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    Suggest treatment for recurrent shingles infection

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Posted on Thu, 10 Aug 2017 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: I had shingles on my bottom twenty years ago and had an herpes ointment to put on it. I have havin a recurance and lost the medication. Do you have any suggestions. YYYY@YYYY
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 28 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Information

Detailed Answer:
Hello Ms. Whalen,

I have had Shingles too, and I know that they are no fun.

Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the chicken pox virus, and you are correct that it is in the Herpes family of viruses.

If you are having an actual breakout of Shingles, I strongly recommend getting on an oral (not topical) antiviral medicine such as Acyclovir or Valcyclovir. Time is of the essence here, as the sooner you start taking the antiviral, the less pain and complications you will have.

If there is no rash or blisters, just pain, then this could be something called post-herpetic neuralgia, which is pain where you had Shingles in the past but no longer have an actual outbreak. Treatment for that is gabapentin (Neurontin) or amitriptyline (Elavil) in a low dose.

Shingles outbreaks can recur in the place they came out last time, so please do go in to be seen as soon as possible to see if that is what is going on, and get started on an oral antiviral.

Oral antiviral medication is much better at decreasing the symptoms and complications than a topical antiviral will be.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3136 Questions

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