Shingles cannot be cured but the symptoms and infection and transmission can be controlled through treatments like medication and home care. You can speed up the process of healing and decrease the risk of complications that can come from shingles. Your doctor may prescribe you with medications to stop pain and speed up healing.
If you notice symptoms within seventy-two hours of developing them then you can take antiviral medication in order to slow down the process of the shingles rash. You can also take antiviral if you noticed them later than seventy-two hours but they may not be as affective. These medications can also decrease your chance of developing complications. Your doctor may prescribe medication such as:
- Acyclovir (Zovirax)
- Famciclovir (Famvir)
- Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
In order to control and reduce inflammation and pain your doctor may recommend the use of over-the-counter medication in order to relieve discomfort. Taking these painkillers could also prevent postherpetic neuralgia which is a burning pain that people can get one the rash and blisters have gone. These medications include:
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
Your doctor may prescribe other types of medicine in order to combat severe pain after the rash has gone, or if you develop an infection during the shingles outbreak. This medication might include:
- Capasaicin cream — this can give you relief from pain by blocking the pain messages to your nerves. For shingles it can improve inflammation, redness and pain from psoriasis as well as nerve pain.
- Numbing medicine — this can numb the pain of the rash and blisters during shingles. They include lidocaine (Lidoderm, Xylocaine) and can be found in a number of different forms such as creams, lotions, patches, powders, sprays, and others.
- Antibiotics — if bacteria have infected the skin and rashes you might be prescribe antibiotics to help fight off the infection. These medications might include Acyclovir (Zovirax) or Valacyclovir (Valtrex).
- Tricyclic antidepressants — these medications can help with the pain that might come after your skin has heal once shingles has gone. These include drugs such as amitripyline, desipramine (Norpramin), and nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor). These can also reduce depression if you suffer from this too.
- Antihistamine — this can be found over-the-counter and may stop localized itching. These include diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
- Corticosteroid — this is only used for complicated cases of shingles such as those that involve the eyes or ears. It should be used with antiviral medication. The medication used is called prednisone.
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