An Overview of Shingle Medications


Shingles is a type of viral infection that causes highly painful rashes. They may occur anywhere on your body. Generally speaking, you can find them as a single stripe of blisters, and they wrap around the right or left side of the torso. The virus that causes shingles is known as varicella zoster, and you need to start taking treatment at the early stage to make the recovery truly effective. It is always advisable to choose the best shingles medication to enjoy the best results.

Diagnosis of shingles
This problem is often diagnosed on the basis of the history of pain experienced on the one side of your body, and the telltale rashes and blisters are taken into consideration. Tissue scraping may also be done, and, on certain occasions, blister culture is also performed laboratory.

Early treatment is better
Effective shingle treatment reduces the symptoms, and the condition improves within a period of two to four weeks. Seeking the help of your doctor is always advisable when you start experiencing the symptoms of shingles. Early treatment lowers the severity of the problem. Moreover, it reduces the risk of potential health complications.

Self-care options for shingles
You can come across a good number of ways to reduce the symptoms. The first thing you must do is to maintain the rash clean and dry. This will help protect you against the risk of the rash getting infected with bacteria. It is a good practice to wear loose clothes so that you can stay comfortable. If you use topical antibiotics or apply adhesives like plasters, the healing process becomes slower. You can use a dressing that does not stick to the rash, and it can be done to cover the blisters. A calamine lotion is not a bad option because it induces a cooling and soothing effect on the skin. This method also helps you get rid of the itching tendency. If you are suffering from weeping blisters, using a cool compress like a cloth cooled using tap water. Such a method is a good option as it can be done several times in a day for soothing the skin and maintaining the blisters clean. The compress has to be used only for 20 minutes and you must take out the compress once the blisters stop oozing.

When to stay away from school or work?
Under normal circumstances, you can carry on with your daily schedule with shingles. Staying away from work or keeping your child away from school is needed only when the rash starts oozing fluid and you do not have any options to cover. If your child is infected with shingles and not feeling well, you can keep him/her away from the school. The same thing applies to the case of an adult as well.

Antiviral medications for shingles
If you experience pain, painkillers are always advised. In addition to the painkillers, doctors prescribe a course of antiviral tablets for some people and the course lasts for seven days. Some of the popular shingles medications are Famciclovir, Valaciclovir, and Aciclovir. These types of shingles medications do not destroy the virus, but they are capable of preventing the multiplying process of the virus. Other benefits of these shingles medications include lowering severity and reducing the period of shingle attacks. Antiviral shingles medications also control the complications involved with shingles, including postherpetic neuralgia, and they offer the best results when you take them within 72 hours of the appearance of the rash. The most common advice is that you need to take these shingles medications as early as possible.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
The most common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is ibuprofen, and it is available even without a prescription. These medications should not be taken if you are suffering from stomach problems, liver diseases, and asthma. The doctors never recommend this to pregnant women.

If you are dealing with severe pain due to shingles, your doctor may recommend opioid medications like codeine or morphine. It can be described as a more powerful painkiller. In cases of severe pain, they can be taken along with painkillers such as paracetamol.

Doctors prescribe antidepressants when the pain and other discomforts become unbearable and they relieve the nerve pain effectively. One of the most popular antidepressants is called tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and lower doses of these medications are preferred to avoid unwanted health problems.

Doctors may prescribe anticonvulsants on rare occasions because they are extremely useful in relieving nerve pain. The most common anticonvulsants are Gabapentin and Pregabalin. Injections are sometimes taken to offer immediate relief and doctors always advocate injections containing corticosteroids and local anesthetics. If you take the best shingles medication, you can control the symptoms. This problem usually lasts 2 to 6 weeks and effective treatment options speed up the recovery process to offer immediate relief.