CONDITIONS A-Z

Shingles - Treatment

Shingles Treatment

There is no known cure for shingles. The medical treatment provided usually consists of the following:

  • Local application of calamine lotion

  • Antihistamines, to reduce severe itching Analgesics or painkillers, such as aspirin or paracetamol

  • Antiviral: One of several antivirals such acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir may be prescribed. These medications have the ability to reduce the severity and duration of the rash, if prescribed at an early stage (within 48 to 72 hours of the appearance of the rash).

  • Antibiotics may be given either orally, or via local application, especially if there is a secondary bacterial infection.

  • Steroids, to reduce pain and the incidence of complications. They are sometime prescribed along with other medication in the early stages of the treatment.

Treatment for post-herpetic neuralgia may include one, or a combination, of the following, depending on the symptoms:

  • Analgesics

  • Tricyclic antidepressants

  • Anticonvulsants

  • Topical counter-irritants such as capsaicin

  • Large doses of vitamin Bl, B6, B12 supplements

All these drugs have potential side effects. Capsaicin for example can cause local irritation, and tricyclic antidepressants can cause drowsiness. Do not self medicate. Always consult your doctor before use.

Next: Shingles Self Help

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Shingles Index



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