Sunday, June 23, 2024

Is Tylenol Or Advil Better For Shingles Pain

If You Have More Than One Area Of Blisters What Can You Expect If You Go To The Hospital

Ibuprofen vs. Aleve vs. Turmeric vs. Tylenol (Updated with Aspirin) Pharmacist Chris Explains

Its important to note that most people with shingles dont need to be in a hospital, but if you do:

  • Youll be in a contact isolation room.
  • The door will be kept closed.
  • A sign on your door will remind people who have never had chickenpox or the vaccine not to enter.
  • The sign will also remind staff to wear gowns and gloves when entering the room.

Are There Alternative Treatments

Some studies show that various alternative treatments, from acupuncture to supplements, can offer relief. The research isnât complete, but some shows promise. Check with your doctor before you try any of these:

TENS . This therapy uses tiny electrical pulses to relieve pain. A TENS unit is about the size of a smartphone and comes with small patches called electrodes. You put them over the painful area and turn the unit on and off as your pain comes and goes.

Traditional Chinese medicine: These treatments aim to restore balance in your body. They include acupuncture, the ancient practice of inserting very thin needles into your skin at specific points. Also, moxibustion and cupping, two types of heat therapy, are supposed to draw out toxins. These treatments may be done in combination.

Creams and other skin treatments: A mixture of liquid dimethyl sulfoxide and idoxuridine, an antiviral drug, may reduce swelling and the number of blisters you have when you put it on your rash. And chlorophyll, the chemical that gives plants their green color, is also used directly on the rash as a cream or saline solution.

Supplements: Youâll find a long list of herbs, pills, and oils that claim to relieve shingles. Most have no research to back them up, but there are a couple of exceptions. Papain, a protein found in papayas, is sold in capsules. And manuka and clover honeys can be put directly on your skin. Very early studies on both show they may be helpful.

Doctors Say Tylenol Is Best For Treating Your Covid Vaccine Side Effects

Your best bet for relief from side effects is inexpensive and easy to get your hands on at any pharmacy or grocery store. “I would use Tylenol,” Adam Brady, MD, an infectious disease specialist and chair of the Samaritan Coronavirus Task Force, told Samaritan Health Services. Tylenol is made with acetaminophen, a pain reliever and fever reducer , which doesn’t interfere in any major way with your immune response.

William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, agrees. “If you have a reaction afterwards and need something, take some acetaminophen,” he told a local Fox affiliate in St. Louis.

White House chief COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, has echoed this sentiment, telling CBSN in February, “If someone gets achey or gets a headache and it’s really bothering you I would have no trouble taking a couple of Tylenol for that.” He added if you’re “really having discomfort,” he’d recommend taking “two Tylenol, every six or eight hours or so.”

And for one thing you should never take with Tylenol, check out If You’re Taking Tylenol With This, Your Liver Is in Danger, Experts Say.

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What Does Valacyclovir Do For Shingles

Doctors, for example, may prescribe the medication valaciclovir when you have shingles to help reduce the duration of your symptoms. Valtrex is an antiviral medication that can help stop the shingles virus from replicating. The symptoms of shingles can last anywhere between 3 and 5 weeks .

Shingles can be very painful. Pain can be treated with paracetamol alone or in combination with codeine or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug . Analgesia should be given regularly and not as required. It is important to treat itching as scratching can cause bleeding and increase the risk of infection.

Most cases of shingles last three to five weeks. The first sign is often burning or tingling pain sometimes it includes numbness or itching on one side of the body. Somewhere between one and five days after the tingling or burning feeling on the skin, a red rash will appear.

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Ibuprofen No Good At Cold Treatment

Advil Dual Action with Acetaminophen

I was a little surprised that ibuprofen didnt help versus a placebo in reducing discomfort, said Brian Oostman, DO, a family doctor with Dreyer Medical Clinic in Oswego, Ill. It goes against what we say.

The study, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at the effectiveness of ibuprofen, paracetamol , and steam inhalation at treating symptoms associated with respiratory infections in 889 people. The results showed no benefit in using ibuprofen in combination with or instead of paracetamol in relieving cold symptoms. Steam inhalation was also ineffective.

In fact, the study showed that return visits to the doctor for new or unresolved symptoms were more common among those who took ibuprofen than those who took acetaminophen .

I do think this changes how we should use ibuprofen for patients just simply for the pain aspect of treating for sore throat and ear pain, Dr. Oostman said. However, he said ibuprofen still works for headaches associated with colds and for more complicated lung infections.

Also Check: What Helps With Shingles Itching

Which Painkiller Should You Pick

So which pain med reigns supreme? While theres no right answer, these pointers can help you decide.


Most research suggest acetaminophen and ibuprofen have similar results in controlling fevers, so pick what works for you.

Stomach trouble

If you have a sensitive stomach or find that ibuprofen causes heartburn or nausea, give acetaminophen a whirl.

Period pains

Ibuprofen reduces your bodys production of prostaglandins. These are the chemicals that trigger the uterus to contract and start periods each month. Ibuprofen can ease menstrual cramps and may also make menstrual bleeding lighter.

Other meds

Both ibuprofen and acetaminophen can interact negatively with some prescription and over-the-counter drugs. If youre taking medication, talk to your provider doctor or pharmacist before reaching for the painkillers.

Persistent pain

If youre taking painkillers over several days, consider alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen to lower the risk of side effects.


Both ibuprofen and acetaminophen can control pain in kids. But ibuprofen tends to work better as a fever reducer. Be sure to follow the dosage guidelines on the label for your little ones age and weight.

Whats the takeaway? When used responsibly, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are safe choices for turning down the dial on fever and pain. And isnt it good to have options?

Is Shingles Contagious

Someone with shingles cant spread shingles to another person, but they can spread chickenpox. The varicella-zoster virus is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with the fluid that oozes from the blisters. Shingles is rarely spread by breathing in the varicella-zoster virus the way airborne viruses are spread. If your rash is in the blister phase, stay away from those who havent had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine and keep your rash covered.

Recommended Reading: What Stops Shingles From Itching

Is That Rash Shingles

Cope with the blistering rash using antivirals and painkillers.

If your doctor diagnoses a painful rash as shingles, also known as herpes zoster, you’re in for more pain. The virus inhabits nerves, and blisters arise near the affected nerves, making the skin especially sensitive. To combat pain, your doctor will prescribe a medicine to kill the virussuch as famciclovir or valacyclovir . That can help within three days of the start of the rash. Also helpful are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen acetaminophen or a stronger prescription pain medicine if necessary. The blisters will last for a few weeks, and the pain may last for months. In 10% of cases, pain may last even longer.

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Talk To Your Doctor About Which Otc Medication Is Best For You

Advil vs. Tylenol: Which is better?

The CDC says you should “talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, or antihistamines, for any pain and discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated.”ae0fcc31ae342fd3a1346ebb1f342fcb

And you should also talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about your side effects, like “if the redness or tenderness where you got the shot gets worse after 24 hours” or “if your side effects are worrying you or do not seem to be going away after a few days.”

And for more on what not to do after you’ve been vaccinated, check out Don’t Do This for 2 Days After Your COVID Vaccine, Doctors Say.

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When Hurting Doesn’t Stop

Shingles pain usually decreases within one or two months. But for about one in 10 people, the agony associated with shingles lasts for months or years. This painful condition is called postherpetic neuralgia , in which sensory nerve fibers are damaged, sending persistent pain signals to the brain.

The consequences of this pain are real and can include depression, insomnia, anxiety, and unwanted weight loss. PHN can keep you from doing your daily activities and enjoying your life. The older you are when you develop shingles, the greater your risk of PHN.

Though you may feel isolated, don’t suffer in silence. Talk about your pain with your family, your friends, and, most importantly, your doctor. There are about a dozen medications that have been shown to be effective against PHN pain. These include steroids, antidepressants and anticonvulsants. You may benefit from a prescription for strong painkillers called opioids, or your doctor may recommend a cream, spray, or patch containing lidocaine or capsaicin, which you apply directly to your skin in the area that’s painful.

In most cases, pain from PHN will eventually subside. In the meantime, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Rest, avoid stressful situations if you can, and eat nutritious foods. Ask your doctor if stretching or other simple exercises could help. And do things you enjoywhether it’s listening to music, watching a comedy, or readingto help keep your mind off the pain.

When To Call A Doctor

if you:

  • Have a rash or blisters on your face, especially near an eye or on the tip of your nose. This can be a warning of eye problems. Treatment can help prevent permanent eye damage.
  • Think you have shingles. Early treatment with antiviral medicines may help reduce pain and prevent complications of shingles, such as disseminated zoster or postherpetic neuralgia .

If you still feel intense pain for more than 1 month after the skin heals, see your doctor to find out if you have PHN. Getting your pain under control right away may prevent nerve damage that may cause pain that lasts for months or years.

Also Check: How To Remove Moss From Shingles

Knowing What To Watch For And Getting Vaccinated May Prevent This Painful Condition From Recurring

Shingles is a painful condition caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes the chickenpox. After a person has chickenpox, the virus stays in the nerve tissue near the spinal cord and brain. For reasons that are not fully understood, years later, the virus may reactivate and cause shingles.

Shingles often causes a rash, which usually develops on one side of the body. The rash forms blisters that scab over in a 7 to 10 days. However, some people dont develop these telltale symptoms. It doesnt always have a rash. And it isnt always on one side of the body. Those are two reasons shingles can be delayed in its diagnosis and treatment, says Houman Danesh, MD, director of Integrative Pain Management for Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

Shingles pain can feel like burning or tingling. Some people describe it as being like ants crawling on their skin, Dr. Danesh says. The pain can last for up to four months.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , almost one out of every three people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. There are an estimated 1 million cases of shingles each year in the United States.

Not everyone who had chickenpox will develop shingles. Those individuals with lowered immunity to infections are at increased risk. Shingles is also more common in older adultsabout half of all cases occur in men and women age 60 or over.

Early Treatment Is Key

Preventing Shingles Through a Vaccine

How Does Advil Work

Clinical Archives

Advil is whats called an NSAID, or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. This type of drug, which also includes aspirin and Aleve , prevents certain enzymes in your body from producing chemicals called prostaglandins. These are hormones that trigger inflammation. They also help produce the pain you feel when you have an injury. NSAIDs like Advil offer relief by interrupting this process.

Also Check: Owens Corning Cool Duration Shingles

Topical Pain Relief Products

e.g. lidocaine preparations , capsaicin cream

  • topical pain relievers can be used in addition to oral pain relief medicines
  • lidocaine is a local anaesthetic and numbs the skin
  • do not apply lidocaine to broken or irritated skin avoid contact with eyes
  • capsaicin cream should NOT be used on active shingles and may only be used to help with post-herpetic neuralgia . It should be discontinued if symptoms persist for longer than 2 weeks
  • do not apply capsaicin cream to broken or irritated skin avoid contact with eyes

Is The Zostavax Vaccine Still Being Used

Yes. The CDC, however, recommends Zostavax for adults age 60 and older, but not routinely for people aged 50 to 59. Zostavax is given as a single-dose shot versus the two-dose shot for Shingrix. Zostavax is less effective than Shingrix in preventing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia .

You can consider Zostavax if you are allergic to Shingrix or if Shingrix is unavailable because of supply shortage and you want some immediate protection from a possible case of shingles and/or postherpetic neuralgia. Because its a weakened live vaccine, it may be dangerous if you have cancer, HIV, or take steroids, chemotherapy or other medications that suppress your immune system. Ask your healthcare provider if the Zostavax vaccine is an option for you.

Read Also: New Shingles Shot Vs Old One

Whats The Safest Otc Painkiller For An Older Parent

For most older adults, the safest oral OTC painkiller for daily or frequent use is acetaminophen , provided you are careful to not exceed a total dose of 3,000mg per day.

Acetaminophen is usually called paracetamol outside the U.S.

It is processed by the liver and in high doses can cause serious sometimes even life-threatening liver injury. So if an older person has a history of alcohol abuse or chronic liver disease, then an even lower daily limit will be needed, and I would strongly advise you to talk to a doctor about what daily limit might be suitable.

The tricky thing with acetaminophen is that its actually included in lots of different over-the-counter medications and prescription medications . So people can easily end up taking more daily acetaminophen than they realize. This can indeed be dangerous research suggests that 40% of acetaminophen overdoses cases are accidental.

But when taken at recommended doses, acetaminophen has surprisingly few side-effects and rarely harms older adults. Unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , it does not put older adults at risk of internal bleeding, and it seems to have minimal impacts on kidney function and cardiovascular risk.

Aspirin: A Special Nsaid We No Longer Use For Pain

VERIFY: Will taking Tylenol or ibuprofen after your vaccine hurt your immune response?

Aspirin is another analgesic available over-the-counter.

Its technically also a NSAID, but its chemical structure is a bit different from the other NSAIDs. This is what allows it to be effective in reducing strokes and heart attacks. It is also less likely to affect the kidneys than other NSAIDs are.

Aspirin is no longer used as an analgesic by the medical community. But many older adults still reach for aspirin to treat their aches and pains, because they are used to thinking of it as a painkiller. Aspirin is also included in certain over-the-counter medications, such as Excedrin.

Taking a very occasional aspirin for a headache or other pain is not terribly risky for most aging adults. But using aspirin more often increases the risk of internal bleeding. So, I discourage my older patients from using aspirin for pain.

Also Check: How Long Do Gaf Timberline Shingles Last

Who Should Be Vaccinated With Shingrix

The Shingrix vaccine is recommended for those 50 years of age and older who are in good health.

You should get the Shingrix vaccine even if:

  • You have had shingles already.
  • You have been previously vaccinated with Zostavax .
  • You do not know for sure if youve ever had chickenpox.

Ask your healthcare provider, who knows your entire health history, if getting this vaccine is right for you.

Oral Pain Relief Medicines

e.g. paracetamol , aspirin ibuprofen

e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen diclofenac , naproxen

e.g. ibuprofen

e.g. diclofenac

  • paracetamol, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories , which include ibuprofen, diclofenac and naproxen, relieve pain and reduce fever
  • paracetamol is a safe choice for most people, but it is important not to take more than recommended. Paracetamol is an ingredient in many cold and flu remedies, so be careful not to double dose
  • the maximum daily dose of paracetamol for an adult is 4 g , and no more than 1 g every 4 hours.
  • aspirin and NSAIDs are not suitable for everyone. Children under 16 years old must not take aspirin because it can cause Reyes syndrome, which is a serious condition. It should also be avoided by adolescents under 16 years old who have a viral illness
  • check with your pharmacist before taking aspirin or NSAIDs if you:
  • have a history of stomach problems, such as ulcers or indigestion
  • have asthma some asthmatics find their condition is made worse by these types of medicines
  • have kidney problems or a heart condition
  • take other medications
  • have bleeding or bruising problems
  • have an allergy to aspirin or NSAIDs
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • are elderly you may be at more risk of side effects
  • are due to have any type of surgery within the next couple of days

Read Also: How To Care For Someone With Shingles

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