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INTRODUCTION

docosanol (doe-koe-sa-nole)

Abreva

Classification

Therapeutic: antivirals (topical)

Indications

Treatment of recurrent oral-facial herpes simplex (cold sores, fever blisters).

Action

Prevents herpes simplex virus from entering cells by preventing viral particles from fusing with cell membranes. Therapeutic Effects: Reduced healing time. Decreased duration of symptoms (pain, burning, itching, tingling).

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects

All local reactions occurred at site of application Local: acne, skin, itching, rash.

PHYSICAL THERAPY IMPLICATIONS

Examination and Evaluation

  • Assess skin and mucosal lesions to help determine if drug therapy is successful in controlling infection. Report any local irritation or skin reactions (rash, itching, acne) at the application site.

Interventions

  • Avoid contact with cutaneous or mucosal lesions when treating patient.

  • Always wash hands thoroughly and disinfect equipment (whirlpools, electrotherapeutic devices, treatment tables, and so forth) to help prevent the spread of infection. Use universal precautions as indicated for specific patients.

Patient/Client-Related Instruction

  • Advise patient to apply medication as directed. Docosanol should not be used more frequently or longer than prescribed.

  • Remind patient that docosanol does not cure herpes infections. The virus lies dormant in nerve cells, and this drug will not prevent the spread of infection to others.

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption: Unknown.

Distribution: Unknown.

Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.

Half-life: Unknown.

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TIME/ACTION PROFILE

ROUTE ONSET PEAK DURATION
Topical unknown unknown unknown

Contraindications/Precautions

Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity to docosanol or any other components of the formulation (benzyl alcohol, mineral oil, propylene glycol, or sucrose).

Use Cautiously in: Children <12 yr (safety not established); Pregnancy (use only if clearly needed).

Interactions

Drug-Drug: None significant.

Route/Dosage

Topical (Adults and Children ≥12 yr): Apply small amount 5 times daily to sores on lips or face until healed.

Availability

Cream: 10% cream in 2-g tubes OTC.

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