Antibiotics For Shingles Treatment

Shingles is a very common and very unpleasant condition that can cause a sufferer a great deal of pain and irritation. The virus is caused by herpes varicella-zoster which also causes chickenpox and remains dormant in the nervous system as a result of a chickenpox outbreak. Herpes varicella-zoster is reactivated when the immune system is in a weakened state; this could be as a result of stress, poor nutrition, medication which is designed to supress the immune system or, in the majority of cases, old age. There is no cure for the shingles virus although medication can be given to help with the symptoms and shorten the lifespan; antibiotics for shingles treatment play in big part in helping sufferers cope with the virus.

What kinds of antibiotics are used for shingles treatment?

As a person begins to develop shingles they will generally suffer from sensitivity in the affected area such as a tingling or burning, they may also find that they are un-well and feel a sense of exhaustion and muscle pain. After several days a rash a red spots will appear, usually in a band running along the route of the affected area. These spots will quickly turn to blisters containing a fluid; blisters can be extremely painful and last around 5-7 days before drying out and scabbing over.

The first line of treatment prescribed by a GP will be the use of antiviral medication; these antibiotics are beneficial for reducing the severity of the condition and when prescribed within the first three days of the rash appearing can lower the risk of complications such as postherpetic neuralgia.

Aciclovir medication for shingles

Aciclovir is the most commonly prescribed amongst antibiotics for shingles treatment. It is an antiviral medication which is taken five times daily and has a proven and much studied history in benefiting shingles patients. Aciclovir can help to stop the virus from multiplying and is particularly beneficial to cases of shingles which affect the eyes and ears.
There are some side effects to this antibiotic which can include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Hives


Valaciclovir is an antiviral which is converted into aciclovir in the liver, its main benefit over aciclovir is that it is only required to be taken three times per day as opposed to five. Valaciclovir is regarded as an excellent choice of antibiotic for decreasing the pain felt as a result of shingles.

Like aciclovir, valaciclovir has side effects, which can include sore throat, nausea, headaches, fatigue and depression.


Famciclovir is the third or the most commonly used antibiotics for shingles treatment. Like valaciclovir, famciclovir is taken three times per day but at a much lower dose. It is seen as an excellent treatment for shingles but like it sister drugs similar to those found in valaciclovir.

Topical antibiotics

Antibiotics creams are also prescribed on rare occasions by GP’s, the creams can be applied directly to the skin to prevent any infection from the blisters and promote healing.




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