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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes hearing loss and fatigue while on Acyclovir?

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Dr. Monika Dede

Infectious Diseases Specialist

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 867 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 20 Mar 2017 in Brain and Spine
Question: Hi there. I'm doing this search for my aunt, who's at the end of her rope! She had a nerve block in her neck for pain. Next, a 2nd nerve block caused pain in her ear, and various other complaints. Dr. told her they'd never had a patient with a reaction. After approx. a month, she ended up in the hospital with shingles on the right side of her face, but she was asymptomatic. She was admitted to the hospital because she couldn't keep anything on her stomach. While she was in the hospital, the shingles broke out, but never blistered. She ended up having shingles on right side of her head, in her ear and in her mouth. She has hearing loss in her right ear. That was at the end of Nov. She has taken the shingles drug since then. At this point, she cannot taste ANYthing, she has lost about 15 lbs. (nmow weights 88 lbs.). Some foods burn her mouth, some foods taste very, very salty; and she cannot taste anything at all. Everything tastes "awful," and the smell of things makes her nauseous. Her dr. said if she lost more weight in the next month, she was getting feeding tube. No one has said what caused this; moreover, she keeps being told that it "takes time" for this to right itself. By the way, she's a kidney recipient and has hemochromotosis. Any ideas as to what caused this and how to fix it? Oh, and she's 63; and had the transplant in 2008. This is extremely alarming, but the dr. doesn't seem concerned. Any thoughts?
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Answered by Dr. Monika Dede 8 hours later
Brief Answer:
hello xxxxxxxxx! I have been through your question.

Detailed Answer:
Related your concern I think you should know that acyclovir could cause some side effects like abdominal or stomach pain, loss of appetite,nausea or vomiting,unusual tiredness or weakness and bad taste in mouth like your aunt have.If the person has some symptoms as above mentioned may have a lost weight because of the malnutrition.
According the shingles your aunt have some risk factors to have it like being older than 50, and having other pathology. Shingles isn't a life-threatening condition but can be very painful and it is known that some people experience shingles pain without ever developing the rash (as your aunt have).Shingles located in the face, mouth and neck usually could have some complications like change your sense of taste,pain sensation on mouth,neuralgia postherpetic, hearing and vision loss,neurological problems( depending on which nerves are located, facial paralysis, or hearing or balance problems) that explain the situation of your aunt.
In my experience person that have shingles face with other pathology we hospitalised to take under control because they have high possibility to get complications. Usually we treat them with intravenous acyclovir for 7- 10 days, anti-inflammatory corticosteroids, and pain relievers and anticonvulsivante .
I hope my answer helps you.
I wish your aunt a quick recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
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