Cold sore sufferers often search for home cold sore remedies to help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with a cold sore outbreak.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a few home cold sore remedies that may help make a cold sore outbreak slightly less uncomfortable:

4 Home Cold Sore Remedies


Prevent drying by applying lip balm or cream1

Sun exposure is a known cold sore trigger, so it’s recommended that you protect your lips with lip balm that contains SPF or zinc oxide. In addition, applying a moisturizing cream can help prevent your skin from drying and cracking.

Apply a cold compress to the cold sore1

Applying pressure to a cold sore using a cold, damp cloth or ice pack may help alleviate the burning / tingling sensation, reduce redness and help remove crusting.

Apply a pain relieving cream or ointment1

In addition to cold sore ointments and lotions, there are many pain relieving creams and ointments available without a prescription. Applying a cream or ointment containing lidocaine or benzocaine may help relieve pain caused by a cold sore.

Is there anything that can lead to fewer cold sore outbreaks?

For frequent cold sore sufferers, home cold sore remedies may be insufficient. If you find that home cold sore remedies don’t do enough to alleviate the pain and discomfort you experience during a cold sore outbreak, you may want to ask your physician if a prescription cold sore treatment is right for you.

Your physician may recommend Sitavig® (acyclovir), 50mg Muco-Adhesive Buccal Tablet. Sitavig is a single-dose prescription cold sore treatment that can ease cold sore symptoms, speed up healing, and in some cases, lead to fewer recurrences or even stop cold sores before they start.2

What makes Sitavig different?

Sitavig is not a cream to apply several times a day, for several days and is not a pill to swallow. Sitavig is the first and only antiviral medication that is applied only once, upon the first signs of a cold sore outbreak.2

Does Sitavig really work?2

Yes! Clinical trials demonstrated that Sitavig reduced duration of episode by ~1 day vs. placebo. In addition, 35% of patients who participated in clinical trials did not develop a blister, when Sitavig was applied soon after symptoms emerged.

Finally, half of patients treated with Sitavig went an additional 40 days before having another cold sore episode (the average was 105 days), and 36% of patients who were treated with Sitavig were still free from another outbreak 10 months after their single-dose treatment.



1 – Mayo Clinic (May 15, 2015). Lifestyle and home remedies [Cold Sore]. Retrieved November 4, 2015 from

2 – Bieber T, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Acyclovir Mucoadhesive Buccal Tablet in Immunocompetent Patients With Labial Herpes (LIP Trial): A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Self-Initiated Trial. J Drugs Dermatol. 2014;13(7):791-798. View study (link will lead you to the JDD site).


Indication & Important Safety Information


Sitavig® (acyclovir), 50mg Muco-Adhesive Buccal Tablet is indicated for the treatment of recurrent herpes labialis (cold sores) in immunocompetent adults.


Sitavig should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity to acyclovir, milk protein concentrate, or other components of the product.

Sitavig has not been studied in pregnant women or in immunocompromised patients and no interaction studies have been performed. Sitavig’s safety and efficacy have not been established in pediatric patients.

Sitavig is a Pregnancy Category B product; therefore it should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit outweighs the potential risk to the fetus. It is not known if Sitavig is excreted in breast milk; however, systemic absorption is minimal.

In a controlled clinical trial Sitavig’s most common side effects (greater than or equal to 1%) were:

headache (3%), dizziness (1%), lethargy (1%), gingival pain (1%), aphthous stomatitis (1%), application site pain (1%), application site irritation (1%), erythema (1%) and rash (1%). In the same trial these side effects ranged from 0%-3% for placebo.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Click here for Full Prescribing Information.