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Shingles and Antibiotics

Shingles and Antibiotics

Thanks to many of the advances in modern science and medicine, researchers have developed antibiotics which significantly help people suffering from a case of shingles. Although there are a variety of antibiotics that may be prescribed by a doctor to someone suffering from shingles, they all perform the same basic functions.

Many doctors prefer to prescribe an antibiotic to their patients with shingles. These antibiotics are designed to not only ease the pain and irritation of the shingles rash, but also to decrease the duration that the rash lasts. Antibiotics for shingles include Zovirax, Valtrex and Famvir. Regardless of which antibiotic your doctor chooses to prescribe to you, the key element is that you begin the antibiotic in the early stages of shingles. It has been proven in several different studies that these antibiotics are most effective when taken within three days of the initial symptoms of shingles. By beginning an antibiotic at this stage of shingles, you can ensure that it has the maximum effect on reducing irritation and duration.

Although some doctors choose to prescribe antibiotics to their patients with shingles, other doctors choose to only treat the symptoms of pain. In these cases, a doctor will recommend a common pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil. The use of pain medications may be necessary for some patients even after the rash phase of shingles has ended. There are a percentage of shingles sufferers who experience post herpetic neuralgia, also known as PHN for short. PHN is basically a persistent pain that continues to occur even after the physical signs of shingles disappear. However, it is important to note that some doctors may prescribe an additional antibiotic to treat the symptoms of PHN.

In addition to pain medications and antibiotics, researchers are currently pursuing other forms of treatment. One of the more promising advances in the field of shingles treatment has been a vaccine to prevent occurrences of shingles. Although there has been a chickenpox vaccine for several years, researchers have not developed a completely effective shingles vaccine. However, several months ago, the FDA approved a shingles vaccine which is currently being used in high risk patients. Over the next few years, it is expected that this vaccine will be used in an increasing amount of the general population. Thanks to extensive research and development, people are being presented with a steadily increasing amount of treatment options for cases of shingles.

Please remember the advice and information in this article isn’t meant nor intended to replace professional medical advice. If you think you may be suffering from shingles, you should speak to a doctor or special care practitioner as soon as possible and try to limit your contact with those around you until you know whether or not you have shingles.

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