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Best Topical Pain Relief For Shingles

Antiviral Medicines For Shingles

Shingles treatment, Fast shingles pain relief, pain medications and topical products – PART 1

Antiviral medicines used to treat shingles include aciclovir, famciclovir and valaciclovir. An antiviral medicine does not kill the virus but works by stopping the virus from multiplying. So, it may limit the severity of symptoms of the shingles episode.

An antiviral medicine is most useful when started in the early stages of shingles . However, in some cases your doctor may still advise you have an antiviral medicine even if the rash is more than 72 hours old particularly in elderly people with severe shingles, or if shingles affects an eye.

Antiviral medicines are not advised routinely for everybody with shingles. As a general rule, the following groups of people who develop shingles will normally be advised to take an antiviral medicine:

  • If you are over the age of 50. The older you are, the more risk there is of severe shingles or complications developing and the more likely you are to benefit from treatment.
  • If you are of any age and have any of the following:
  • Shingles that affects the eye or ear.
  • A poorly functioning immune system .
  • Shingles that affects any parts of the body apart from the trunk .
  • Moderate or severe pain.

If prescribed, a course of an antiviral medicine normally lasts seven days.

Should I See A Doctor

It is usually worth seeing a doctor to be certain about the diagnosis and to see if you need treatment or not. Ideally you should see a doctor as soon as possible after the rash appears.

The rash of shingles can be very painful. So even if the doctor doesnât think you need an anti-shingles medicine, they may be able to give you stronger painkillers than those you can buy over the counter from the chemist.

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New Topical Treatment For Continued Pain After Shingles

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
First Posted : December 4, 2007Last Update Posted : August 31, 2011
Condition or disease
Drug: Epikeia coatings with aspirinDrug: Epikeia coatings with lidocaineOther: Epikeia coatings alone Phase 1
  • Known sensitivity or allergy to an amide-type local anesthetic agent
  • Existing conditions that make participation unsafe
  • Immunocompromised
  • Herpes zoster in any dermatome affecting the face or scalp
  • Affected skin area is greater than 420 square cm
  • Affected area includes skin breakdown or nonintact skin
  • Affected area consists of more than one contiguous area

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier : NCT00566904

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Can Other People Catch It

This one is confusing! You can catch chickenpox from other people, but you canât catch shingles from other people. You only get shingles from a reactivation of your own chickenpox infection in the past.

So if you have shingles, and you come into contact with somebody else, they cannot âcatchâ your shingles. But if they have never had chickenpox, it is possible that they could catch chickenpox from you.

To put it another way, no, you donât âcatchâ shingles. It comes from a virus hiding out in your own body, not from someone else. But if you have shingles, you may be infectious, as it is possible for people to catch chickenpox from you.

Only people who have never had chickenpox are likely to be at risk of catching chickenpox from your shingles. People who have had chickenpox should be immune from catching it again. If the rash is in a covered area of skin, the risk of anyone with whom you are not in close contact catching chickenpox is very low.

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Appendix 1 Medline Search Strategy

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1. randomized controlled trial.pt. 2. controlled clinical trial.pt. 3. randomized.ab. 4. placebo.ab. 5. drug therapy.fs. 6. randomly.ab. 7. trial.ab. 8. groups.ab. 9. or/18 10. humans.sh. 11. 9 and 10 12. lidocaine 13. lignocaine 14. Anesthesia, Local/ or Anesthetics, Local/ 15. or/1214 16. Postherpetic 17. Postherpetic 18. Neuralgia 19. or/1618 20. 11 and 15 and 19

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What Triggers A Shingles Outbreak And Who Is Most At Risk

According to Dr. Gurland, we just dont know why outbreaks happen some researchers have linked shingles with periods of excess stress, but most people who get stressed dont get shingles.

However, shingles is more common in patients whose immune systems arent functioning normally due to cancer, medications, other infections, and other health conditions. While you dont need an immune deficiency to get shingles, said Dr. Gurland, a significant minority of patients who have it also have a suppressed immune system. The risk also increases with age , although Dr. Gurland has seen very young patients develop the disease as it doesnt discriminate.

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Treatment Of Postherpetic Neuralgia

Apply to affected area every 4 to 12 hours as needed.

Tricyclic antidepressants

Amitriptyline

10 to 25 mg orally at bedtime increase dosage by 25 mg every 2 to 4 weeks until response is adequate, or to maximum dosage of 150 mg per day.

Nortriptyline

10 to 25 mg orally at bedtime increase dosage by 25 mg every 2 to 4 weeks until response is adequate, or to maximum dosage of 125 mg per day.

Imipramine

25 mg orally at bedtime increase dosage by 25 mg every 2 to 4 weeks until response is adequate, or to maximum dosage of 150 mg per day.

Desipramine

25 mg orally at bedtime increase dosage by 25 mg every 2 to 4 weeks until response is adequate, or to maximum dosage of 150 mg per day.

Anticonvulsants

Phenytoin

100 to 300 mg orally at bedtime increase dosage until response is adequate or blood drug level is 10 to 20 g per mL .

Carbamazepine

100 mg orally at bedtime increase dosage by 100 mg every 3 days until dosage is 200 mg three times daily, response is adequate or blood drug level is 6 to12 g per mL .

Gabapentin

100 to 300 mg orally at bedtime increase dosage by 100 to 300 mg every 3 days until dosage is 300 to 900 mg three times daily or response is adequate.

*Additional modalities include transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation , biofeedback and nerve blocks.

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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • Ive had chickenpox. Am I at risk of developing shingles?
  • What is the best treatment for my shingles?
  • The pain from shingles isnt going away. What can I do to make myself more comfortable?
  • Im on treatment for shingles. When should I call my doctor if things dont get better?
  • I have shingles and my children havent had the chickenpox vaccine. Should I get them vaccinated?
  • Is the shingles vaccine right for me?
  • Are there any risks associated with the shingles vaccine?
  • Will my post-herpetic neuralgia ever go away?
  • If Ive never had the chickenpox, should I still get the shingles vaccination?

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Treating The Pain Of Phn

New treatment for the pain of shingles

Exactly how best to deal with the pain is a difficult question. Rice led a research team that looked at 35 clinical trials of various treatments. The findings appear in the July issue of the free-access online journal PloS Medicine.

“The most important thing to realize is these are painkillers,” Rice says. “You are treating the pain, not the disease itself. And this is due to permanent nerve damage. It is like a stroke. We can’t make the nerve damage better, but we can treat the disability. And for PHN, pain is one of those disabilities.”

What helps? Rice’s team found good evidence supporting:

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Symptoms Of Shingles In The Eye

The symptoms of shingles around the eye may be different from the symptoms of eye involvement. Symptoms of shingles around the eye area may include:

  • Tingling on the face

Patients who have shingles on the face should get antiviral treatment for shingles and also see an optician right away to monitor for ocular shingles.

Because the eye can become involved later in the disease process, it is important to follow up with the optician even if your eye appears fine at first.

Help Is Available For Phn

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Fortunately,early treatment for shingles can lower your chances of getting PHN.

For some people, the pain becomes refractory, or resistant to treatment, explains Dr. Rosenquist. So we want to treat shingles as fast as we can ideally as soon as somebody feels a tingling or burning sensation, even before a rash develops.

Sheadds that whenever nerve pain is involved, some people respond to treatment andsome dont.

However,medications taken orally or injected that can target the affected nerves may beable to stun the nervous system into behaving properly. That meanstransmitting the appropriate signal to the brain.

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Safety And Side Effects

While CBD is not a replacement for standard treatment options, its probably OK to try CBD for shingles, despite the lack of scientific evidence. Just make sure to talk with your doctor first, especially if youre taking any medications or supplements. CBD may interact with some medications.

Topicals are less likely than ingested products to make their way into your bloodstream, but its still best to be cautious and follow your doctors recommendation.

Additionally, be sure that youre aware of potential side effects. While suggest that CBD is generally safe to use topically or orally, some people may experience mild side effects such as:

  • weight or appetite changes

Its possible to receive a positive test result for THC when taking CBD products, especially full-spectrum CBD products.

We chose these products based on criteria we think are good indicators of safety, quality, and transparency. Each product in this article:

  • is made by a company that provides proof of third-party testing by an ISO 17025-compliant lab
  • is made with U.S.-grown hemp
  • contains no more than 0.3 percent THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, according to the certificate of analysis
  • passes tests for pesticides, heavy metals, and molds, according to the COA

We also considered:

  • CBD potency: 250 mg per 15-mL stick
  • COA: available on product page

Joy Organics also claims to produce cruelty-free products and is part of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable.

How To Use Valacyclovir

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Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking valacyclovir and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Take valacyclovir by mouth, with or without food, as directed by your doctor. Drink plenty of fluids while taking this medication to lower the chance of side effects.

The dosage and length of treatment are based on your type of infection, medical condition, and response to treatment. For treating chickenpox in children, the dosage is also based on weight.

This medication works best when started at the first sign of an outbreak, as directed by your doctor. It may not work as well if you delay treatment. For shingles or chickenpox, start taking valacyclovir at the first symptom or as soon as possible after the rash appears. For cold sores or genital herpes, start taking this medication at the first sign or as soon as you feel tingling, itching, or burning.

Valacyclovir works best when the amount of medicine in your body is kept at a constant level. Take this drug at evenly spaced intervals. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day.

Continue to take this medication until the full prescribed amount is finished. Do not change your dose, skip any doses, or stop this medication early without your doctors approval.

Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.

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What Increases The Risk Of Long

The risk of developing post-herpetic neuralgia increases with age. Four weeks after getting shingles,

  • 27% of 55- to 59-year-olds and
  • 73% of over 70-year-olds had nerve pain.

Women seem to be more likely to have longer-lasting nerve pain than men. Post-herpetic neuralgia is also more likely to develop if your eyes were affected by shingles.

The Emotional Toll Of Nerve Pain After Shingles

Researchers are not just looking at biological and neurological risk factors for PHN. Dworkin was also a co-author of a study looking at psychological risk factors, too. The results were published in the Journal of Pain in 2005.

It certainly looks like psychological stress can be a potent risk factor for PHN, Dworkin tells WebMD.

The study showed that people with shingles who went on to develop PHN were more likely to have had symptoms of personality disorders, hypochondria, intense worry about their disease, and other bodily complaints.

Dworkin says previous studies have already shown a connection between stress and shingles development.

One study even found that the risk of developing PHN was higher in people who were living alone when they developed shingles than people living with others, Dworkin says, perhaps indicating that social isolation increases the risks of PHN.

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