The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medications listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your healthcare provider if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications as recommended by your healthcare provider, or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your healthcare provider.
Use of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant drugs
Acyclovir given to persons of any age may help decrease the duration and severity of chickenpox and shorten the time of contagiousness to others. It is most effective when started in the first 24 hours after onset of chickenpox, and its effectiveness decreases significantly if begun more than 72 hours after the onset of rash.
Acyclovir can be taken orally. For adults, there is some evidence that the related drugs valacyclovir and famciclovir might be more effective. Acyclovir can be given by vein for severely sick or hospitalized patients, especially when the highest possible dosages are required. The drug inhibits the production of viruses in cells.
Possible side effects include:
Kidney problems, especially with the IV form or in dehydrated patients
Special precaution in those with kidney failure or using drugs which are potentially harmful to kidneys
Antibiotics are given in cases where the chickenpox rash has become infected by staphylococcal or streptococcal organisms.
Some of these organisms may be resistant to common antibiotics, especially when infection is acquired in the hospital.
Possible side effects include:
These are signs of an allergic reaction and require immediate medical attention.
Common names include:
Zoster immune globulin
Immune globulin is a blood product that contains antibodies to the chickenpox virus.
: It is given by injection immediately after exposure to the VZV virus (within 96 hours).
: In some patients, it can be given to help decrease the severity of chickenpox.
For prevention or treatment
: It is usually only given to people who are at risk for severe complications from the disease. These include:
Newborns whose mothers have chickenpox
People who are immunosuppressed or very ill
Some preliminary evidence suggests that immunization given immediately after exposure may also be effective in reducing a susceptible person’s risk of catching chickenpox.
Antihistamines are used to reduce the itch that comes from the rash. The medication can be taken orally or applied topically.
The most common side effect of oral antihistimines is drowsiness. Topical diphenhydramine can produce a severe allergic skin rash. I t can also cause severe sedation due to absorption from injured skin. It is generally not recommended for treating chickenpox.
Acetaminophen is taken to control high fever caused by chickenpox.
be given to children and adolescents under age 20 with chickenpox or other viral illnesses due to the possibility of
Special caution in : glaucoma, peptic ulcer, obstructed urinary tract, hypothyroidism.
Ibuprofen is taken to control high fever caused by chickenpox.
Note: Ibuprofen should not be given to any one with peptic ulcer disease, kidney failure, high risk of bleeding disorder, known hypersensitivity. Special caution in: congestive heart failure, liver or kidney disease, high blood pressure, those on anticoagulant.
Whenever you are taking a prescription medication, take the following precautions:
Take your medication as directed. Do not change the amount or the schedule.
Do not stop taking them without talking to your doctor.
Do not share them.
Know what the results and side effects. Report them to your doctor.
Some drugs can be dangerous when mixed. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist if you are taking more than one drug. This includes over-the-counter medication and herb or dietary supplements.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a