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How are antiviral medications used to treat shingles?

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These medicines may slow down the progress of the shingles rash, especially if you take them within the first 72 hours of having symptoms. They can also lower your chance of having complications. Your doctor may prescribe:

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about side effects to watch out for if you’re put on one of these drugs.

  • Acyclovir (Zovirax)
  • Famciclovir (Famvir)
  • Valacyclovir (Valtrex)

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke: "Shingles. Seek Early Treatment."

Mayo Clinic Health Letter, June 2002.

Oxman M.   2005. New England Journal of Medicine,

Douglas M.  , 2004. Drug Safety

WebMD Health News: "Shingles Vaccine to Be Routine at 60."

FDA: "FDA Licenses New Vaccine to Reduce Older Americans' Risk of Shingles."

Vaccines.Gov: “Shingles (Herpes Zoster).”

CDC: “What Everyone Should Know About Shingles Vaccine.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 21, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke: "Shingles. Seek Early Treatment."

Mayo Clinic Health Letter, June 2002.

Oxman M.   2005. New England Journal of Medicine,

Douglas M.  , 2004. Drug Safety

WebMD Health News: "Shingles Vaccine to Be Routine at 60."

FDA: "FDA Licenses New Vaccine to Reduce Older Americans' Risk of Shingles."

Vaccines.Gov: “Shingles (Herpes Zoster).”

CDC: “What Everyone Should Know About Shingles Vaccine.”

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on May 21, 2018

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What over-the-counter medications can treat shingles?

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