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Shingles Treatments


Shingles cannot be cured. Treatment is focused on:

  • Easing symptoms
  • Speeding recovery
  • Preventing PHN

Itch and Pain Relief

Itching may be relieved by:

  • Calamine lotion
  • Wet compresses
  • Frequent oatmeal baths

Over-the-counter pain relievers:

Your doctor may prescribe drugs to relieve pain that doesn't respond to over-the-counter remedies.

Antiviral Drugs

Certain antiviral medications may control shingles by changing how the virus reproduces in nerve cells. They include:

Antiviral therapy may shorten a shingles episode. But you must start it within 48-72 hours after symptoms first develop. These medications can reduce the severity and duration of PHN. They are for patients with the highest risk for this condition (ie, over 55).


Your doctor may also prescribe a short course of oral steroid medication (eg, prednisone ) if your immune system is functioning normally.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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