Pharmacy-Based Assessment and Management of Herpes Labialis (Cold Sores) with Antiviral Therapy

  • Alex Adams Idaho State Board of Pharmacy
  • Michael Klepser Ferris State University, College of Pharmacy
Keywords: Pharmacy, Scope of Practice, Permissionless Innovation, Prescriptive


Herpes labialis, commonly known as cold sores, is an infection of the mouth and surrounding area. Antiviral therapy can be used to block viral replication, which shortens the duration of symptoms, facilitates resolution of lesions, and lessens the risk of spreading the virus. Increasing access to antivirals targeted against herpes labialis by allowing assessment and prescribing by a pharmacist may decrease time to treatment for HSV-1, and improve patient satisfaction. Experience from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States demonstrate that pharmacist management of cold sores has a safe track record and may be considered by other jurisdictions.




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Received 2018-11-03
Accepted 2019-11-11
Published 2020-08-04