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Generic Name: penciclovir topical (pen SYE kloe veer TOP ik al)
Brand Names: Denavir
Denavir (penciclovir topical) is used for the treatment of recurrent cold sores. Includes Denavir side effects, interactions and indications.
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Drug Information:
Denavir (penciclovir) is an antiviral medication. Denavir is a prescription cream used to treat cold sores on the lips that are caused by the herpes simplex virus. This medicine is for adults and children who are at least 12 years old. Denavir is not a cure for cold sores and you may continue to have them in the future. Do not apply the cream to the inside of the nose or in or near the eyes. You should not use Denavir cream if you are allergic to penciclovir. Since penciclovir topical (for the skin) is not absorbed into the body, using this medicine is not expected to be harmful if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Learn more

Denavir Side Effects

Denavir Side Effects

Note: This document contains side effect information about penciclovir topical. Some of the dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Denavir.

For the Consumer

Applies to penciclovir topical: topical cream

Along with its needed effects, penciclovir topical (the active ingredient contained in Denavir) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking penciclovir topical:


  • Mild pain, burning, or stinging

Some side effects of penciclovir topical may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • Headache

Less common

  • Change in sense of taste
  • decreased sensitivity of skin, particularly to touch
  • redness of the skin
  • skin rash

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to penciclovir topical: topical cream


In clinical trials, 1 or more local side effects were reported by 3% of patients using penciclovir topical (the active ingredient contained in Denavir) and 4% of patients using placebo.


Common (1% to 10%): Application site reaction (including skin burning sensation, skin pain, hypoesthesia)

Frequency not reported: Hypesthesia/local anesthesia, erythematous rash, taste perversion


Frequency not reported: Mild erythema

Postmarketing reports: Allergic dermatitis (including rash, pruritus, blisters, edema), local edema, pain, paresthesia, pruritus, skin discoloration, urticaria, aggravated condition, decreased therapeutic response

Nervous system

Postmarketing reports: Headache, parosmia


Postmarketing reports: Hypersensitivity


Postmarketing reports: Oral/pharyngeal edema

Editorial References and Review

Medically reviewed by BestRx Medical Team Last updated on 1/1/2020.

Source: Drugs.com Denavir