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What's the best treatment for pain when you have shingles

By Anonymous August 17, 2017 - 6:31pm
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HERWriter Guide

Hello Anon

Thank you for writing.

There are no treatments to cure shingles. Rather, the goals of treatment include:

Shortening the length of the illness
Preventing shingles by using the shingles vaccine
Preventing complications, such as postherpetic neuralgia
Relieving/reducing pain and discomfort
Preventing the rash from becoming infected

Itching may be relieved by:

Calamine lotion
Wet compresses
Frequent oatmeal baths
Over-the-counter pain relievers:

Oral medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) , ibuprofen (Advil) , and naproxen (Aleve)
Capsaicin , a substance from hot peppers (topical)
Your doctor may prescribe drugs to relieve pain that doesn't respond to over-the-counter remedies. I personally know some older people in great pain who had short term narcotic pain medication prescribed to them.

Antiviral Drugs
Certain antiviral medications may control shingles by changing how the virus reproduces in nerve cells. They include:

Acyclovir (Zovirax)
Famciclovir (Famvir)
Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
Antiviral therapy may shorten a shingles episode. But you must start it within 48-72 hours after symptoms first develop. These medications can reduce the severity and duration of PHN. They are for patients with the highest risk for this condition (ie, over 55).

Your doctor may also prescribe a short course of oral steroid medication (eg, prednisone ) if your immune system is functioning normally.

I hope this helps and that you feel better soon.

August 18, 2017 - 6:32am
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