Prescription cold sore treatment and discreet at-home care

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    No video calls necessary

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    $15 consult–no membership required

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    Medical review within 3 hours

Oral herpes affects up to 80% of adults, so you're not alone if you're dealing with itchy or painful blisters. Start our discreet online consultation for prescription cold sore medicine, and knock out those pesky sores today.

Start cold sores Consultation
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See what others are saying about Dr. B

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How Dr. B treats cold sores

1
Health assessment

Tell us about your condition with a $15 online consultation—no video call necessary.

2
Provider review

A medical provider will review your information and prescribe treatment, if appropriate.

3
Get your medication

Pick up and pay for the medication at the pharmacy of your choice. Or, get it delivered.

How much will it cost?

Dr. B offers online consultations for $15—which is less than most copays. If a cold sores prescription is appropriate, your out-of-pocket medication cost will depend on your insurance and where you decide to get your prescription filled.

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$15
Online visit with Dr. B
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Prices vary

Medication

Cold sore treatments at Dr. B

Dr. B offers several treatments for cold sores. We’ve highlighted a few of our most popular and affordable options below, but you can choose other brand and generic medications if desired.

Valacyclovir

Valacyclovir is a generic prescription drug that treats genital and oral herpes. The drug slows production of the herpes virus, relieving symptoms and speeding the healing process. It can be taken daily for long-term treatment or as a multi-day course for short-term outbreaks. It is the generic version of Valtrex.

Prescription length:

90 days, 0 refills

Application:

Tablet, once daily

Medication prices start at
Costco Wholesale logo
$7.34
at Costco, with a drug discount card. (No Costco membership required)

Valtrex

Valtrex is a brand medication prescribed to treat outbreaks of both genital and oral herpes. An antiviral medication, Valtrex slows production of the herpes virus, resulting in pain relief and the prevention of future outbreaks. The medication can be taken daily for long-term treatment or as a multi-day course for immediate short-term treatment.

Prescription length:

90 days, 0 refills

Application:

Tablet, once daily

Medication prices start at
Walgreens logo
$91.83

at Walgreens, with a drug discount card.

Valacyclovir

Valacyclovir is a generic prescription drug that treats genital and oral herpes. The drug slows production of the herpes virus, relieving symptoms and speeding the healing process. It can be taken daily for long-term treatment or as a multi-day course for short-term outbreaks. It is the generic version of Valtrex.

Valtrex

Valtrex is a brand medication prescribed to treat outbreaks of both genital and oral herpes. An antiviral medication, Valtrex slows production of the herpes virus, resulting in pain relief and the prevention of future outbreaks. The medication can be taken daily for long-term treatment or as a multi-day course for immediate short-term treatment.

Prescription length:

90 days, 0 refills

Prescription length:

90 days, 0 refills

Application:

Tablet, once daily

Application:

Tablet, once daily

Medication prices start at
Costco Wholesale logo
$7.34
at Costco, with a drug discount card. (No Costco membership required)
Medication prices start at
Walgreens logo
$91.83

at Walgreens, with a drug discount card.

More Cold Sore Prescription Treatments

Looking for a different medication? Here are some options.

Not sure which treatment may be best for you?

Complete a confidential virtual health assessment to learn more.

Start cold sores Consultation
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Cold Sore Questions

About Cold Sore

What are cold sores?

A cold sore (or fever blister) is another name for oral herpes—a very common condition that affects 50-80% of U.S. adults. These painful blisters form on or around the mouth and last 1-2 weeks. (Prescription medication can help speed recovery.) Some people never experience a mouth herpes outbreak and so don’t know they have the virus. Others can experience mild to severe outbreaks that require ongoing treatment.

What causes cold sores?

Cold sores/oral herpes are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Typically, sores from HSV-1 appear on the mouth and HSV-2 on the genitals—but they can switch locations.

What are cold sore symptoms?

Oral herpes symptoms include tingling, lip itching and/or lip burning for about a day before a lip sore appears. These fluid-filled sores usually show up around and on the mouth. They may also appear on the fingers, chin, neck, nose, and cheeks. When the lip blisters erupt, they ooze and crust over, typically healing in about 2 weeks. An outbreak usually lasts about 2-4 weeks total.

Symptoms of a first-time oral herpes outbreak can also include a fever, painful gums, a sore throat, a headache, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes. Some people only experience a single outbreak, while others may have recurring outbreaks. Symptoms often lessen over time.

How do you get cold sores?

Oral herpes (herpes on the lip) can spread via skin-to-skin contact with infected areas—most commonly by kissing or touching someone with the small blisters.

How long do cold sores last?

In most cases, cold sores heal in 2-3 weeks. If your cold sores last longer—or become larger or more painful—speak with a medical provider.

How are cold sores treated?

For many people, lip sores heal on their own. Your medical provider may recommend an over-the-counter solution or prescribe antiviral medication to relieve symptoms and shorten the healing time.

When does a cold sore stop being contagious?

Because the herpes virus is so contagious, it can spread the entire time a cold sore is present—usually 1-3 weeks. To limit the spread, avoid kissing, oral sex and sharing eating utensils or personal care products.

Can you pop a cold sore?

Popping a cold sore on the lip can be tempting—especially if it’s uncomfortable. But medical providers generally don't recommend it. Popping sores can cause new cold sores to form. It can also make the area prone to scarring and worsen pain. To relieve discomfort, try applying a cold compress, using an over-the-counter pain reliever or speaking with a medical provider about the right course of treatment.

Is there a cure for oral herpes?

There is no cure for oral herpes. But antiviral treatments (like Valacyclovir and Valtrex) can help immediately reduce and improve symptoms. They can also help prevent cold sore outbreaks in the future and reduce transmission, allowing you to live safely around others.

Do I have cold sores or impetigo?

Oral herpes and impetigo are contagious conditions that cause blisters near the mouth. Here’s how to tell them apart:

  • Impetigo blisters are usually larger than cold sores
  • Impetigo affects the areas around the mouth—but also other areas of the body including the nose, scalp, arms and legs
  • While cold sores are caused by a virus, impetigo is a bacterial infection usually caused by a cut, scrape or bite
Do I have cold sores or canker sores?

Cold sores and canker sores—or mouth ulcers—are both small, painful blisters. Unlike cold sores, canker sores can create blisters in the mouth, including under the tongue, inside the cheek and at the back of the throat

What are the prescription treatments available for cold sores?

Common oral antiviral prescriptions include Valacyclovir and Valtrex. These work for both short-term symptom reduction and long-term prevention, lowering the risk of future outbreaks and spreading the virus to others.

What’s the difference between treatment for cold sore outbreaks vs. preventive treatment?

For outbreak treatment, patients take cold sore medicine when they first experience symptoms of an outbreak. If taken at an early stage, antiviral medications can help improve symptoms, shorten the length of an outbreak and reduce the likelihood of passing the virus onto others.

Patients who experience 6 or more outbreaks a year may take cold sore treatments preventively. Daily Valacyclovir or Valtrex treatment is FDA-approved for genital herpes. For oral herpes, daily treatment of Valacyclovir and Valtrex is considered “off label.” Medical providers can write off-label prescriptions if it is concluded that they are safe and necessary. This treatment plan can help prevent up to 80% of oral herpes outbreaks.

How can I get a cold sore prescription online?

Dr. B's online health services can help you get a cold sore prescription online. Complete a virtual health assessment covering your medical history and current symptoms—no video call required. A vetted doctor or medical provider will review your answers. If they find a cold sore prescription appropriate, they will send the prescription to the pharmacy of your choice. Cold sore prescriptions include several different brand and generic options.

How much does cold sore treatment cost?

Consultation: A virtual medical consultation for cold sores costs $15.00, which is lower than most doctor copays. Currently, we don’t submit medical consultation claims to insurance companies. But you can use insurance for any resulting prescriptions at your pharmacy.

Medication: Dr. B only charges for the medical consultation. When medications are prescribed, we let you choose the most affordable or convenient pharmacy to fill the prescription. Prices for your medication will vary depending on your insurance coverage and whether the drug is a brand or generic.

Do you accept insurance?

Right now, we don’t submit medical consultation claims to health insurance companies. But you can use insurance for any resulting prescriptions at your pharmacy.

How do refills work?

We’ll send you a reminder for an online assessment when it’s time for your next refill.

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