Shingles - Medications
Medicines can help limit the pain and
discomfort caused by
shingles, shorten the time you have symptoms, and
prevent the spread of the disease. Medicines also may reduce your chances of
complications, such as
postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) or disseminated zoster.
Medicines to treat shingles when the
rash is present (active stage) may include:
- Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as
acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help reduce pain. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Antiviral medicines, to reduce the pain and duration of
antibiotics, which are applied directly to the skin,
to stop infection of the blisters.
Medicines to treat postherpetic neuralgia pain may include:
What to think about
For some people, nonprescription
pain relievers (analgesics) are enough to help control pain caused by shingles
or postherpetic neuralgia. But for others, stronger medicines may be needed. And if prescription medicines don't help control your pain, you may need to see a pain specialist about other ways to treat PHN.