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Doctor insights on: Shingles

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Shingles (Herpes Zoster) (Definition)

A painful blistering skin rash caused by the chickenpox virus (varicella zoster). Early treatment with antiviral medication (within 72 hours) lowers the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia, which is lingering skin pain after the rash disappears. ...Read more


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Do symptoms of shingles go away quickly?

Do symptoms of shingles go away quickly?

Varies, but get help: Symptoms need to be treated aggressively so they do not last forever. The greater the severity and duration of the rash, the more like you are to have postherpetic neuralgia (phn). Also, the older you are when you have shingles, the more likely you are to have phn. See a board certified pain specialist for help to feel better sooner. Don't accept that you just have to wait for it to "go away.". ...Read more

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What are the beginning signs of shingles?

What are the beginning signs of shingles?

Shingles symptoms: Early symptoms of shingles include headache, sensitivity to light, and flu-like symptoms without a fever. You may then feel itching, tingling, or pain where a band, strip, or small area of rash may appear several days or weeks later. A rash can appear anywhere on the body but will be on only one side of the body, the left or right. The rash will first form blisters, then scab over. ...Read more

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Doctor says I have a mild case of shingles. Pain on saturday then diagnosis on thursday with2 (now 3) bumps on left side. Would I be ok w/o famvir (famciclovir)?

Doctor says I have a mild case of shingles. Pain on saturday then diagnosis on thursday with2 (now 3) bumps on left side. Would I be ok w/o famvir (famciclovir)?

Herpes Zoster: Famvir (famciclovir) is approved for treating herpes zoster (shingles). Whether you take it or not is best addressed w/your doc. However, if you don't take it, you run a greater risk of post-herpetic neuralgia, which is very painful. ...Read more

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I have symptoms similar to the start of shingles (had 30 yrs ago). Have pain only, no visible signs. Can a dr. Diagnose at this stage?

I have symptoms similar to the start of shingles (had 30 yrs ago). Have pain only, no visible signs. Can a dr. Diagnose at this stage?

Maybe...: The rash makes the diagnosis so to speak, but many times pain precedes the actual skin changes. So by letting your doctor know it feels like your previous shingles, they may decide to treat based on lack of evidence of any other process causin that type of pain. ...Read more

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What are shingles?

What are shingles?

WHAT IS SHINGLES: Shingles is an infectious condition caused by varicella virus which causes chicken pox. Once some one has had chicken pox and it clears ou, the virus stays dormant or inactive in your body for years, and then for some reason it becomes activated, comes out and attack the body and attacks the nerves, appears as rash looks like blistrs and can end up causing severe pain after the rash disappears. ...Read more

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I have recurrent shingles, but a normal cbc...What other tests can I have to check for deficits in cell-mediated immunity?

I have recurrent shingles, but a normal cbc...What other tests can I have to check for deficits in cell-mediated immunity?

Unusual: I bet that your diet is lousy. There are many tests for immunity. That is the function of your doc. Get rid of sugar in all its forms because immunity, like everything in the body, depends on cellular energy. The herpes virus attacks-----you must defend. ...Read more

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How do you know if you have shingles?

How do you know if you have shingles?

Shingles Hurts: Shingles is a severe painful rash in one part of the skin and only on one side of the skin. Your physician can diagnose this for you. ...Read more

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Why does the virus that causes shingles become active again in some people?

Interesting: Usually for reasons we don't understand the varicella-zoster virus that causes chicken pox decides to reactivate later on and cause shingles. This usually happens after age 50, likely due to a weakened immune system as we age. Some other possible triggers are trauma, physical or emotional stress. ...Read more

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Could getting shingles mean I have cancer?

50% Shingle Pts. Hav: Having shingles does not mean you have cancer, however shingles are found in cancer patients approximately 50% of the time! Shingles implys a defect in your immune system (you have the herpes zoster virus in your nerve roots causing a localize chicken pox rash). If your immunity is good no rash. Cancer is also a defect in your immunity hence the association. Dr. ...Read more

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What medications treat shingles?

What medications treat shingles?

Steroids, zovrax: Shingles is from activation of dorsal horn varicella zoster. To treat
the patient needs rest and a course of an antiviral medication at the
highest dose permitted by weight of patient. An oral dose of steroids, such as a Medrol (methylprednisolone) dose pack for six days, will decrease inflammation.
It is good to recommend an immunization for people 50 or older who had chicken pox to avoid the disability from shingles. ...Read more

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Is Neurontin (gabapentin) treating shingles pain dangerous to the kidneys for 55 yr. Old man w/chronic renal insufficiency secondary to chemo 14 yrs. Ago for aml?

Is Neurontin (gabapentin) treating shingles pain dangerous to the kidneys for 55 yr. Old man w/chronic renal insufficiency secondary to chemo 14 yrs. Ago for aml?

Potentially yes: Because blood levels can climb quickly as creatinine clearance decreases. This must be taken into account by the prescribing physician so as to avoid toxic build-up of the medication in your body. Best wishes. ...Read more

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What are the best treatments for shingles?

Antivirals: There are several antivirals available in the market - all equally effective against the virus. It is the timing that is critical - within 72 hours of the first symptom to prevent long term consequence of the disease. It would go away on its own even without treatment much like the original infection, chickenpox, did. The difference is you could end up with long term pain or tingling. ...Read more

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Do the medicines cure shingles?

Do the medicines cure shingles?

No: Antiviral medications can help shorten the symptoms of shingles, but do not cure the infection. Shingles vaccine can reduce the risk of getting shingles. ...Read more

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I'm 23 and have shingles. Why would I get shinglesoso young? What medicine can I take to get rid of it? I've had this for a month already.

I'm 23 and have shingles. Why would I get shinglesoso young? What medicine can I take to get rid of it? I've had this for a month already.

Nothing now: Too late to take anything now, you would need Valtrex (valacyclovir) or similar to be started within 48 hours. Are you sure it is shingles, unusual at 23, also shouldn't last this long even without treatment. Get a second opinion. ...Read more

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Do you need to take drugs for the shingles virus or can you let it heal on it's own? Doctor wasn't sure if my rash is shingles, but still gave meds.

Shingles: I'm surprised to find out your doctor was not sure, because Shingles rash and distribution are very unique.
Anyway treating the Shingles with Anti-viral medication decrease the pain and also duration and also the complication afterward including Post-herpetic neuralgia. ...Read more

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How accurate can lyrica (pregabalin) tablet with armotriptyline cure nerve problem and shingles?

How accurate can lyrica (pregabalin) tablet with armotriptyline cure nerve problem and shingles?

Nerve pain: Lyrica (pregabalin) can be very effective for nerve pain.
The mechanism can be to stabilize the nerve from irritability. Once the nerve is slowly stabilized then less burning and shooting type pain will occur. ...Read more

Dr. Heidi Fowler
824 Doctors shared insights

Herpes Zoster (Definition)

Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus, the ...Read more