Q:

What gives pain relief from shingles?

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Quick Answer

Acetaminophen, aspirin and ibuprofen are commonly recommended to minimize the pain associated with a shingles outbreak, according to WebMD. In some cases, ongoing pain medication may be needed to manage pain for months or even years following a severe outbreak. Topical anesthetics, such as benzocaine can be applied to the skin, or prescription-strength lidocaine patches can be used to ease symptoms.

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Full Answer

Opioids such as codeine are prescribed to help manage shingles pain, according to WebMD. A natural solution, capsaicin cream, has also been shown effective in managing pain. However, because it is derived from hot peppers, it can be irritating to some people, and caution should be used in applying the cream to the skin.

Postherpetic neuralgia, or consistent pain following a shingles rash, persists for up to one year following a shingles infection, according to WebMD. In this case, anticonvulsants, antidepressants and opioids are most often prescribed to help manage pain. When antiviral treatment is started within three days of the emergence of a shingles rash, chances of developing on-going pain and complications are minimized. The antiviral medications acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir are most often used to treat shingles patients. Topical antibiotics are also applied to the shingles blisters to prevent infection.

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