• I put my herpes medication in the wrong eye. Will I be OK?


    Question:

    I put zovirax by mistake in my right eye instead of the left eye. Will my eye be fine? I have herpes types 1.


    Answer:

    Zovirax is the brand name for the generic drug acyclovir. In the U.S., Zovirax is only available as a skin cream, but not as a topical preparation that is approved for use in the eye. Zovirax ophthalmic ointment is available in other countries including Canada, UK, and Australia. Often skin medications can be too harsh and irritating to the surface of the eye.

    If you are using Zovirax cream approved for use in the eye, then there should not be any issue with accidentally placing the cream in the unaffected eye. Acyclovir has few side effects in a healthy eye. However, if the tip of the bottle or tube physically touches the surface of the eye, viruses and bacteria can be transferred from one eye to the other which could potentially lead to an infection. In active herpetic infections, the virus is being shed from the surface of the eye and can be transmitted to other locations.


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