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Medications for Shingles

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by Carson-DeWitt R
The information provided here is meant to give you a general idea about each of the medicines listed below. Only the most general side effects are included, so ask your doctor if you need to take any special precautions. Use each of these medications as recommended by your doctor or according to the instructions provided. If you have further questions about usage or side effects, contact your doctor.
There are no medicines available to cure shingles. There are medicines that can shorten the duration of the illness, reduce your risk of developing complications, and relieve some of your discomfort.
If you develop post-herpetic neuralgia with severe pain, your doctor may prescribe medicines that are used for chronic pain conditions.

Prescription Medications

  • Acyclovir (Zovirax)
  • Valacyclovir (Valtrex)
  • Famciclovir (Famvir)
  • Prednisone
  • Prednisolone

Over the Counter Medications

  • Acetaminophen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Antipruritics
    • Diphenhydramine
    • Caladryl
  • Antibiotic ointment
    • Polysporin
    • Neosporin
  • Capsaicin cream
    • Zostrix


Shingles (herpes zoster). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Updated January 10, 2011. Accessed May 30, 2013.

Zoster. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated May 20, 2013. Accessed May 30, 2013.


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