Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Viroxyn Cold Sore Relief Scam

Most of us either get cold sore (some times called fever blisters) or we know someone who does.

A while back at a dentist's office, I was "given" a trial of a topical medicine called "Viroxyn" to treat my cold sore. It worked well and only had to be applied once. I was very happy with this product. Strangely, it's only available on line, and costs nearly $40 for three treatments (roughly a teaspoon of medicine)

I mentioned the medicine to an ER physician friend and she said.... "It's just antiseptic wash"

So I headed out to the internet to do some research. Guess what... She was RIGHT!! the active ingredient in Viroxyin is Benzalkonium Chloride 0.13%. This is merely an antiseptic found in many different wipes, swabs, etc. It's generic and available without a prescription.

IN FACT, you can buy an ounce of this fluid cleanser at walgreens for a fraction of the price, just no fancy applicator.

Here is a link to the EXACT same medicine and same concentration. Sold by the bottle, for less than $5!!!

http://www.walgreens.com/store/product.jsp?CATID=100951&navAction=jump&navCount=1&id=prod1544038

It's at walgreens and they call it "Walgreens Cure Chrome First Aid Antiseptic "

Please understand that I am not a physician, and you should seek the advice of a physician before using anything to treat your sores or other afflictions.

That being said, we're literally talking about using antiseptic wash to clean a wound (sore) on your lip.

Here's how I intend to use the Benzalkonium Chloride to treat my cold sores:

To duplicate the application as indicated with the viroxyn product, just use a couple of q-tips to apply and massage (very important) the cleaner deep into the cold sore area. Be careful not to re-dip the q-tip into the bottle, just use a new one. I'll probably try using about 3 Q-tips (using one end of each) to get enough medicine on the sore. The goal is to work about 0.5 to 1.0 ml of the cleaner into the sore and surrounding area.

It may burn a bit for a while, but this should subside in a few minutes. This is also noted in the viroxyn instructions.

Here's links to the research I did:

Viroxyn Website: http://www.viroxynstore.com/
Viroxyn store: http://www.viroxynstore.com/
(notice they aren't listing the active ingredients on their site.)

ingredients listed here http://www.dentist.net/viroxyn.asp
A competitors site: http://www.purelip.com/competitors/viroxyn.htm

and finally, the active ingredient for sale at walgreens: http://www.walgreens.com/store/product.jsp?CATID=100951&navAction=jump&navCount=1&id=prod1544038
at walgreens and they call it "Walgreens Cure Chrome First Aid Antiseptic "

I don't really intend to intrude in other's personal medical issues, but two issues caused me to write this:

1. I really hate cold sores and am eager for new treatments
and
2. I just despise companies that charge you $40 for something you can buy for $3!!!

46 Comments:

Blogger Zoe said...

Awesome information! You've just saved me a bundle. Thank you for taking the time to share!

1:16 PM  
Blogger Ray(UK) said...

Very Useful....Thank You!
Although, I have had a real problem (and still trying) to purchase the solution in the uk. Anyway, brilliant write up.....and Thanks Again!
Ray(UK)

11:49 AM  
Blogger sergio said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:53 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

The Walgreen's brand of mercurochrome was a good find, but if you don't want the red food dye that is in that product you can also search your local pharmacy for the generic mercuroclear. It has the same concentration of benzalkonium chloride, but without the red food dye. The only other difference I can see between either of those products and Viroxyn is the transfer agent, i.e. Viroxyn is composed primarily of alcohol and the benzalkonium chloride whereas the *chrome products are water solutions of the drug and the patents on Viroxyn make heavy note of the "transfer agent," so you might want to treat the area with some isopropyl alcohol in addition to using the generic *chrome product containing benzalkonium chloride.

Good post though!

12:23 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Thanks so much! You just saved me a BUNDLE! Have you done any research on Supple Beverage? I'm spending $115 a month on that for my son who has arthritis...Julie (Washington State, USA)

5:54 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

awesome post, I just had to note that a treatment is between .5 - 1.0 ml. ,not oz.
1 oz = 30 ml.
so that's a big difference lol

thanks for the info though! and too bad for all the people who put a whole bottle of that stuff on their face

3:11 PM  
Blogger mootise said...

i found cure chrome while searching for viroxyn info. i decided to try it as it was only 2.99. by the next day, the swelling was down and both cold sores were beginning to go away. i kept applying it for a few more days and this was the first time in my entire life that a cold sore went away in 3 days.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Majd said...

I think you are wrong that Viroxyn is a scam. It really works, and I think it works for all herpes type viruses which includes shingles (chicken pox virus). I have been using it very successfully for cold sores, but recently I used it for an outbreak which later turned out to be shingles. I immediately broke a couple of vials of Viroxyn Platinum and worked it all over the rash (still not erupted). The next day my doctor put me on Valtrex. I had only 3 tiny spot scabs as a result, and the rash subsided by itself without scabbing within 3 days. I am sure that Valtrex has the most to do with it, but I have a feeling the initial application of Viroxyn helped a lot. What could have been a horrific bout of shingles actually turned out to be a very mild problem that was gone in a week.

I think calling the product a scam might be doing a disservice to many people. I am not sure what it is in the product that makes it work so well, but it could be an additive that allows for deep penetration of the skin and removing the shield of the virus and killing it. I know the ingredients seem like they are the same as in generic benzalkonium chloride, but trust me there must be something else that makes it works so well. The scam I think is the ridiculous price they charge for the product. I think that the company producing the product should be arrested for charging such a high price. Hopefully a generic manufacturer will produce an identical product with the same ingredients.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I am a dentist and have been following the rise of Viroxyn in our profession as a viable treatment for cold sores. Yes, it is expensive, however, in Viroxyn's defense: they did have to go through FDA approval to be able to label it as a medicine that treats cold sores. Unlike herbal medicines or supplements that have to state that their product is not intended to diagnose or treat a disease, Viroxyn had to go through very expensive drug trials to gain FDA approval. FDA approval means that it is a clinically approved drug by the United States Government that has been shown and proven to be effective in treating disease. When you purchase the active ingredient yourself, you are using the product in a manner inconsistent with approved use and the safety or effectiveness cannot be verified by regulatory oversight organizations. I suppose that you could cook up your own antibiotics in your kitchen too if you wanted, but it would be unlawful and unethical to sell it, or even give it away, under the pretense that it would treat or cure any illness, disease, or infection. Therefore, be careful in pointing others to products that are not intended to be nor are labeled as treatments for disease.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Walgreens CureChrome is a LIFE SAVER!!! When I get a cold sore I get very depressed and can not look people in the eye. I know that this is in my head, but the feelings are real. I just tried Walgreens CureChrome for the first time and the results were AMAZING!!! Within an hour of the first application the swelling was down considerably. After the second treatment you could tell the size had reduced greatly and it skipped the weeping and went straight to the healing stage. I used this on a fully formed blister. I will try it again when I get the tingle and hopefully will be able to stop it before the blisters even form. This is by far the best $2.99 I have ever spent.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Nonne said...

Just want to add my 2 cents... Read the ingredients in Lanacane Spray!! 0.20% Benzethonium Chloride, with the topical pain killer Benzocaine. Dirt cheap, kills the virus, and the pain immediately! :)

4:05 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

We moved from the US to Australia last year and I have been stressed about not being able to find the CVS/Walgreens "Cold Sore Treatment" which is the generic for Viroxyn and still expensive. I just had to use one of the vials I brought with me. I came online to do some research about it and found this entry. Anyway.. my husband overheard me talking to my mom back in the US. I was asking her to keep an eye out for CureChrome. When I was done he told me that that's what his mom used to put on his cold sores 30 years ago. (He's Australia). The irony...

4:22 PM  
Blogger mia said...

Iam a Pharmacist.... I vouch for the author in writing this!!!!! I do this all the time in MY profession and in MY career. The Do NOT be deceived by BRAND names. The active ingredient is what causes the product to work effctively in this case especially!! I can't tell you how many times I have told people looking for OTC sleep aids not to buy the 7 dollar product when they can take two benadryls that they already have at home because it is the same active ingredient and its cheaper!!! You look on the shelf and see 100's OTC cough and cold products and there is only about 10 active ingriedents used out there mixed and matched and combined in medications ranging from 3 to 30 dollars! When in doubt just go ask your local pharmacist for the answer thats why we studied years of pharmacology and get 6 figure salaries for!!! Thanks have a good day!!!

12:42 PM  
Blogger mia said...

.... p.s. as a matter of fact I was looking online for all the products with benzaklonium chloride in them for just that purpose when I stumbled across this blog!!!

12:43 PM  
Blogger paul said...

If you want to avoid the red dye in CureChrome and can't find mercuroclear, then consider Bactine. It has exactly the same concentration of benzalkonium chloride (0.13%), plus the anesthetic lidocaine (2.5%), and no dyes.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

I just got home from purchasing another two-vial set of this cold sore treatment and noticed the label said "compare to Viroxyn"... so I did a quick search and found your blog. Thank you!!! I will be trying this in the future.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Latonya Rock said...

Viroxyn will really work for cold sore Relief? Can you give me perfect explaination..

2:42 AM  
Blogger MaryKay said...

I have been searching for the "Fast Relief Cold Sore Treatment" here in Green Bay, checking Walgreens, Shopko and Target Pharmacy. None of the pharmacists knew what I was talking about. I bought some in Illinois and had saved the package. During my search I found this post. Thank Goodness I found this as I was desperate and probably would have paid the price on-line thinking I couldn't get it anywhere else. I will go back to the pharmacists and let them know about this information in case other customers are asking what to do about cold sores. Thanks
MaryKay

8:19 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Thank You!!! I have been looking for the CVS version of Viroxyn for months. They discontinued it and paying $40 for 3 vials is crazy expensive! I went out 3 days ago and purchased the curochrome for $2.99. Within 2 days everything is completely gone! Nothing has ever worked for me like this! I can't believe I went all my life without this. Thank You so much for changing my life!

6:05 AM  
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10:36 PM  
Blogger NC said...

I just purchased wallgreens cold store treatment with benzalkonium chloride 0.13%. They say proprietary formulation. After looking around i found out it is similar/same to Viroxyn, just it is wallgreens brend. it was expensive 17.99. And now i see it is just an alcochol. But very expensive i see. So far I was using zovirax and it would decrease the whole proces from 10 to 7 days. Can i apply both? Anyone has a suggestion?
thanks
NC

8:48 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Very clad I came across this information! I have a terrible cold sore outbreak, and it's been years since I've had one anywhere near this bad. Was considering Abreva, and also saw Releev at the store, but didn't want to pay the high price for an uncertain outcome.

Bought some Mecuroclear at Wal Mart for less than 3 bucks, and in 6 hours am already seeing some relief. Thanks for posting this info!!!

5:02 PM  
Blogger Justin said...

Thanks for this blog post. A Viroxyn substitute from Safeway (aka Vons) was the best thing I've found to treat cold sores. But if I can treat it for much cheaper, then I will!
I have an updated link for Walgreens Apothecary First Aid Antiseptic Liquid - which is what they call their cure chrome now. Here it is: http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/walgreens-apothecary-first-aid-antiseptic-liquid/ID=prod6093847-product
Also, I'm going to try out Lanacane, per someone's comment. I get enough other injuries that it'll be worth it even if it's not good for cold sores. ;)

5:38 PM  
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4:58 AM  
Blogger NLTSAVED said...

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/walgreens-apothecary-first-aid-antiseptic-liquid/ID=prod6093847-product

5:40 PM  
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1:59 PM  
Blogger Matthew Elvey said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:15 PM  
Blogger John Navas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:56 AM  
Blogger John Navas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:31 PM  
Blogger John Navas said...

As of Nov 2012, Walgreens topical products with Benzethonium Chloride:
Tecnu First Aid Antiseptic Pain-Relieving Gel
$10 [higher 0.20% strength]
Scar Zone Topical Analgesic and Antiseptic Burn Gel
$5.50
Band-Aid Hurt-Free Antiseptic Wash
$4.50
Bactine Original First Aid Liquid
$6
Walgreens Cold Sore Treatment Gel
$15
Walgreens First Aid Antiseptic Spray
$6
Neosporin Neo To Go! First Aid Antiseptic/Pain Relieving Spray
$7.30
Germ-X Antibacterial Soft Wipes
$4

1:34 PM  
Blogger ashley stevens said...

If I feel one forming, I put on ChapStick. When it wears off I put more on, allday and then right before bed. Lol my lips feel weird the next morning but still no sore. I do this for a few days and the bump is gone. I always have a tube somewhere and they are only like .98 cents
:D

12:09 PM  
Blogger John Navas said...

Regular ChapStick is not effective against herpes labialis, so when ChapStick works you have had some other issue.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Chuck said...

I post this where ever I can:
I've been getting horrible cold sores nearly mt entire life until the last few years. I've tried just about every cure out there. I finally found one that works. Bactine or more specifically Benzalkonium Cloride. It is in some over the counter treatments but there is no need to buy those. Just buy one bottle of Bactine and it will last you the rest of your life. The key is how you apply the treatment.
First, you need to catch it early. At the first sign of it when you have an itch is best. Second, you need to make sure the Benzalkonium is absorbed into the skin. This is the tricky part. Take a cotton swap and dip one end in the Benzalkonium and the other in rubbing alcohol. Vigorously scrub the skin where you feel the itch with the cotton swab alternating back and forth from the alcohol to Benzalkonium for at least five minutes. You have to rub the skin nearly raw. Do this twice an hour for 3 hours and then before you go to bed. If you have already developed blisters, pop them and work the medicine into the blister. This helps with absorption. If you get the Benzalkonium absorbed into the skin and to the virus, it will stop the infection in its tracks.
You may feel like you've taken care of it but be aware that there is often a secondary infection about a day later after you've stopped the first infection. This doesn't mean the treatment didn't work. You just have to repeat it.
If you aren't able to catch the virus before it causes blisters and swelling, the skin has been damaged and will need to heal. This treatment only stops the virus from causing more damage and doesn't necessarily help in healing the already damaged skin. Treat as above to stop the virus from causing any more damage but you will develop a sore that needs to heal. The best treatment I've found for healing is Cortisone ointment and fresh cut Aloe Vera. The Cortisone reduces the inflammation and the Aloe seems to aid in scab development. Try to find Aloe with reddish color. That seems to work best. Just apply some of the juice on the sore every hour or so. Next time you're at the doctor, ask him for a prescription for a Cortisone treatment that absorbs readily into the skin. Or better yet, ask if he has any samples.
I used to get cold sores at least four times a year. Some years many more. Since I've been using this treatment, I've been getting them less and less. I actually went a few years without having a single one. It seems that when I do get one, it's never in the same place as where I've treated one before. Maybe I have run out of available none treated area on my lips. Now when I do get one, it's not on my lips. These infections are more difficult to treat. I use a slow speed bristled gum massager to work the Alcohol and Benzalkonium into the skin for these. A soft bristled electric toothbrush works also but can be a little too aggressive and break the skin.
I hope this helps. I've turned other people onto this treatment and it has helped them. I know of one company that tried to market this same concept through Dentists. It cost about $25 per treatment and you had to have the Dentist apply it. You'd have to get into the Dentists office immediately and if you got the secondary infection, you had to go back for another $25 treatment. The company had a patent on the applicator. It was a small plastic vile that would be crushed and would be absorbed by a white applicator that the Dentist would scrub the skin with. Benzalkonium and alcohol were the only ingredients. If you ever had this treatment and it worked for you, you can now do it yourself for a lot less money and more effectively.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

I post this where ever I can:
I've been getting horrible cold sores nearly mt entire life until the last few years. I've tried just about every cure out there. I finally found one that works. Bactine or more specifically Benzalkonium Cloride. It is in some over the counter treatments but there is no need to buy those. Just buy one bottle of Bactine and it will last you the rest of your life. The key is how you apply the treatment.
First, you need to catch it early. At the first sign of it when you have an itch is best. Second, you need to make sure the Benzalkonium is absorbed into the skin. This is the tricky part. Take a cotton swap and dip one end in the Benzalkonium and the other in rubbing alcohol. Vigorously scrub the skin where you feel the itch with the cotton swab alternating back and forth from the alcohol to Benzalkonium for at least five minutes. You have to rub the skin nearly raw. Do this twice an hour for 3 hours and then before you go to bed. If you have already developed blisters, pop them and work the medicine into the blister. This helps with absorption. If you get the Benzalkonium absorbed into the skin and to the virus, it will stop the infection in its tracks.
You may feel like you've taken care of it but be aware that there is often a secondary infection about a day later after you've stopped the first infection. This doesn't mean the treatment didn't work. You just have to repeat it.
If you aren't able to catch the virus before it causes blisters and swelling, the skin has been damaged and will need to heal. This treatment only stops the virus from causing more damage and doesn't necessarily help in healing the already damaged skin. Treat as above to stop the virus from causing any more damage but you will develop a sore that needs to heal. The best treatment I've found for healing is Cortisone ointment and fresh cut Aloe Vera. The Cortisone reduces the inflammation and the Aloe seems to aid in scab development. Try to find Aloe with reddish color. That seems to work best. Just apply some of the juice on the sore every hour or so. Next time you're at the doctor, ask him for a prescription for a Cortisone treatment that absorbs readily into the skin. Or better yet, ask if he has any samples.
I used to get cold sores at least four times a year. Some years many more. Since I've been using this treatment, I've been getting them less and less. I actually went a few years without having a single one. It seems that when I do get one, it's never in the same place as where I've treated one before. Maybe I have run out of available none treated area on my lips. Now when I do get one, it's not on my lips. These infections are more difficult to treat. I use a slow speed bristled gum massager to work the Alcohol and Benzalkonium into the skin for these. A soft bristled electric toothbrush works also but can be a little too aggressive and break the skin.
I hope this helps. I've turned other people onto this treatment and it has helped them. I know of one company that tried to market this same concept through Dentists. It cost about $25 per treatment and you had to have the Dentist apply it. You'd have to get into the Dentists office immediately and if you got the secondary infection, you had to go back for another $25 treatment. The company had a patent on the applicator. It was a small plastic vile that would be crushed and would be absorbed by a white applicator that the Dentist would scrub the skin with. Benzalkonium and alcohol were the only ingredients. If you ever had this treatment and it worked for you, you can now do it yourself for a lot less money and more effectively.

2:12 PM  
Blogger somu said...

I go through your website its very good and we are also having similar website you can visit us.

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11:47 PM  
Blogger jerryg said...

Viroxyn is no scam! It is, for cold sore sufferers, a miracle drug. If you apply it at the VERY FIRST sign of tingling (minutes count here), it can stop the infection totally. A day later, you have no sign of it.

Generic substitutes: Bactine has Benzalkonium as well, but is laced with menthol and does not have the alcohol delivery as Viroxyn.

Would be interesting to test it on a shingles outbreak (herpes zoster). Might actually work.

4:16 AM  
Blogger music for cycling said...

Viroxyn is a miracle! I know that many cheaper meds contain the same ingredients as Viroxyn but I believe the success of Viroxin to be the applicator. It scrubs the skin and distributes the medication and also contains alcohol. The rough applicator opens the blisters and gets the medication deep into the sore. I do not believe that a q-tip can do that. The post from above that makes the most sense to me and one that I will try is using a q-tip with one side cure chrome and one side alcohol....never double dipping q-tips and scrubbing vigrously the sore with meds followed by alcohol. I still bought another $40 pack of Viroxin tonight but it stung my wallet....so I will try the cheaper remedy above next time but will have Viroxin vials handy just in case... lastly... I think oragel has a new product VERY similar to Viroxin that is cheaper and has the same applicator but have not tried it yet . here is link http://www.orajelsingledose.com/?gclid=CL7ChuHZ7bsCFag7OgodQGYAuA

8:09 PM  
Blogger John Dudley said...

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5:47 AM  

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