Acyclovir is an antiviral drug. It slows the growth and spread of the herpes virus so that the body can fight off the infection. Hydrocortisone is a topical (for the skin) steroid. It reduces the actions of chemicals in the body that cause inflammation, redness, and swelling. The combination of acyclovir and hydrocortisone topical (for the skin) is used to treat cold sores in people who are at least 12 years old. This medication will not cure or prevent cold sores caused by herpes, but it can lessen the symptoms of the infection. Acyclovir and hydrocortisone topical may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
XERESE (hydrocortisone and acyclovir) Cream 5%/1% is a prescription drug used in patients of ages 6 and above to reduce the healing duration of cold sores (herpes labialis). XERESE decreases the chance of a cold sore ulcerating (becoming worse). XERESE must be applied early, during the initial signs of cold sore.