Antiviral required for shingles recurrence?

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I had a case of shingles about 2 moths ago on my inside right calf,  & noticed a couple of spots on my outer right thigh 2 days ago. They itch & burn in a similar way to the first outbreak but I can't say I've noticed any unusual pain as I often experience pain along this nerve anyway. My question is, I'm on holiday in the UK & am unsure if I need to get another antiviral for this outbreak (I took it the first time). I'd rather not go through the hassle of dealing with travel medical insurance or sitting for hours in a dr's office if it's unnecessary! I'm just not sure if I am supposed to treat each outbreak in the same way as the first. Any advice is appreciated as tomorrow will be the 3 day period since the rash appeared. Thanks! 

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  • Posted

    My advice is to treat it as if it is shingles as it is on the right side again. Did you feel any fatigue, aches and pains, headache, feverish, chills, sweats, malaise, before this outbreak or the first outbreak? Usually, shingles is preceded by a predromal period of flu like symptoms as it is a viral illness, the Herpes Zoster virus. Then the pain and or itch starts, followed by the rash, almost always on the same side. The problem with not treating it if it is Zoster is the increased risk of developing post herpetic neuralgia, which no one wishes on anyone. It is excruciating agonizing pain of long-term duration. I would opt to treat the rash as Shingles.

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      I had the flu like symptoms the first time. Hard to say this time around as I was dealing with jet lag for the past week. I have had almost daily headaches, although I am often afflicted with those normally. The rash this time is only two bumps but would certainly follow the same path as the nerve that was affected the first time. My mom suffers with PHN so I am well familiar with that! I'm fairly certain it is shingles, my question was more about whether it needs to be treated with an antiviral every time, especially as I just had an antiviral 2 months ago. 
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    • Posted

      Hello Merry

      I live in the UK, I wasn't told that you needed to get the antiviral every time you get shingles. I'm just recovering from my second bout, along with many others in my area. We are treated the first time, but not given any advice to go back when we get a recurrence. I would be interested to know, should I have gone back and ask for a repeat of the antivirals. My Dr briefed me on the risk of PHN but not that you could avoid it by taking the medicine. He gives me repeats of the Lidocaine patches/ointment, but doesn't ask me what I want them for!

      Pauline

       

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    • Posted

      Just got back from the Dr & was prescribed another round of antiviral meds. I specifically asked if I need to treat any future recurrences & she said yes. Hope that helps, Pauline! Thanks for your advice, Merri! 
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    • Posted

      My advice as I have recurrent Herpes Zoster Oticus in my right ear every three to five weeks for the last 19 years is to treat it as the pain is excruciating agonizing pain and the virus causes damage to the underlying neural tissue. The risk of developing post herpetic neuralgia is also increased. Believe me, you do not wish PHN.
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    • Posted

      Hi Pauline,

      You should always treat every occurence of Herpes Zoster at the first hint of outbreak as each time you have Zoster the virus is destroying more neurologic tissue, causing more pain, and the antivirals will help you recover much more quickly and decrease the risk of post herpetic neuralgia.

      Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    I've had reoccurring Shingles for 35 years, and you definitely treat it like your first bout of Shingles. If you have cream, use it too. If you dont, when you get home, call and ask for some, to help the itching and healing. If you need more info, click on my username and read some of my postings, to help you along. Good luck, hope you feel better.

    Sincerely;

    1Roswell

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  • Posted

    Hi:

    Thank you for interesting comments and advice.

    I too have come dowm with what my doctors think to be shingles on my left hand palm on a small area 4 times already since May. I personally not sure it is shingles since based on what I have read shingles (zoster) is not supposed to recurr so many times in just 4 months (unless the immune system is badly compromised which I hope this is not the case with me. Also all my test results were back normal and negative except HSV which was positive) but herpes simplex could recurr a lot and for no reason in many.

    I have painin my left arm, then the skin on the top of my left arm and left wrist and fingers start tingling and burning and then a couple of days later I start getting very tiny white blisters on a small area of my left palm under the middle finger (about half each in diameter but the area moves a bit every time). The area where I have burning and tingling (skin on left arm) does NOT get any blisters but far far away on my left palm. Is this shingles or herpes?

    Anyhow when I visited my doctor he diagnose it by observations as shingles every time and yes he told me that for every occurance of shingles antiviral must be given within 48 hours of symptoms. The antiviral for both zoster and simplex is Valtrex which I was given every time.

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