Shingles (Herpes zoster) Treatment
There is no cure for shingles , but treatment may shorten the length of illness and prevent complications. Treatment options include:
- Antiviral medications, sometimes in combination with corticosteroids , to reduce the pain and duration of shingles.
- Pain medications, antidepressants, and topical creams to relieve long-term pain.
Doctors typically prescribe oral antiviral medication valacyclovir (Valtrex) to treat shingles — preferably beginning within 48 to 72 hours of the first sign of the shingles rash. Sometimes, antiviral medications are combined with corticosteroids to reduce swelling and pain.