Treatment of Shingles - An Overview

The treatment of shingles usually involves the use of oral antiviral medications which help reduce pain, speed up the healing of shingles blisters, and reduce the severity or duration of complications. The medications need to be taken as soon as possible for the treatment of shingles, else the medications do not respond. The treatment of shingles may also involve the use of a combination of antiviral medications with corticosteroids to reduce swelling and pain, in some cases. For severe cases of shingles, pain medications may be prescribed as part of the treatment of shingles. Some of the common antiviral medications used in the treatment of shingles include acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir.

Treatment of shingles mainly depends on factors such as age, overall health, and medical history of the individual. In addition, the treatment of shingles depends on the extent of the disease and the tolerance of the individual for specific medications, procedures, or therapies. Tricyclic antidepressant drugs, such as amitriptyline or certain anticonvulsants such as gabapentin may be prescribed by your physician as part of the treatment of shingles, to lessen your pain. Topical over-the-counter ointments such as capsaicin or skin patches containing the pain-relieving medication lidocaine are also used as part of treatment of shingles. Calamine lotion used as part of treatment of shingles, helps soothe the rash on the skin. Some of the essential oils that can be used for the treatment of shingles include chamomile oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil.

Taking complete bed rest during the early phase of shingles, if fever is present is one of the methods used in the treatment of shingles. Applying cool compresses to the affected skin areas is one of the other methods used in the treatment of shingles. Surgery may have to be performed as part of treatment of shingles, to remove an affected nerve in cases of severe pain not relieved with medication. When shingles does not respond to acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir medicines, foscarnet is used for the treatment of shingles that are acyclovir-resistant. Foscarnet is administered via an intravenous line three times a day, for the treatment of shingles that are acyclovir-resistant.




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