Tuesday, February 27, 2024

What Medicine Is Prescribed For Shingles

What Drugs Are Prescribed For Shingles

Shingles: What You Should Know | Johns Hopkins Medicine

If postherpetic neuralgia develops, similar medications are used to treat PHN pain.

While it may seem strange for your doctor to prescribe drugs for shingles that are commonly used to treat depression and prevent seizures, shingles is at root a nerve disorder, and these drugs work in different ways to calm overactive nerves.

Antiepileptics in general are thought to reduce the ability of the neurons to fire at high frequency, says Sangeetha Kodoth, MD, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy Specialists of Knoxville in Tennessee.

Its believed that tricyclic antidepressants an older class of antidepressants work by increasing the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, which then modify pain response.

Antibacterial agents may also be prescribed if a bacterial infection occurs with the shingles rash.

Before taking any medication for shingles, be sure to talk to your doctor about possible side effects.

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Topicals Are Not A Substitute For Medical Treatment

Topical products can help you manage your symptoms. But they arent a substitute for proper medical treatment.

Its important to visit your doctor if youre dealing with shingles. Your doctor can prescribe antiviral drugs and other medications that can shorten the duration of your infection and help you avoid severe complications.

The following creams may be able to help you manage shingles symptoms.

Shingles On Your Buttocks

You can get a shingles rash on your buttocks. Shingles usually only affects one side of your body, so you may have a rash on one buttock but not the other.

As with other areas of the body, shingles on your buttocks may cause initial symptoms like tingling, itching, or pain.

After a few days, a red rash or blisters may develop. Some people experience pain but dont develop a rash.

. After the varicella-zoster virus initially reactivates, your skin may:

Shingles usually develops on one side of your body, often on your waist, back, or chest.

Within about 5 days, you may see a red rash in that area. Small groups of oozing, fluid-filled blisters may appear a few days later in the same area. You may experience flu-like symptoms such as a fever, headache, or fatigue.

During the next 10 days or so, the blisters will dry up and form scabs. The scabs will clear after a couple of weeks. After the scabs clear, some people continue to experience pain. This is called postherpetic neuralgia.

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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?

What Brings On An Attack Of Shingles

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Its difficult to predict when a shingles episode might happen again. However, there are some risk factors you should consider.

  • Unhealthy lifestyle
  • Acute on chronic stress

The first risk factor is age. If you are above the age of 50, ask your doctor about the shingles vaccine. In addition to being an effective shingles treatment, this vaccine is used to prevent shingles.

The second risk factor of shingles is immunity. If your immune system is weakened by illness or medication, you are at risk for contracting shingles or experiencing another shingles episode. Fortunately, you can naturally strengthen your immune system with the right diet and vitamins.

Citrus fruits, green vegetables, organic meat, eggs, whole grains, and dairy products are all part of a healthy diet. You should avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates, saturated fat, and arginine-rich foods, like nuts and seeds.

Additionally, take a multivitamin that includes vitamin A, B-12, C, and E. The amino acid lysine is also protective against infection. Many people over the age of 60 are deficient in zinc, selenium, and vitamin D. You may need to incorporate these supplements into your daily routine as well. Ask your healthcare provider for recommendations as to which vitamins and supplements you need.

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Treat Your Body And Mind

You can get worn down mentally when youâre in constant pain. Stress can make it seem even worse. Self-care starts with treating your rash, but donât stop there. Your mind and emotional state need to be cared for as well.

5. Stick with good habits: Your bodyâs working hard to fight the varicella-zoster virus that causes shingles. To give it the right support, you can:

  • Eat nutritious food and have regular meals. Ask someone to make a run to the grocery store for fresh fruit and such if youâre not up for it.
  • Try to get a good nightâs sleep and rest anytime you need to.
  • Do gentle exercises, such as walking or stretching. Light activity can help take your mind off the pain. Keep it simple though, and check with your doctor if youâre trying something new.

6. Distract yourself: Sometimes, the best thing you can do is to put your focus elsewhere. Here are a few things to try:

Lidocaine Cream And Patches

2017 study suggests that its one of the best-tolerated treatments for PHN.

PHN is a complication of shingles characterized by long-term nerve pain after your rash disappears. The CDC says that about 10 to 18 percent of people experience PHN after shingles.

Lidocaine is often administered in patches. The study linked above notes that up to 3 patches can be applied in a 12-hour window.

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Can I Give Shingles To Others

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.

What Is The Best Medication For Shingles

Shingles: Signs, Symptoms and Treatment with Dr. Mark Shalauta | San Diego Health

Your healthcare provider will determine the best medication for your case of shingles based on your symptoms, medical history, and response to shingles treatment. Heres an overview of the popular shingles medications that your doctor may prescribe.

Best medication for shingles
One 0.65 ml injection in the upper arm Irritation of the injection site or chickenpox-like rash near the injection site or headache

Dosage is determined by your healthcare provider based on your medical condition, response to treatment, age, and weight.

Other possible side effects exist. This is not a complete list.

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Study Assesses Relief Options Against Shingles Pain

  • Study Assesses Relief Options Against Shingles Pain

The painkiller oxycodone is effective at treating the acute pain of shingles, an illness that often causes severe pain which can become long-lasting and sometimes even permanent.

The study, published in the April issue of the journal Pain, is one of the first to carefully evaluate different methods to relieve pain during a course of shingles, which many patients say causes the worst pain they have ever experienced. Effective pain treatment is crucial. Not only can the pain of shingles disrupt peoples quality of life, but it is also possible that the less effectively the pain is treated, the more likely it will become a long-term problem that can change a persons life forever.

Shingles is caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, the same bug that causes chicken pox, and only people who have had chicken pox are vulnerable to shingles. About 20 to 30 percent of people will get shingles at some point in their lives the odds climb to 50 percent for people who live to the age of 85.

For most patients, the first symptom of the infection is pain, quickly followed by a rash where the pain first appeared. The rash appears most often on one side of the chest or face, oftentimes causing dozens of small pimple-sized lesions. Some patients also get flu-like symptoms like a headache and lethargy. The illness usually lasts about three or four weeks.

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.

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What Everyone Should Know About The Shingles Vaccine

Shingles vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication from shingles.

CDC recommends that adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Adults 19 years and older who have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix, as they have a higher risk of getting shingles and related complications.

Your doctor or pharmacist can give you Shingrix as a shot in your upper arm.

Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and PHN. In adults 50 years and older who have healthy immune systems, Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Immunity stays strong for at least the first 7 years after vaccination. In adults with weakened immune systems, studies show that Shingrix is 68%-91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on the condition that affects the immune system.

Who Should Not Get Shingrix

Naturasil for Shingles

You should not get Shingrix if you:

  • Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a dose of Shingrix.
  • Currently have shingles.
  • Currently are pregnant. Women who are pregnant should wait to get Shingrix.

If you have a minor illness, such as a cold, you may get Shingrix. But if you have a moderate or severe illness, with or without fever, you should usually wait until you recover before getting the vaccine.

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What Are The Vaccines For Shingles

If you are interested in getting a vaccination for shingles, there are two options: Zostavax and Shingrix. Zostavax is generally for people over the age of 60 and lasts only about five years in the body. It is a single shot of a live virus, and it is usually administered in the arm.

Shingrix is the newer vaccine, and it is approved for people aged 50 and over, or for those who are younger and have a doctors prescription. This shingles vaccine is made of nonliving material, and it offers protection for more than five years it is given in two doses, six months apart. This vaccine will not guarantee protection from shingles, but it will greatly lessen its severity if the patient does develop the condition.

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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Treatment Of Herpes Zoster

The treatment of herpes zoster has three major objectives: treatment of the acute viral infection, treatment of the acute pain associated with herpes zoster and prevention of postherpetic neuralgia. Antiviral agents, oral corticosteroids and adjunctive individualized pain-management modalities are used to achieve these objectives.

Articles On Shingles Treatment

New treatment for the pain of shingles

The virus that causes chickenpox is also what causes shingles. Itâs called varicella zoster. It can lie quietly in your nerves for decades after causing chickenpox but suddenly wake up and become active.

The main symptom of shingles is a painful rash that comes up on one side of your body or face. See your doctor as soon as you can if you think you might have this condition.

Your doctor may want to put you on medications to control your infection and speed up healing, cut inflammation, and ease your pain. They include:

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How Long Does Shingles Last

The shingles virus lasts a lifetime. However, it may remain inactive for many years at a time. A shingles attack or episode may last between two and four weeks. Here is an average timeline:

  • Pain begins on a specific area of one side of the body or face.
  • A red, blotchy rash appears within five days.
  • The rash blisters. These blisters may merge and form a solid band of inflammation.
  • New blisters may form throughout a weeks time.
  • Blisters will eventually dry and scab after seven to 10 days. Minor scarring is possible.
  • 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.

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    Is Shingles Contagious

    Shingles is not contagious but is the reactivation of a virus already present in the body.

    However, a person with shingles can give chickenpox to someone who has never had the VZV infection before.

    Therefore, people with shingles should avoid contact with those who have never had chickenpox until their rash has completely healed. To catch the virus, someone must have direct contact with the rash.

    To avoid spreading VZV, people with shingles should:

    • Avoid close contact with people who have never had chickenpox or been vaccinated for chickenpox.
    • Avoid close contact with low birth-weight infants and people with a compromised immune system, such as those on HIV medication or who have had an organ transplant.
    • Keep the rash covered with loose, natural clothing to avoid others coming into contact with it.
    • Wash their hands frequently, especially after touching the rash or applying lotions to the skin.

    There is a vaccination available to reduce the risk of developing shingles and experiencing long-term complications, such as PHN.

    The recommends that adults aged 50 years and older have two doses of the Shingrex vaccination over a 2-6 month period. It is believed to be more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN.

    People who have already had shingles can have the vaccine to prevent future occurrences.

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    Can I Prevent Shingles

    The Shingles Formula

    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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