Shingles and Pregnancy (cont.)
In this Article
- What are the symptoms of shingles, and how is shingles diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for shingles during pregnancy?
- Can shingles be prevented?
- What are shingles complications during pregnancy?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
Shingles Treatment During Pregnancy
Treatments exist that can lessen the severity of shingles and reduce the risk of postherpetic neuralgia. These include the antiviral drugs acyclovir (Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir), and valacyclovir (Valtrex).
If you believe you have shingles, it's important to see your doctor right away because you must begin one of these medications within a few days of a shingles outbreak for best results. If your doctor prescribes an antiviral medication, it's important to take it exactly as directed. Most are taken once daily for several days. When taken as directed, these drugs should be safe during pregnancy.
In addition to the medications your doctor prescribes, there are over-the-counter (OTC) medications and self-help measures that are helpful for relieving shingles pain and itching and preventing infection. These include:
- Cold compresses and cool baths to relieve blisters.
- Loose clothing and clean gauze coverings over affected areas to hasten healing of blisters and prevent infection.
- Antihistamines (particularly Benadryl), oatmeal baths, and calamine lotion to reduce itching.
- The OTC painkiller acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis (KT), and naproxen (Aleve) to relieve pain.
Learn more about: Orudis
Before taking any OTC medication, it's important to speak with your doctor. Pregnant women should not take NSAIDs late in pregnancy.
Viewers share their comments
Find out what women really need.