Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Shingles Over The Counter Medication

Can I Give Shingles To Others

New treatment for the pain of shingles

No one can catch shingles from you. But the virus can be spread to a person who has never had chickenpox. The virus lives in the blisters that shingles causes. It can be spread until the blisters are completely healed. If you have blisters that have not crusted over yet, you should stay away from:

  • Anyone who has never had chickenpox
  • Babies under 12 months old
  • Very sick people

Tell your doctor if you live with children who have not had chickenpox. They may need to be vaccinated.

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

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.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shingles

The initial symptoms of shingles include:

  • a burning, tingling or itching sensation
  • a stabbing sensation
  • numbness in the affected area of the body
  • sensitivity to light
  • fever and/or headache

Two to 3 days after these symptoms appear, a painful rash will appear on the sensitive area of skin, usually on one side of the body in the area of one skin nerve .

At first this rash consists of painful red bumps that quickly develop into fluid-filled blisters, which will eventually have a crusty surface. The rash can last for 10 to 15 days.

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Treating The Pain Of Phn

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 cant make the nerve damage better, but we can treat the disability. And for PHN, pain is one of those disabilities.

What helps? Rices team found good evidence supporting:

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Topical formulations are made with a base and active ingredient, which can be optimized for a particular site on the body, Dr. Mehta says.

This one uses trolamine salicylate, a pain reliever related to aspirin that can help numb minor aches and soreness, including back soreness, according to Harvard Health Publishing. The addition of aloe leaf gel makes for an extra-soothing feel.

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Liquid Dimethyl Sulfoxide And Idoxuridine

Idoxuridine is an antiviral medication approved in Europe for treating shingles.

One 2015 publication suggested frequent application of 5 to 40 percent idoxuridine dissolved in DMSO may speed up the healing time of shingles. However, in the United States, idoxuridine is only FDA-approved to treat keratitis, a herpes simplex virus infection of the cornea of your eye.

Can I Prevent Shingles

There are two shingles vaccines. Shingrix is recommended over the older vaccine, Zostavax, because it is more than 90% effective in preventing a shingles outbreak

Who should get it: The CDC recommends that you get this vaccine if youâre a healthy adult age 50 or older, whether or not you remember having had chickenpox, because most people have been exposed to the virus. If you have had the Zostavax vaccine, you can also have Shingrix.

How many shots do you need? You would need two shots for Shingrix: One at first, with a follow-up in 2 to 6 months.

What it does:Shingrix reduces your chance of getting shingles by more than 90%. Even if you still get shingles, the vaccine may help it be less painful.

I never had chickenpox. Do I still need the shingles vaccine? Yes, you do. Shingrix is recommended for everyone age 50 or older, whether or not you remember having had chickenpox.

If Iâve had shingles, can I still get the vaccine? Yes. It may help prevent you having another bout of shingles later on. If you have shingles right now, you should wait until the rash is gone before you get vaccinated.

Donât get the Shingrix vaccine if you:

  • Are allergic to any of the ingredients
  • Are pregnant or nursing
  • Have tested negative for immunity to the chickenpox virus. Ask your doctor about the chickenpox vaccine instead.
  • Have shingles now

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Do You Always Get The Typical Rash If You Have Shingles

Occasionally, some people dont get a rash. If you have any of the other symptoms of shingles , see your healthcare provider sooner rather than later. There are effective treatments you can take early for shingles. Even if you dont have shingles, seeing your healthcare provider will help you get your condition diagnosed and treated.

What If You Have Shingles Around Or In Your Eye

How to treat shingles

Community Eye Health

If shingles are in the eye, they most often show up inside the eyelid and on the surface or the eyeball, says Rebecca Taylor, MD, an ophthalmologist with Nashville Vision Associates in Tennessee.

On the surface, says Dr. Taylor, they mainly show up on the cornea, which is the clear dome of tissue that covers your iris , and the conjunctiva the clear tissue that covers the whites of your eye and the inside of your eyelid.

If shingles is in these places, she says, youll be prescribed eye drops with steroids to calm the lesions, and lubricating tears for comfort.

If you have had shingles in your eye, says Taylor, your eye doctor will monitor you for 3 to 12 months to make sure that your eye is returning to health and that no new developments have occurred. You may also be encouraged to have a yearly eye exam until otherwise instructed by your eye doctor.

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How Long Does A Shingles Outbreak Last

It can take three to five weeks from the time you begin to feel symptoms until the rash totally disappears.

  • First, a few days before the rash appears, you may feel pain in an area on your skin. The pain is described as itching, burning, stabbing or shooting. This usually happens before the rash comes.
  • Next, the raised rash appears as a band or a patch, usually on one side of your body. The rash usually appears around your waistline or on one side of your face, neck, or on the trunk , but not always. It can occur in other areas including your arms and legs.
  • Within three to four days, the rash develops into red, fluid-filled, painful, open blisters.
  • Usually, these blisters begin to dry out and crust over within about 10 days.
  • The scabs clear up about two to three weeks later.
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    This smooth, non-greasy lubricant doesnt contain any active pain-relieving ingredients. Instead, its designed to act as a friction-reducer for massages â another tactic for soothing tight, overworked muscles.

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    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

    How Is Shingles Diagnosed

    Natural Shingles Treatment and Relief Cream

    Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or urgent care facility if you experience any symptoms of shingles . You may require immediate medical attention if shingles develops in the eye, if it is widespread across the body, if youre 60 years old or older, or if you have a weakened immune system from another chronic illness. Consider contacting an ophthalmologist for urgent care as you may be able to get an appointment sooner.

    Your primary care provider can diagnose shingles. However, if symptoms appear in the eye, then you might need to see an ophthalmologist.

    Shingles can usually be diagnosed with a simple physical exam, as symptoms are usually distinctive. However, if your symptoms are atypical, your doctor may send a tissue scraping or culture from the blisters to the lab for testing. Blood, cerebrospinal fluid, or saliva tests may be necessary if you have nerve pain without a skin rash.

    Your healthcare provider may also ask the following questions to help confirm the diagnosis:

    • Have you had chickenpox before?
    • Are you over the age of 60?
    • Have you had the shingles vaccine?
    • Are you stressed?
    • Do you have a chronic illness or are you taking medications that could weaken your immune system?

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    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.

    Whats The Difference Between Cream Lotion And Ointment

    Ointments, lotions, and creams are three types of substances you can apply to your skin to help manage shingles.

    These topicals are similar, but there are slight differences in their makeup. The primary difference is the amount of water and oil they contain.

    According to this 2016 primer, creams are made up of about equal parts oil and water and often have moisturizing properties. Theyre thicker than lotions but thinner than ointments.

    Lotions are similar to creams, but they are made up mostly of water. They have less oil and have a thinner consistency. Because theyre thinner, your skin absorbs them more quickly. Some lotions are oil-free.

    Ointments are the thickest of the three. They are made to stay on top of your skin instead of being absorbed immediately. Ointments are made up of at least 80 percent oil.

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    Preventing The Virus Spreading

    If you have the shingles rash, do not share towels or flannels, go swimming, or play contact sports. This will help prevent the virus being passed on to someone who has not had chickenpox.

    You should also avoid work or school if your rash is weeping and cannot be covered.

    Chickenpox can be particularly dangerous for certain groups of people. If you have shingles, avoid:

    • women who are pregnant and have not had chickenpox before as they could catch it from you, which may harm their unborn baby
    • people who have a weak immune system, such as someone with HIV or AIDS
    • babies less than one month old, unless it is your own baby, in which case your baby should have antibodies to protect them from the virus

    Once your blisters have dried and scabbed over, you are no longer contagious and will not need to avoid anyone.

    Which Antiviral Medication Is Best For Shingles

    Shingles

    The antiviral medications used to treat shingles are , , and . They are all effective at helping shingles rashes crust over and heal, and they help reduce pain as you are healing.

    In head-to-head studies, a 7-day course of valacyclovir worked faster than a 7-day course of acyclovir at reducing pain. Famciclovir is equivalent to valacyclovir for healing shingles rashes and reducing pain from them. Acyclovir needs to be taken 5 times a day, while Famciclovir and valacyclovir both need to be taken 3 times a day.

    Its worth noting that these antiviral medications dont prevent postherpetic neuralgia, which can happen to some people with shingles. And antiviral ointments like Zovirax will do nothing for the rash from shingles.

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    Can You Still Develop Shingles If Youve Been Vaccinated For Chickenpox

    Yes. Despite being vaccinated for chickenpox, you can still get shingles. No vaccine is 100% protective, and the effectiveness of vaccines lessens with time. However, people who get the chickenpox vaccine are significantly less likely to develop shingles later in life compared with people who never received the chickenpox vaccine. One recent 12-year study found that the number of shingles cases was 72% lower in children who had received the chickenpox vaccine compared with those who didnt.

    Spinal Cord Or Peripheral Nerve Stimulation

    These are often used to treat several different types of neuropathic pain. Electrodes are placed underneath the skin along the affected peripheral nerves. Before using this technique, doctors will do a test using a wire electrode to get a sense of how the patient will respond.

    After the electrodes have been placed above the peripheral nerve, a weak electrical current is sent to the nerve. By stimulating a sensory pathway that doesnt cause pain, experts believe that this electrical signal to the brain can trick the brain into turning off the painful signal, bringing relief to the patient.

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    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.

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    How Is Shingles Treated

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    There is no cure for shingles, but antiviral medicine may relieve the symptoms and help prevent complications. See your doctor for a prescription of antiviral medicines as soon as possible after symptoms develop. Treatment should be started within 3 days of the shingles rash appearing.

    If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about whether antivirals are right for you.

    Over-the counter medicines, such as paracetamol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, can be used for pain relief. If over-the-counter medicines are not controlling your pain, your doctor may prescribe other medicines.

    There are several things you can do to help manage the condition. They include the following.

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    Is Diclofenac Safe For Elderly

    Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of diclofenac in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney or stomach problems, which may require caution for patients receiving diclofenac.

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    Treatment For Shingles Rash And Pain

    Medications and lifestyle changes can provide relief.

    Despite the availability of a highly effective vaccine, an estimated 1 million Americans develop shingles each year.1 Early diagnosis and treatment are key to limiting the severity of the outbreak as well as its associated complications, including nerve damage. There are also simple at-home remedies that can help patients stay as comfortable as possible.

    Antiviral medications should be started within 72 hours of the first shingles symptoms. The three antivirals most often prescribed are acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir. They help the shingles rash crust over, dry up, and heal, shortening the course of the infection.

    Pain is a major factor with shingles. Patients can consult with their health care provider on over-the-counter and prescription options to manage it. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen can be effective, while prescription glucocorticoids such as prednisone can help with more aggressive pain. Short-term usage of opioid pain medicationlike oxycodone or hydrocodone/acetaminophen is reserved for the highest levels of pain.

    Shingles typically lasts between 2 and 6 weeks patients are usually confined to their home for the duration both for their own comfort and to prevent spreading the virus to others. There are a number of simple steps they can take to promote healing and increase their comfort level.

    References

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