Is lysine cold sore treatment really effective?

For  years, there has been a claim that  lysine works in treating cold sore .The amino acid lysine has been in use even before the modern drugs for herpes came into use. The cold sores as we know them are caused by a virus known as herpes simplex 1. The lysine cold sore treatment has been used for the cold sores occurring in the mouth since the 1980s.

Understanding lysine

The lysine cold sore is based on the fact that lysine is one of the building blocks of the proteins we need in the body. We obtain this protein in some of the foods that we take such as dairy products, fish and meat, to name but a few.

So, exactly how does lysine cold sore really work? The herpes virus replicates in the body and spreads. This virus requires another protein known that arginine to multiply. The role of the lysine is to ensure that this process. When the arginine is prevented from being absorbed   in the intestine, one will find the cure they need.

Lysine taken orally

The lysine is taken is taken orally for the treatment of cold sores.  It has been found through research that it reduces the effect of the cores .many people use it as a cream which is applied on the skin. Though is however a counter claims to the effect that it does not reduce the incidences of the condition.

There is sufficient evidence which shows lysine cold sore can be effective in eliminating canker sores. One needs to use at least 4000 mg of the lysine to decrease the effect of reducing canker sores.

Research inconclusive

The research on the efficacy of lysine cold sore has been inconclusive. This is based on the research into high amount of the lysine on either preventing or treating the cold sore. If you are using the lysine cold sore treatment, ensure that you did not exceed the amount of the lysine supplements and that one should only use it when there are clear signs of the cold sores. The side effects could be severe and range from kidney problems, diarrhoea to abdominal pain.


Given that there are no conclusive studies on the efficacy of the medication, on needs to explore other available medications which include oral prescriptions drugs. Examples of the drugs which are also found even in the generic form include acyclovir, famcyclovir.

There are   antibiotics which are useful in the treatment of the infection. One should continue to use the oral drugs until there are fewer recurrences.


 If it is the lips which are affected, you may consider application of sunscreen on them on daily basis. Research has shown that sunlight has the effect of activating the herpes simplex 1 in others.


There is no adequate data or research which shows that lysine can wholly treat the condition of the cold sores. There is need to carry out further research into the effectives of the protein in the management of the cold sores.

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