Compare ViraFend To Other Cold Sore Options

There are today a range of options marketed for those with recurring Cold Sores and Herpes outbreaks. These include off-the-shelf and over-the-counter (OTC) products, as well as prescription medications.

Most off-the-shelf Cold Sore and Herpes treatments are primarily drying agents that may help Herpes blisters heal faster.  These have absolutely no effect on the virus itself, and only help the patient heal a little faster (but not by much). Prescription medications are effective but can be expensive, require a doctor’s diagnosis and prescription, and can be accompanied by a range of discomforting side effects, such as gastrointestinal upset and headaches.

The main deficiency with current options are that they are almost always used or prescribed once you are having a Cold Sore or Herpes outbreak – they are not primarily used to regulate viral load or replication and are not primarily indicated for daily prophylaxis (although some prescription medications are sometimes prescribed for daily use).


Drying agents are readily-available ointments, liquids and creams that are intended to be applied directly to Cold Sore blisters to accelerate the drying and healing time of Cold Sore and Herpes blisters and outbreaks.


  • Readily available at every pharmacy
  • Eases pain of blisters as most have some analgesic component
  • Shortens healing time by a few days (most outbreaks last for up to 2 weeks until completely healed)


  • No direct effect on the virus itself – intended to ease the pain and shorten healing time of outbreaks
  • Expensive for the benefit provided
  • Shortening of healing time is minimal – even Abreva® (which is the only FDA OTC medication approved to shorten healing time) accelerates drying and healing by “as much as a day or two”

Analgesics are primarily pain-killing remedies, to minimize discomfort.  They are often mixed with drying agents (see above), but have no direct effect on the virus itself.


  • Readily available at every pharmacy
  • Eases pain of blisters
  • May shorten healing time by as much as a day or two (most outbreaks last for up to 2 weeks until completely healed) if they include  drying agents


  • No direct effect on the virus at all
  • Expensive for the benefit provided
  • Applied only when you already have a Cold Sore or Herpes outbreak

The leading prescription medication for Herpes patients is Valtrex® (valacyclovir), from Glaxo SmithKline (GSK).

The product works as an ‘obligate chain terminator’, meaning it cleaves off the ends of the viral DNA / RNA strands while they are replicating, hopefully terminating the replication process.  Valtrex® does not reach all viral load particles, and does not kill the virus or interfere with its ability to attach newly budded viruses to new host cells.  It is primarily indicated as a treatment for active outbreaks, although it can be prescribed for daily use as a prophylactic approach.


  • Prescription given by doctor has high credibility factor as a ‘real medicine’, which it is
  • Does interfere with viral replication, with effect of shortening outbreak times and potentially extending the time between outbreaks
  • Potentially paid for (mostly) by prescription drug insurance


  • Expensive if not insured (can cost over $200+ a month)
  • May be associated with a wide range of side effects, including headaches and gastrointestinal distress
  • Recommended dosage is usually not as effective if patient waits until outbreak starts – should be started during the prodromal period, up to 1 week or more prior to outbreak, but most patients do not know a week or more advance when an outbreak is imminent

ViraFend is a natural Viral Fusion Inhibitor, meaning it works by interfering with a virus particle’s ability to successfully attach itself to a human host cell – the first stage of the Virus Life Cycle. The product works to ‘coat’ the virus’ outer envelope or membrane to interfere with its ability to complete Viral Fusion.


  • No prescription is required, ViraFend is a Dietary Supplement
  • Helps regulate viral replication
  • Help boost your normal immune system response to viruses
  • Non-toxic
  • No known side-effects
  • May be used with any other medication
  • Recommended for daily use to maintain optimal immune health and defense against Cold Sore and Herpes viruses attaching to host cells prior to viral reproduction


  • Is not a cure for a Herpes virus infection – there IS NO CURE; once you have been infected with the Herpes virus, it remains in your system for life
  • You may experience an outbreak when first using ViraFend due to the die-off of the virus resulting from the immune system being over-taxed in eradicating the virus that has been inhibited from fusing to a host cell, but this effect (known as the Herxheimer Effect) should be short lasting and abate as you continue to maintain ViraFend in your system

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek professional medical attention for any rashes, blisters or outbreaks you may be experiencing. The information on this website is not intended as medical advice or to replace the advice of a qualified medical professional.