Is the new cold sore ointment, ColdSore FX, worth considering?

ColdSore-FX is a new topical product promoted for cold sores. Is it worth considering?

ColdSore-FX is an ointment containing propolis 3%. Propolis is a resin from poplar and conifer buds that bees use to maintain their hives.

Propolis has been shown to have antiviral effects against herpes simplex type 2 and can improve symptoms of genital herpes.

At least, in the test tube, it also has activity against the virus that causes cold sores, herpes simplex type 1.

However, according to the experts at the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, a group providing unbiased, evidence-based information on complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies, “So far there is no reliable clinical evidence that it improves healing of cold sores.”

Until there’s evidence that in actual patients this product is both safe and effective, I won’t be recommending it.

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2 Responses to Is the new cold sore ointment, ColdSore FX, worth considering?

  1. Good afternoon Dr. Walt. I am the Senior Director, HCP Education at Afexa Life Sciences, the company that represents COLDSORE-FX. I read your blog about our product and noted your comment about there not being “evidence in actual” patients. COLDSORE-FX has in fact been studied in 2 placebo controlled trials in patients between 11 and 65 years of age. The studies demonstrated a reduction in the length of cold sores of approximately 4 days (3.5 in one and 4.5 in the other)versus placebo. This is a significant finding given that antivirals and other OTC remedies have typically shown reductions of less than 2 days. Based on this clinical evidence, COLDSORE-FX was granted a license and Natural Product Number by Health Canada along with the approved claim that the product helps to “shorten healing time and relieve the pain associated with cold sores”. We are in the midst of discussions with the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database to update their information on our product based on our clinical evidence and our product monograph. Some of the information in the database is based on the monograph for propolis rather than on Propolis ACF, the highly purified ingredient in COLDSORE-FX. I would be delighted to speak with you directly about our product, or at the very least, share with you our clinical evidence so that you can make a decision for yourself as to whether you would recommend COLDSORE-FX or not. Thank you for your consideration. Kind regards,

  2. Here’s a response from a company that represents Coldsore-FX. As soon as I hear an update from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, I’ll let you all know.

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