Lysine vs Abreva For Cold Sore Treatment – Differences & Side Effects

Lysine

It is an amino acid that is well known for its antiviral properties.

This amino acid is also known as Lys, Lysine Hydrochloride, L-2,6-diaminohexanoic acid, Lisina, and Lysine Monohydrochloride.

Mechanism of Action

Lysine is one of the building blocks of protein which has an essential role in the production of hormones and enzymes, as well as the formation of muscles and bones.

Uses

This amino acid is known for its ability to help alleviate or prevent cold sore outbreaks by blocking the activity of arginine, that is another amino acid which supports the production of the herpes virus.

Note – cold sores are contagious before when blisters are present or during and after an outbreak. Cold sore patients should avoid close physical contact (like – kissing) when having an outbreak.

Dosage

To prevent or treat herpes simplex infections, the usual recommended dose is 1 to 3 g per day.

Side Effects

Common side effects may include:

  • abdominal pain;
  • dizziness;
  • nausea;
  • diarrhea;

Rare side effects may include:

  • tubulointerstitial nephritis (a form of nephritis affecting the interstitium of the kidneys surrounding the tubule);
  • Elevated cholesterol levels;
  • Fanconi syndrome (the generalized dysfunction of the proximal tubule)
  • gallstones;
  • problems with renal function.

Precautions

Before taking this amino acid, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • lysinuric protein intolerance (in children);
  • osteoporosis.

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this medication since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactionsdrugs pills meds

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • gastrointestinal drugs, like – tegaserod or prucalopride;
  • calcium supplements.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known whether this amino acid will harm a developing fetus. Do not use this supplement without medical advice if you are pregnant.

It is not known whether this amino acid passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing infant. Do not use this supplement without medical advice if you are breastfeeding an infant.

Abreva

It is the brand name of a drug called docosanol which belongs to a group of drugs called antivirals.

Mechanism of Action

This medication works by preventing the virus from entering the cells.

It is produced by GlaxoSmithKline, a British pharmaceutical company with the headquarters in London.

Uses

This over the counter medication is used to treat fever blisters and cold sores in adults and children 12 years of age and older.

Dosage

Apply to affected area on face or lips 5 times per day.

Note – this medication should be applied at the very first sign of a cold sore, like – the tingle, bump, redness, or itch.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • dryness;
  • swelling;
  • redness;
  • headache.

Rare side effects may include:

  • breathing difficulties;
  • swelling of your lips, tongue, or face;
  • rash, hives, or itching.

Contraindications

It is not approved for use by children younger than 12 years old.

Alcohol

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking this antiviral medication since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of severe side effects.

Drug Interactions

You should tell your healthcare provider about all recreational, herbal, nutritional, prescription, non-prescription, or dietary drugs you are taking while on this medication.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

It is not known whether this antiviral medication passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing infant. Do not use this antiviral without medical advice if you are breastfeeding an infant.

It is not known whether this antiviral medication will harm a developing fetus. Do not use this medication without medical advice if you are pregnant.

Bottom Line – Lysine vs Abreva

Lysine is an amino acid found in the protein of foods like beans, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables, meat, or milk.

It has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in treating cold sores due to herpes simplex.

Abreva (active ingredient – docosanol) is an over-the-counter medicine that is used to treat cold sore infections caused by the herpes simplex virus.

Once absorbed through the skin, it works by blocking the virus that causes the cold sores from entering the healthy skin cells and growing.

This medicine doesn’t cure herpes, however, it can speed up the healing of sores and decrease symptoms.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11464183
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/docosanol
https://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(02)61475-6/fulltext

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