a hard time trying to settle for the right cold sore medicine. The following frequently asked questions will help you towards finding the best cold sore medicine to remedy your flare-ups.

1. What Is A Cold Sore?

2. What Causes A Cold Sore?

3. How Do Cold Sore Medicines Work?

4. Where Can You Buy Medicine For Cold Sores?

5. Do You Need A Prescription?


How We Reviewed


We wanted to simplify your search for the best cold sore medicine in the market. Our team dug deeper to find out what customers had to say about the available remedies. We put in more effort to look at other comparisons, such as the price, treatment options, and side-effects. Our efforts resulted in a balanced review that will simplify your shopping experience.



Overall Price Range Of The Best Cold Sore Medicine

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Cold sore medicines vary in terms of chemical composition, size, and application. Simple remedies like ointment tubes had cheaper prices, starting from as low as $4. We also came across pricey options, which included antiviral supplements going for around $50. The variation may result from clinical strength and formulation of the medicine.


What We Reviewed

The following is a list of the best cold sore medicines we reviewed.

  • Ibuprofen
  • Denavir
  • Aloe vera
  • Sunscreen
  • Valtrex
  • Zovirax
  • Abreva
  • Acetaminophen
  • Famvir
  • Topical pain medicines
Sale
Advil Pain Reliever / Fever Reducer, 200mg (360 Tablets)
  • 360 Advil Coated Tablets. Ibuprofen Tablets, 200 Mg Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer (Nsaid)

Features

Ibuprofen is a painkiller that can help relieve the body aches and pains. It can be used to relieve pain on the joints and muscle, headaches, toothaches, and menstrual cramps. Advil is one of the best cold sore medicine brands when it comes to pain relievers. They are available in a tablet and capsule form.


Price

You can find a 200-count box of Ibuprofen tablets on Amazon for as low as $.

Pros

  • Fast acting
  • Treats different kinds of pain
  • Safe for OTC use
  • Highly affordable

Cons

  • Can increase blood pressure in some people
  • May cause some allergic reactions like drowsiness, stomach unrest, nausea, and vomiting
Abreva Abreva Cold Sore/Fever Blister Treatment, 2 gms (Pack of 2)
  • Treats cold sores/fever blisters on the face or lips.

Features

Denavir is an antiviral substance usually found in application creams and ointments. Its availability and formulation make it one of the best cold sore medicines you can find. You can buy it as an over-the-counter solution, applying to the blisters at the first signs of an outbreak. It can soothe the pain and itching when applied. Some possible side effects include headaches and skin rashes. Abreva is one brand that uses the Denavir formulation to fight back the virus.


Price

Denavir helps to bring in affordability for the best cold sore medicine in the market. Abreva cream pumps and tubes start from $ on Amazon.

Pros

  • Helps to shorten the lifespan of the infection
  • Treats different kinds of pain
  • Easy to apply/use

Cons

  • Effectiveness drops when used at a later stage of the outbreak
  • It usually needs constant reapplication throughout the day
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Features

Aloe Vera is an herbal-based remedy that can help in soothing skin inflammation and repair.  It also contains beneficial elements like Vitamin C, which supports the immune system. Some mineral compounds in the herb can help to repair the damaged skin after the blisters disappear. The available options include a herbal mouthwash, skin application ointment, and lip balm.


Price

You can find a suitable Aloe Vera gel on Amazon starting from as low as $.

Pros

  • It is easy to use since it allows for topical application
  • It helps to fight off viruses
  • A powerful pain reliever

Cons

  • You may have to apply it continuously to get worthwhile results
  • May cause allergic reactions in some people

Features

Too much sun can trigger a cold sore outbreak. The harsh rays from the sun can damage the skin or lips, leading to an outbreak. Such sentiments lead to our confirmation that wearing sunscreen is one of the best cold sore medicine and prevention measure. Wearing a UV lip balm keeps your lips from boiling up in the sweltering heat to avoid breakouts.


Price

You will find an array of UV lip balms and body sunscreens on Amazon starting from $.

Pros

  • It has little or no side effects
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • It is pointless going for sunscreen to treat sores during winter

Valtrex

Valtrex

Features

Valtrex ranks highly among the best cold sore medicines. It can prove its potency across different viral afflictions, including many the herpes simplex virus. It helps to curtail the spread of cold sores and limits transmission in genital herpes. It also supports the immune system, which makes it easy to fight off the infection.


Price

You can find Valtrex capsules on Amazon going for around $$ in a tub of 120 or more pieces.

Pros

  • It is highly effective against viral infections
  • Considered safe for use across different age groups
  • Follows a convenient dosage schedule

Cons

  • It has possible side-effects
  • It does not get rid of the dormant virus

Zovirax

Zovirax

Features

Zovirax is an antiviral remedy used to ease problems associated with the herpes simplex virus. It is an oral medication available in different forms such as tablets, suspensions, and capsules. Apart from cold sores and genital herpes, it can help to fight other viral infections in the body.


Price

You can find a broad variety of these products on Amazon going for around $$.

Pros

  • One of the best cold sore medicines and antivirals available
  • Can fight different types of viral infections
  • Helps to relieve sores, dry skin, irritants, and chapped lips

Cons

  • May have side effects on some people
  • It needs frequent application

Features

Abreva is an antiviral drug containing the docosanol chemical. It relies on topical application to stop the virus from spreading further. Experts suggest that it is more effective when applied at the onset of the sores. Active ingredients in the formulation help to protect the healthy cells from affliction by the infected ones. You should observe increased hygiene standards when using Abreva and other application creams to avoid spreading the virus using your fingers.


Price

There are different types of Abreva creams and lotions on Amazon going for around $.

Pros

  • It has few side effects
  • It can allow application during your daily runs
  • Helps to hasten the healing process

Cons

  • It needs constant re-application for you to have positive results
Acetaminophen Generic 500 mg Extra Strength - 600 Caplets
  • Pain Reliever/ Fever Reducer.
  • Aspirin Free.
  • Unlikely to cause the gastric irritation often associated with Aspirin, Naproxen Sodium or even Ibuprofen.

Features

Acetaminophen is a powerful pain management agent that can play a phenomenal role in tackling inflammation. It can also ease the pain in other ailments such as period pains, headaches, joint pains, and muscle aches. Such potency when it comes to pain management makes it one of the best cold sore medicines available in the market. Some of the common brands that contain acetaminophen include Panadol, Tylenol, and Mapap.


Price

You can buy Tylenol, Panadol, and any other related acetaminophens on Amazon for around $, depending on the size and packaging.

Pros

  • A highly potent pain reliever
  • Can work with different ailments
  • Gentle to the stomach, compared to ibuprofen

Cons

  • Prolonged overuse might lead to liver damage

Famvir

Famvir

Features

Famvir is one of the best cold sore medicines and antiviral agents.  It can treat both strains of the herpes simplex virus. It reins in the viral spread so that the body can gather its defenses and fight back the invasion. HERP-B-GONE is one of the creams containing famvir that you will find on the market.


Price

HERP-B-GONE and other similar products can be found on Amazon for around $$.

Pros

  • Can help in treating HSV-1 and HSV-2
  • Offers a soothing effect to the pain
  • Gentle to the stomach, compared to ibuprofen

Cons

  • May cause some allergic reaction
  • Not suitable for use by pregnant women and nursing mothers
  • Largely depends on the doctor’s prescription
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Features

Topical pain medicines help to ease pain and itching during a cold sore outbreak. Taken broadly, they refer to external application solutions that may not need a doctor’s prescription. They’re available as application gels and ointments packing potent ingredients like benzyl alcohol, benzocaine, dibucaine, and lidocaine.


Price

You can find the products on Amazon for around $$.

Pros

  • They quicken the healing process
  • They help to ease the pain
  • They’re easy to apply
  • They can work in combination with other medicines

Cons

  • They may not be effective as standalone remedies
  • Some of the formulations may irritate the skin


The Verdict


The best cold sore medicine on the market should ease cold sore pain and discomfort. It should help you move about your daily chores without inconveniences and interruptions. Some side effects like nausea may make it difficult to go about your errands. Viral infections are so persistent that it is hard to find a standalone remedy that can cure all the effects associated with the cold sore.


From our review, it was evident that you need the right drug combinations ideal to use whenever you develop a cold sore. This is because of the fact that all medicine do not have the same efficiency level and others may lead to adverse side-effects such as liver damage. From our research, we found out that antiviral drugs proved to be more effective when considering the best cold sore medicines in the market. For example, the Zovirax topped the list of our best cold sore medicines because it is an antiviral remedy that works to address problems linked with the herpes simplex virus.


In addition, Zovirax has other outstanding features which make it a great cold sore medicine. For instance, this medicine can fight other viral infections in the body and it works effectively to relieve sores, dry skin, irritants, and chapped lips. However, while there are many medicines on the market today to address cold sore, it is always important to seek medical advice from a medical expert before using any form of medicine, especially over-the-counter.

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