Thanks for staying Online.
I can understand your concern.
Well, Shingles is caused by a virus called the Varicella zoster virus.
If treatment is started within 72 hours of the appearance of the rash, then it can reduce the severity and duration of the rash, also it can reduce the complications.
Shingles develops in 3 stages, these are-
1. Prodromal stage (it occurs before the rash appears)- Symptoms in this stage are- Pain, burning, tickling, tingling, numbness occurs in the affected areas around nerves , this can last for several days or weeks before a rash appears.
2. Active stage- Here a band, strip, or small area of rash appears.Then Blisters will form. At this time, pain is severe in nature. Usually rash will heals in about 2 to 4 weeks.
3. Postherpetic neuralgia (chronic pain stage)- This can be complication of shingles. It occurs primarily in people over the age of 50 and affects 10%-15% of people with shingles.
If treatment is started within 72 hours then it can reduce the severity and duration of the symptoms, also it can reduce the complications.
The line of treatment is- anti-viral drugs along with painkiller and corticosteroids.
Common anti-viral drugs are-
If pain is severe, then doctor advise for-
-Anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin
-Tricyclic antidepressants like amitriptyline.
-Also Numbing agents, such as lidocaine, can be very helpful.
In few cases, even when the rash/ bumps of shingles is gone after month, patient get pain as a result of irritation of the nerves of sensation by the virus.It is called as postherpetic neuralgia.
It is treated with Tricyclic antidepressant medications like- (amitriptyline [Elavil], as well as antiseizure medications (gabapentin [Neurontin], carbamazepine [Tegretol], pregabalin [Lyrica]
Also Lidocaine pain patches (Lidoderm) can be used.
Please consult your doctor and get these prescription medications. Your doctor can only prescribe these medications. So, please start with your doctor.
Hope this helped
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