Table of contents

  • Brand Names
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacologic Category
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Therapeutic Use
  • Pregnancy and Lactation Implications
  • Contraindications
  • Warnings and Precautions
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Drug Interactions
  • Dosage
  • Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
  • Special Considerations

Brand Names


Austria: Erazaban; Czech Republic: Erazaban; Denmark: Healip; Estonia: Erazaban; Finland: Healip; Germany: Erazaban; Hungary: Erazaban; Ireland: Erazaban; Latvia: Erazaban; Lithuania: Erazaban; Netherlands: Erazaban; Poland: Erazaban; Portugal: Erazaban; Slovakia: Erazaban; Slovenia: Erazaban; Sweden: Docosanol HBI, Healip.

North America

Canada: Abreva; USA: Abreva.

Drug combinations


Docosanol: C~22~H~46~O. Mw: 326.60. CAS-661-19-8 (1999).

Pharmacologic Category

Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents; Antivirals. Topical Antiviral Agent. (ATC-Code: D06BB11).

Mechanism of action

Docosanol is a naturally-occurring 22-carbon saturated aliphatic alcohol. The drug has in vitro activity against various Herpesviridae, including herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2), cytomegalovirus (CMV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), varicella zoster virus (VZV), and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The mechanism of action of docosanol in the treatment of herpes labialis lesions does not involve direct virucidal activity against HSV. The drug appears to interfere with fusion of the HSV envelope and host cell membranes, thereby preventing HSV entry into host cells and subsequent viral replication.

Therapeutic use

Topical treatment of herpes simplex of the face or lips (perioral herpes, cold sores, fever blisters).

Pregnancy and lactiation implications

Studies not conducted to date.

Unlabeled use


Hypersensitivity to docosanol or any component of the formulation.

Warnings and precautions

Should only be used for symptomatic treatment of herpes labialis lesions. Not indicated for treatment of localized herpes zoster (shingles, zoster) or any other cutaneous or mucocutaneous diseases or conditions. Discontinue if herpes labialis lesions are not healed after 10 days of treatment. Secondary bacterial infection may be present if lesions do not heal within 7-10 days. Not for use in children <12 years of age. For external use only (avoid application inside mouth or around eyes).



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