If you (or your child) are not immune to chickenpox and have been exposed to the virus, call your doctor. The right medicine depends on your health, age, how long it's been since you were exposed to the virus, and your symptoms.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the virus that causes cervical cancer in women and genital warts in men and women. The HPV vaccine effectively prevents infection with the two HPV types responsible for most cervical cancers and can also prevent genital warts. HPV vaccination is most effective during childhood or adolescence, but adults can also benefit from the HPV vaccine.
Medicines to help reduce the severity of chickenpox
Chickenpox vaccine. If you are exposed to
chickenpox and you get the vaccine within 3 days, you may not get
sick, or your illness may be mild. If you can't get the shot within 3 days,
getting it up to 5 days after exposure may still help.2
Immunoglobulins.Immunoglobulins (IG) help the body's
immune system recognize and destroy harmful bacteria
and viruses in the body, such as the varicella virus. Pregnant women, newborns who are at high risk for getting chickenpox, and people who have certain immune system problems can get a shot of chickenpox IG soon after they are exposed to the virus. It can help prevent infection and help them feel better sooner.
Antiviral medicine.Antiviral medicine, such as acyclovir, is usually used to treat
adults and people who have
weak immune systems. It's used after you start to have
symptoms of chickenpox. Healthy children usually
don't need this medicine when they have chickenpox. It isn't known
whether antiviral medicines reduce a person's chances of having
complications of chickenpox.
Medicines to relieve pain and discomfort
have symptoms of chickenpox, you can take
over-the-counter medicines to help relieve discomfort.
Check with your child's doctor before giving medicine to your child.
Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen
(such as Advil) to reduce pain and fever. Follow the package instructions carefully. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor's advice about what amount to give. People over
age 20 also can take aspirin to reduce fever. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20, because of the risk of
antihistamines (such as diphenhydramine) to relieve itching. Talk to your doctor before using any antihistamine lotions or creams
on yourself or your child. And check with your child's doctor before giving
antihistamine pills to your child.
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 23, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this