Lysine and Coldsores

Updated on April 16, 2009
B.T. asks from Saint Michael, MN
9 answers

My 6 year old son has been getting cold sore since he was about one year old. He gets them frequently. When he is getting one we give him acylvior. I was wondering if anyone has given there child Lysine. Is it safe for children? What dose? How often?

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answers from La Crosse on

I feel for him!! I'm just getting over one myself! (this one is stress related)

My mom started giving me lysine and B 12 vitamins and Zinc when I was 8 and got my first one. I took lysine, a B12 and the Zinc in the morning and at night. They would go away in a couple of days. They didn't get real big or spread.

Now as soon as I feel the tingle.. I don't know if he can tell with the tingle right away... I put Abreva on it (every time it tingles) and take the vitamins twice a day and they only last 3 days and they are gone completly.

If he gets them alot he can take the B12 and Zinc once a day every day and it will help keep them away, if he does get a sore take the vitamins twice a day. That is what I have done since I was little, if I wouldn't take the vitamins I would get a bad break out.

My heart goes out to him and I hope this helps.. cold sores are so painful!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Davenport on

Lysine is not tested by the FDA. However, so far it seems fairly safe. In adults the only two side effects are that it is metabolized through the kidneys and has caused problems in people who already had kidney failure. It also interacts with our absorbtion of calcium (increases it), but I'm not sure how much. (I don't know how much of a problem that would be in a 6 year old?).

They do make a lysine ointment that you could try, if you are not sure about taking the tablets. My friend uses it and she says it works for her. Have you tried the Abreva too?

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answers from Appleton on

I almost never respond to the Mamasource requests, but I feel I must respond to your question. I have suffered with cold sores since I was little. Growing up in the 70s doctors didn't really know how to help me, but over the years I have learned a few tricks. The two main reasons for getting a cold sore for me are stress and (mostly) being out in the sun without chapstick on. If I keep chapstick on all the time I'm usually okay. I have used Aclovair and Abreva once I have a cold sore and I think Abreva isn't working for me anymore and I think the Aclovair shortens the time a little. I also start taking Lysine when I can feel a cold sore coming on. It does help a lot. Sometimes it even nips it before it's a full fledge cold sore. I have no idea how much a child should get, it's a vitamin supplement, you can buy it in any drugstore, but I would go to a Natural Foods/Supplement store and ask their opinion. And of course, asking your pediatrician wouldn't be a bad idea either to find out how much Lysine is enough for a 6 year old. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Poor little guy! I suffered with those all my childhood and early adult life. The best suggestion I have is to build up his immune system and keep it up. Don't wait until he has one to 'treat' it, work on prevention. A good children's vitamin (no artifical ingredients, sugar or colors) and extra chewable vitamin C are great places to start. YOu could also add in some zinc (may have to crush it and put in his food if he can't swallow it). Another important one for him is acidophilus (friendly bacteria) - that's the first line of defense for our immune system. If you want details, let me know. All the best!

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answers from Madison on


I wanted to chime in with a thought that many people do not know about. I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance in fall 2008 by an alternative doctor. I wasn't really told much about it or what I should be doing, so much of what I know has been from my own research efforts.

The typical symptoms, resulting from malabsorption or improper digestion of dietary nutrients, include abdominal bloating or pain, diarrhea, constipation, gaseousness, or nausea with or without vomiting. It appears that acid reflux in the esophagus, manifesting as heartburn, may be a potential symptom as well. Other symptoms people experience include fatigue, joint pains, mouth ulcers (this includes both canker sores and cold sores), bone pain, abnormal menses in women, and infertility. And these are just some of the symptoms; there are many more.

The fact that your son started displaying cold sores when he was 1 years old--right at the time when he started eating solid food and probably foods containing wheat, rye, barley, and oats--warrants, I think, a look at whether or not gluten intolerance (or Celiac disease) could be the cause, especially if he's as susceptible to cold sores as you say he is.

People's bodies display their intolerance against wheat gluten/gliadin proteins in different ways. Some have diarrhea; others have constipation. One lady got hives all over her body anytime she ingested anything with wheat proteins in it. Another broke out in (acne) Rosacea whenever wheat products were consumed. And then there are some people who don't show any symptoms at all.

Since gluten intolerance/Celiac disease attacks the small intestine, if a person has it and it isn't caught, the small intestine becomes inflammed/destroyed, which can result in malnutrition and malabsorption of essential vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, amino acids, etc., etc. That happened to me, and at the moment, I'm taking lots and lots of supplements to build my body back up. Besides the nutritional problems, gluten intolerance/Celiac disease can also cause liver and kidney problems, as well as system wide autoimmune diseases.

Who knew? Definitely not me.

You can try a tradional doctor or gastroenterologist, but since they're trained to wait until there are specific symptoms before they'll do anything, 9 out of 10 times, they'll say there's nothing wrong with you--even though you're gluten intolerant. Or they won't even test, which is what happened to me. I saw an Integration doctor, who tested me. I was surprised at how high my F14-Gliadin Ab, SIgA test result was (81 units; anything over 15 units is positive; the average score is around 45 units).

The simple way to cure it? Simply through an absolutely gluten-free diet. No prescription drugs needed! And, if you follow the diet faithfully, the cold sores and other symptoms should disappear as well.

Good luck!

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answers from Des Moines on

My 4-yr-old daughter now tells me when she feels a cold sore "I need some L-lysine". I helped her learn how to swallow 1/2 of a 500mg tablet and she usually wants to follow it with the other half. I can't imagine that she needs more than one half, but I can't imagine how it could hurt. There's pretty much nothing harmful that it could do. And I do think that a very high dose very early on is the best treatment. I don't know how often, but it seems like every few hours at first until some improvement is noted. Then maybe less often until it's gone.

After reading some of your responses I remembered that my chiropractor recently told my to take L-lysine (one tablet/day) to nab a latent virus that he thought was causing me to get sick every month or so. That was my first introduction to it as a help for viruses in general and it would seem to support the advice to take regular steps to keep up the immune system and maybe prevent the sores altogether. I think I will begin to give my daughter 1/2 of a tablet every day and see if it prevents her from getting the sores.

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answers from Madison on

I use a lysine jelly (it looks like vaseline). I guess I never thought about whether it would be safe for kids or not. I assume it is. It works really good. My son started getting them at one too (on his first birthday!).

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answers from Los Angeles on

My sister was told by our family physician to take Lysine when she was a small child (this was 20+ years ago!). Since then, there have been some great studies on the use of Lemon Balm (Melissa officianalis) on the treatment and reduction in outbreaks. Lemon balm is a very safe herb, gentle, and traditionally used with children. There is also a gel or extract you can use topically, however I feel that the internal use works much better. The best way to take it is a tea made of the fresh leaves, otherwise use the dried leaves and small them to see if they still smell slightly lemony, and are green still. That will help you see if the quality is still there. You can add a little honey if needed, but it tastes good and green on it's own. You can drink the tea as often as possible when you feel the prodrome (tingling). It is also slightly calming so good for the nerves too.



answers from Iowa City on

I concur with the moms who have suggested some nutritional approaches to preventing the cold sores. They are an "early" sign that the body needs additional nutritional support, and responding to this initial cue may help prevent other problems down the road. Feel free to contact me if you'd like individualized help designing a program for him.
Blessings to you and your family...

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