Prevention & Treatment
Español: Prevención y tratamiento
Half of persons living until age 85 years will develop shingles.
The only way to reduce the risk of developing shingles and the long-term pain from post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN) is to get vaccinated. CDC recommends that people aged 60 years and older get one dose of shingles vaccine. Shingles vaccine is available in pharmacies and doctor’s offices. Talk with your healthcare professional if you have questions about shingles vaccination.
For more information about preventing shingles, visit the Vaccination page.
Several antiviral medicines—acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir—are available to treat shingles and shorten the length and severity of illness. People with shingles should start taking these medicines as soon as possible after the rash appears to be the most effective. People who have, or think they might have, shingles should call their healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss treatment options.
Analgesics (pain medicine) may help relieve the pain caused by shingles. Wet compresses, calamine lotion, and colloidal oatmeal baths may help relieve some of the itching.
Also see Shingles Transmission
- Page last reviewed: October 17, 2017
- Page last updated: October 17, 2017
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