- Patient Comments: Ramsay Hunt Syndrome - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Ramsay Hunt Syndrome - Symptoms
- What is Ramsay Hunt syndrome? What causes it?
- What are the symptoms of Ramsay Hunt syndrome?
- How is Ramsay Hunt syndrome diagnosed?
- Is Ramsay Hunt syndrome contagious?
- How does Ramsay Hunt syndrome compare with Bell's palsy?
- How is Ramsay Hunt syndrome treated or prevented?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) for patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome?
- Where can I find more information about Ramsay Hunt syndrome?
How is Ramsay Hunt syndrome treated or prevented?
Treatment consists of antiviral agents (for example, acyclovir, valacyclovir or famciclovir) for about one week, steroids (prednisone), and pain medications. Best results are reported when treatment protocols are started within three days after symptoms appear. Early treatment usually results in a better prognosis (see below). For children, the varicella vaccine can reduce the chance of getting chickenpox from which the syndrome comes (reactivation of the virus). However, once a person gets chickenpox, the person is susceptible to reactivation of the virus and thus can develop shingles and/or Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Fortunately, there is another vaccine, Zostavax, which is helpful in preventing viral reactivation. Consequently, shingles and Ramsay Hunt syndrome can be either prevented or their symptoms reduced if the vaccine is administered. Usually, this vaccine is given to individuals that have had chickenpox as children and are now age 60 or older. The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests the vaccine be routinely given to individuals aged 60 or older, as about 90% of the population has been exposed to chickenpox and about 20% of people that had chickenpox are likely to get shingles without the vaccine.