Thursday, April 11, 2024

Over The Counter Meds For Shingles

When And How To Use Drugstore Anti

New treatment for the pain of shingles

Itching can drive you a little crazymessing with your sleep, stealing your concentration, and leaving you wishing you could step out of your skin.

A bit of gentle scratching to tame the uncomfortable sensation is fine. But if you find yourself scratching to the point of distraction or so much that youâre damaging your skinwhich can allow bacteria inyou may be on the lookout for strategies to stop the itch.

Many people turn to one of the over-the-counter topical anti-itch products on drugstore shelves.

These creams, gels, and lotions can be very effective, says Gil Yosipovitch, MD, professor of dermatology and Stiefel chair of medical dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicineprovided you choose the right product for your particular itching problem and follow label directions.

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.

What Is The Best Way To Treat Pain Associated With Shingles

Dr. Anne Oaklander answers the question: âBest Way To Treat Shingles Pain?â

Best Way To Treat Shingles Pain?

âQuestion: What Is The Best Way To Treat Pain Associated With Shingles?

Answer: Shingles is generally a painful condition. Itâs a rash that eats through the skin.

For some patients, theyâll be able to manage without pain medications, particularly if they have only a mild rash. But many patients will need medications for pain management. Some people may find over the counter anti-inflammatory and pain relief is adequate, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. But substantial numbers of people will need prescribed pain medications by their physician. This should be discussed with your physician because everyoneâs situation is difficult.

Some patients, in fact, with severe pain may require admission to the hospital and treatment with intravenous or intraspinous pain medications.

Most people will be able to manage in their homes with prescriptions for medication that may include percocet or vicodin or other similar pain relievers as well as medications aimed at the nerves. These include gabapentin, as well as tricyclic medications such as nortriptyline, desipramine, or amitriptyline.

Read Also: How Much Does Shingles Vaccine Cost At Cvs

You May Like: Where Do Shingles Appear On Your Body

Can You Get Shingles In The Eye

Its most common to get the shingles rash on your chest, back or legs but you can get shingles on the face and eye, Rapuano says. About 15% of cases involve shingles in the eye area, he says.

However, theres a difference between having shingles around the eye and having shingles in the eye, which opticians refer to as eye involvement, Rapuano says. A patient can have shingles around the eye area without the eye itself being involved, he says.

About half of people who have shingles on the forehead or nose will also have eye involvement.

Ocular shingles typically occurs in one eye on the same side of the face as the rash. It typically occur after the shingles rash on the body has resolved, Rapuano says.

A patient who has had shingles on the face may feel like theyre healing well but then notice a symptom such as redness in the eye. When this happens, patients need to see an optician right away, Rapuano says.

Consider The Benefits Of Capsaicin

Shingles symptoms and treatments over the counter(otc)

Another topical treatment is made from chili peppers, and research has shown that it can help with shingles pain reduction. Capsaicin comes in OTC and prescription forms, and it can be applied topically as a cream or by wearing a patchbut its tricky to administer properly. A report in Molecules noted that capsaicin can cause a burning sensation on the applied area, especially if applied in frequent dosages. In rare cases, it can also cause blood vessel constrictions. Be sure to get your doctors guidance before trying this method on your own.

Don’t Miss: Does Plan F Cover Shingles Vaccine

How Does Shingles Spread

Someone with shingles can pass the virus to someone who hasnt had chickenpox or shingles before. That person is likely to contract chickenpox first. Then, the virus may reactivate later with symptoms of shingles.

The virus cannot be passed to someone who has already had chickenpox because they already have the virus. If they experience shingles, its because they already had the virusnot because they came into contact with you.

You can go to work, school, and other public places with shingles as long as youre otherwise healthy. However, you should take precautions and keep the shingles rash covered, regularly wash your hands, and avoid at-risk people. Infants, children, pregnant women, and people with weak immune systems are at higher risk for contracting a virus, like shingles, than other people.

When To Seek Medical Advice

Shingles is not usually serious, but you should see your GP as soon as possible if you recognise the symptoms. Early treatment may help reduce the severity of your symptoms and the risk of developing complications.

You should also see your GP if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system and you think you have been exposed to someone with chickenpox or shingles and haven’t had chickenpox before.

Read Also: What Does A Light Case Of Shingles Look Like

How Common Is It

The varicella-zoster virus causes both Shingles and Chickenpox. Shingles, also called herpes zoster, develops in people who have had chickenpox in the past. Herpes zoster is not the same as genital herpes, which results from herpes simplex virus.

While it can happen to people belonging to any age group, it is more likely to occur in people who are older than 50 years. About 25% of all people have shingles during their lifetime. It is also very rare to get shingles more than once in your lifetime, but such cases have been reported too.

Internal Shingles: Symptoms Causes Risk Factors Treatments And Prevention

How to treat shingles

Shingle is a well-known painful infection that typically causes rashes and blisters on the skin. According to the CDC,¹ approximately one in three people in the US will develop shingles in their lifetime. About one million people in the US are diagnosed with shingles each year.

While its characteristic rash is the most common symptom, shingles are more than a skin condition and may cause symptoms affecting other parts of the body. A shingles infection affecting the internal parts of the body is called systematic or internal shingles.

Have you considered clinical trials for Shingles?

We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Shingles, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available – and be a part of finding a cure.

Read Also: What To Use On Shingles Rash

Steroids Can Sometimes Help

Dr. Auwaerter notes that some older research done in the early 2000s supports the use of the steroid prednisone taken with an antiviral for short-term shingles pain relief, as well as a decreased risk of developing the more serious PHN. Steroids may be especially beneficial for people over 50, who are at higher risk for PHN. However, they can increase your risk of immunosuppression over time, so theyre generally used for shingles for just one to two weeks. If youre trying this approach, work closely with your doctor to manage the appropriate dosing.

Over The Counter Treatment For Shingles

Over the counter treatment for shingles involves the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen.

Over the counter treatment for shingles involves the use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen.

Shingles is a skin problem that is typically caused by the infection of herpes zoster virus. People who have had a history of chickenpox are the ones who actually develop this infection. This is because the reason behind the onset of chickenpox and shingles is no different. The virus that triggers chickenpox symptoms is the one that strikes again to cause shingles, and is typically marked by the development of an itchy rash, usually in the chest and the upper back area. The blisters forming a band like pattern is the characteristic feature of a shingles rash. The affected area typically causes radiating pain that generally lasts till the duration of the viral infection. The infection generally goes within a months time, but how does one make the pain more manageable during this time is often a cause for concern for all shingles patients. The answer to this question is discussed below:

Dont Miss: What Medicine Is Used To Treat Shingles

You May Like: Can Shingles Appear On Your Face

Finally Use A Cool Water Compresses

Cool water may soothe the burning sensation from both your rash and mild PHN pain. Depending on the location, you could potentially put a cool pack on it, Dr. Kotton says, though she notes this wont help much for severe pain. Soak a cloth in ice water, take it out, and apply directly to the affected area. Ahhhhh. Another soother to consider? This pain very likely won’t last forever, even if you have PHN. In the meantime, though, these tips will help you get through the worst of it.

How Can I Treat Shingles Naturally

Urban ReLeaf Lemon Balm Cold Sore &  Shingles Salve! 1 Oz Quickly Soothe ...

The shingles virus affects the nerves, which is why a skin rash only appears in a specific area of the body rather than all over. However, nerve pain is still possible even after the shingles rash has disappeared. If the nerve fibers are damaged, they are unable to send messages from your skin to your brain. This complication of shingles is called postherpetic neuralgia and it can cause severe pain, lasting months or even years.

Postherpetic neuralgia is more common in the following patients:

  • Adults over the age of 50
  • Patients with another medical condition, like diabetes
  • Those who experienced a severe shingles rash
  • Those who experienced a shingles rash on the face or torso
  • Patients who didnt begin shingles treatment within 72 hours of symptoms appearing

Besides chronic pain, symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia include depression, insomnia, suppressed appetite, and attention deficits. Fortunately, there are home remedies, over-the-counter products, and prescription medications that offer pain relief to these symptoms. Heres a long list of treatments:

Recommended Reading: How To Treat Shingles Pain

What Specialists Treat Shingles

Primary care physicians, including internal medicine specialists, family medicine specialists and/or specialists in infectious diseases, can appropriately treat some patients. An emergency medicine physician may start the initial care. However, if there is a chance the eye may be involved, an ophthalmologist should be consulted. If a person is pregnant and gets shingles, they should consult with their ob-gyn physician immediately. For long-term or chronic pain involved in postherpetic neuralgia, a neurologist and/or pain specialists may be involved in the care of the patient.

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.

Don’t Miss: Can You Get Shingles From The New Vaccine

Can Shingles Be Prevented

There are 2 vaccines available to reduce the likelihood of developing shingles, Zostavax and Shingrix. If you are over 50, you can talk to your doctor about whether you need it. It is recommended for everyone over 60 and is given free of charge in Australia to people aged 70 to 79.

Vaccination will not guarantee that you will not get shingles, but it will reduce your chance of developing the condition. The vaccine used to protect against shingles is not the same as the vaccine used to protect against chickenpox. Read more about the chickenpox vaccine here.

How To Use Valtrex

Learn about Over-the-Counter (OTC) Pain Medications in 60 Seconds

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.

Read Also: What Does Shingles Look Like Under Your Breast

What Does A Mild Case Of Shingles Look Like

Not everyone with shingles will develop a blistering rash. A mild case of shingles may include a red rash without blisters. The shingles rash and blisters are distinct characteristics of the illness. Mild cases of shingles do not usually cause headaches, fever, or fatigue.

Whether mild or severe, pain is the most common symptom of shingles. Most people describe a deep burning, throbbing, or stabbing sensation. The pain usually subsides within 30 days.

Symptoms Of Internal Shingles

Internal shingle symptoms depend on which bodily system and nerves are affected by the virus. The distinguishing factor between the primary type of shingles and internal shingles is that the rash isnt present in internal shingles.

People with internal shingles may experience general symptoms of shingles, including:

  • Pain or sensitivity in a specific area

Don’t Miss: What Can You Use To Stop The Itching Of Shingles

Antidepressants May Offer Surprising Relief

Antidepressants may have been invented for depression, but they are also known to modulate peripheral nerves, Dr. Auwaerter says, thereby dulling PHN pain. Your physician may suggest Pamelor or Aventyl or Elavil . Dr. Auwaerter adds that these medications can sometimes cause side effects like fatigue and sluggishnessthough PHN patients usually only need a low dose, which is unlikely to cause major adverse effects.

Best Treatments For Lasting Shingles Pain

Shingles symptoms and treatments over the counter(otc)

Postherpetic Neuralgia Pain: What Works, What Doesnt

Doctors call it postherpetic neuralgia or PHN. Its caused by nerve damage left behind by a case of shingles. Shingles itself comes from reactivation of a chickenpox virus, varicella zoster. The virus travels down nerve fibers to cause a painful skin rash.

When the rash goes away, the pain usually goes with it. But for 12% to 15% of people the pain remains. If your shingles pain lasts eight to 12 weeks after the rash goes away, youre part of an unfortunate minority, says pain researcher Andrew S.C. Rice, MD, of Imperial College, London.

Among people with PHN, some have their pain resolve in the first year to 18 months after the shingles rash goes away, Rice tells WebMD. But if they have pain longer than that, it is not going to go away on its own. In either case, a person must deal with the pain.

Read Also: What Works For Shingles Pain

Don’t Miss: How Many Doses Of The Shingles Vaccine Are Needed

What Are Common Side Effects Of Shingles Medication

Gastrointestinal side effects are common across shingles medications. These include nausea, diarrhea, upset stomach, and vomiting. Its important to stay hydrated while taking medications that cause these side effects, as dehydration could be more dangerous than the virus itself.

This is not a full list of side effects. Ask a healthcare professional, such as your physician or pharmacist, for more details regarding the possible side effects of your particular medication.

Terrasil Shingles Treatment Cream

Terrasil shingles cream may provide relief from itchy and painful shingles rashes.

It contains all-natural ingredients that may appeal to people looking to avoid putting synthetic chemicals on their skin. In addition to cottonseed oil and beeswax, it contains activated minerals.

There are claims the minerals can help clear the skin, but there is no evidence of this. Of nearly 1,700 users on , the product earns a 4.3 out of 5 star rating, with many users indicating that the product works well for them.

Recommended Reading: What Foods Should You Eat When You Have Shingles

Popular Articles
Related news