It is estimated that 1 in 4 adults will suffer from Shingles at some time in their lives, and if you had chicken pox as a child (9 out of 10 of us have), then you will be a carrier of the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that causes both shingles and chicken pox.
There is no cure for Shingles, but it is possible to ease the symptoms with antiviral medicines, antidepressants, topical creams, and over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen. Many patients buy Codeine online to relieve the pain caused by shingles, a trusted source for pain relief http://onlinepharmacyinuk.com/product-category/painkillers/codeine/ also combine it with soothing calamine lotion, which can reduce itching and have a cooling effect on the skin. But before you decide which shingles treatment is right for you, your GP needs to diagnose the severity of your infection.
What is Shingles?
Shingles is a viral infection, which affects the nerves and the areas of skin that surround those nerves. Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, a virus that remains dormant in the body after an episode of chickenpox, shingles can appear at any time during adulthood, and usually affects one side of the body with a painful rash that develops into a stripe of blisters.
Shingles generally lasts from 2 – 6 weeks, and it can be contagious to those who have never had chickenpox. Pregnant women who do not carry the virus, and those with a lowered immune system should avoid anyone with shingles until their blisters have dried out completely.
While not usually serious, shingles can cause long-term complications if not diagnosed early and treated correctly, and so you should visit your GP as soon as symptoms appear to discuss your treatment options.
Treatment for Shingles: Antiviral Medicines
If you have been diagnosed with shingles within 72 hours of your rash developing, your GP will likely prescribe a 7 – 10 day course of antiviral medicines such as Famciclovir or Acyclovir. While these medications do not kill the virus, they can reduce both the severity of your symptoms and the duration of your infection, and prevent complications such as post-herpetic neuralgia.
Painkillers for Shingles
Shingles can be very painful, and so your doctor may also recommend over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, both of which are available to buy online without a prescription. For more severe pain, a powerful opioid such as codeine may be prescribed though an online pharmacy to relieve the pain associated with shingles, along with a topical antibiotic that is applied directly to the affected area to prevent infection.
Treating Shingles with Antidepressants and Anticonvulsant Medicines
If antiviral medicines and painkillers are not suitable for your condition, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants to treat your infection. Clinically proven to relieve nerve pain, Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs) such as Imipramine and Amitriptyline, can speed up the healing process and reduce the pain caused by shingles.
Anticonvulsants such as Pregabalin and Gabapentin are also useful in treating nerve pain, and so your GP may prescribe a course to treat severe cases of shingles and complications of the infection such as post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus and Disseminated Zoster.
Home Remedies & Self-Care
When combined with prescription and over-the-counter medicines, home remedies can be extremely effective at relieving the symptoms of shingles. These include taking a cool bath, keeping the affected area as clean and dry as possible to prevent infection, and wearing loose-fitting clothes made from natural fabrics.
Calamine lotion can stop the itching and have a soothing effect on the skin, as can a cold compress during the blister stage. However, you should never share towels or cloths with other family members when you have the shingles rash.