Shingles could affect people of all ages, not just the elderly. The primary goal in the care of shingles is the reduction of pain and avoidance of further complications. If you do get shingles, make contact with your health care provider as soon as possible to discuss care with antiviral medications. It is particularly necessary that any individual with low immunity receives treatment for shingles promptly. Patients whose immune systems are injured by chemotherapy, radiation, or other medical treatments are at even greater likelihood of developing shingles. Individuals going through from shingles suffer painful eruptions of blister-like substances, that may be recurring without treatment. The best hope for shortening the period of pain following shingles is early diagnosis and care with antiviral medications. Early diagnosis and treatment of shingles is particularly fundamental for adults over 50. Early care of shingles is necessary, because the possible complications can be extensive and resistant to treatment. The likelihood of developing shingles is greater among persons who have conditions or are undergoing medical treatments that weaken their immune systems. As soon as you are diagnosed with shingles, your health professional likely will initiate treatment with antiviral medications. Doctors recommend antiviral drugs, steroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and topical agents to treat shingles. Sometimes, early treatment may limit the length of the shingles outbreak, but doesn't consistently guarantee a quick recovery.
AMP (adenosine monophosphate) has been studied as a potential treatment for earliest shingles symptoms as well as for preventing PHN. Yet, this was a very preliminary study, and a greater amount of evidence is needed before AMP can be judged to be a proven treatment for shingles.
With or without shingles treatment, most cases of shingles heal during a few weeks or months. Given that there is no approved specific treatment for shingles, a good amount of of promising approaches under study may prove helpful. The National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke ( NINDS ) conducts and supports a program of research aimed at developing current treatments for and precluding the painful conditions of shingles. Basically, the older you might be, the additional risk of severe shingles or complications developing, the more you are anticipated to benefit from treatment. Sometimes, the pain of shingles may persist, and more care may be necessary. The best source of treatment information is a local physician who is familiar with the care of shingles. Various treatments can help lessen the time period of time you have shingles and/or curb the discomfort. Often the same treatment given to burn victims relieves the pain of shingles, along with over-the-counter moist burn pads. A need exists for a treatment capable of attacking shingles in an effective manner.
Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)
Capsaicin ointment (containing less than 1 percent of the active ingredient) is a currently available treatment for the pain of shingles, particularly postherpetic neuralgia. Scientists have not found a treatment that prevents all patients with shingles from developing PHN. If you suffer PHN, the most critical thing for you to do is to seek treatment for postherpetic neuralgia right away after the shingles rash clears up. The probability for a successful consequence are much greater when treatment is begun within the duration of 30 days of the disappearance of the shingles rash. The need exists for a treatment capable of mitigating the unpleasent conditions after the original outbreak of shingles, such as Postherpetic Neuralgia. The risk of PHN is highest in people who have not attained antiviral and pain relief treatment for shingles.
All immune weakened patients with shingles need prompt treatment with an anti-viral agent. Commencing oral treatment within 72 hours of the onset of shingles should minimize pain and lessen the course of the outbreak. The main treatment for shingles is antiviral medication including:
- acyclovir (Zovirax)
- famciclovir (Famvir)
- valacyclovir (Valtrex)
The severity and extent of an attack of shingles can be considerably lessened by immediate care with these three antiviral drugs. For the treatment of shingles, the efficacy of famciclovir is likely similar to that of acyclovir.
Patients on acyclovir (Zovirax®) should start treatment within 72 hours of the onset of the shingles rash. The approved dose of acyclovir for the treatment of shingles is 800 mg five times/day for seven to 10 days. Valtrex is another antiviral agent widely used in the treatment of herpes zoster (shingles) and genital herpes. Labeled dosing of Valtrex for the treatment of shingles is two 500 mg caplets three times daily for seven days. Famvir and Valtrex are second-generation oral and intravenous antiviral prescription drugs for the treatment of genital herpes, chicken pox and shingles. Structurally related to gabapentin, Pregabalin is effective for neuropathic pain characteristic with diabetes and shingles, and for the treatment of epilepsy and seizures. At the current time, foscarnet (Foscavir®) is the most prevalent treatment for acyclovir-resistant shingles. Today's treatments supply a variety of ways to shorten the length of a shingles outbreak and to control the associated pain. Zostavax is not a treatment for shingles or postherpetic neuralgia, but rather a vaccine. Just recently, FermaVir's proprietary shingles treatment compound FV-100 (in FDA review) is thought to be 10,000 times more potent than presently approved shingles drug treatments. All these drugs can decrease the severity and duration of a shingles attack, especially if treatment is right away.
A few organic all-natural treatments have the demonstrated ability to inactivate and safely destroy the shingles virus, as supported by published medical reports. Plant extract-based natural shingles treatments have no side effects. Eastern medicine employs a quantity of hands-on methods in the treatment of shingles. There are a small amount of more than likely useful natural topical treatments obtainable.
There is not a single treatment that gives 100 percent alleviation of all shingles symptoms. Although there is no cure, antibiotic treatment for shingles can help reduce pain and discomfort and speed healing of the blisters and rash. Once shingles develop, treatment of shingles with antibiotics provides varying degrees of benefit. Recent studies wonder about the effectiveness of steroids in relieving shingles and indicate stopping any treatment with steroids. Some promising recent vaccines are now becoming available, for instance Zostavax, yet it's not a treatment for shingles or for post-shingles pain, and it will not protect everyone against the disease.
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