Shingles Treatment - Medications
Drugs that fight viruses (antiviral drugs), such as acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), or famciclovir (Famvir), can reduce the severity and duration of the shingles rash if started early (within 72 hours of the appearance of the rash). In addition to antiviral medications, pain medications may be given. Both nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and narcotic pain-control medications may be used for pain management in shingles. Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) may require additional medications such as opioids (for example, oxycodone, morphine) to control pain.
Topical corticosteroids are sometimes used to decrease inflammation and pain, but these should be used only under the supervision of a health care professional since in some patients, corticosteroids may make the condition worse.