Shingles

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I recently got shingles on the right side of my face. It was under right eye and on outside of right nostril. All I Can say is IVE HAD NECK SURGERY, Broken pelvic and tail bone and NOTHING has been as bad as SHINGLES!

I went to ER immediately, ( been twice in 4 weeks, to UC twice and have seen my doctor 4 times.

It seems that NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO TREAT SHINGLES! Its awful. I am 56 years old/FEMALE. My symptoms were: Red RASH, tired, no energy, horrible headache and itchy.

SO I've been on a viral pill for 6 weeks, Toradol for nerve pain ( It works BUT BEWARE... you can only stay on this pill for about a week and then it becomes very dangerous.) I was offered Nueronton for nerve pain but had terrible reaction to it. I've been given PEROCET 10/325, that just made me itch more. I had the first initial breakout and then about a week after it went away, I had another breakout , same place on face minus the real red rash but just itchy dark spots. I was told you can only get a breakout once... bull s**t! I WILL BE GETTING THE VACCINE as soon as I am over this nasty crap!!!

What has worked best for me is Tramadol, rest and ice packs. Keep in mind that night time is the worst. I'm going on 6 weeks and I suggest that you slowly try to get out of the house if you see any signs of getting better. If you stay in bed or house during this awful time it will last longer. I got out of bed and house in baby steps about 3rd week. I still itch terribly at night and my face hurts to the touch.

I wish I had more remedies but it seems that it has to run its course.

I DO STRESS THAT AS SOON AS YOU SEE A RASH, get to your doctor or Urgent care so you can get on Viral pill to help lessen the long term effects of Shingles. Shingles can cause permanent nerve damage.

Praying , all us effected, a speedy recovery!!!

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  • Posted

    ACUTE HERPES ZOSTER-SHINGLES

    I am so sorry you are going through this right now. I understand the agonizing, lancinating pain, sleepless nights, and suffering.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States. I have had Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear, mouth, and throat every three to five weeks for the past twenty-two years and twice in my right eye. It has now escalated to include my entire right scalp, as well, just to keep me doing more headstands, I am certain.

    This is a summary of the stages, signs and symptoms of Herpes Zoster-Shingles, and medical management of the disease.

    During the Pre-eruptive Phase, you may have some of the following symptoms:

    Duration 1-10 Days, but the rash occasionally takes much longer to appear

    Headache

    Photophobia

    Generalized Aches and Pains

    Fever, Chills, and Sweating

    Enlarged Lymph Nodes near the pain and rash

    Fatigue and Exhaustion

    Pain usually preceding the rash, but not always

    Itching

    Description of pain: deep burning or aching pain, or electric shock–like pains.

    Acute Eruptive Phase

    Rash of grouped vesicle-blisters in a dermatomal pattern.

    Occurs in waves or crops over a period of 5-7 days.

    Vesicle-blisters look dissimilar and are of different sizes.

    The rash is on a red base.

    The pain may continue to increase into the second and third week.

    The clear vesicle-blisters cloud over, look like pustules, scab over, and turn black. This process may take between 2-4 weeks. Once every vesicle-blister has scabbed over, you are no longer infectious!

    You are considered infectious (contagious) if your rash is open to the air, ie not covered, to anyone who has not had chickenpox. This includes all pregnant women! Remember, not all women know they are pregnant!

    Chronic Phase (Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN)

    30 days after onset of rash. Definition varies

    Duration may last months or years after initial episode of Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

    The resolution of the scars can take up to a year to heal.

    Management and Medications

    ANTIVIRALS: THE CORNERSTONE OF TREATMENT

    Famciclovir 500 mg 3x daily 7-10 days, sometimes 14 days.

    Smallest Tablet

    Convenient dosing

    Least Resistance

    Valcyclovir 1000 mg 3x daily 7-10 days

    Large Tablets difficult to swallow for some

    Based on Acyclovir

    Acyclovir 800 mg 5x daily 7-10 days

    Inconvenient Dose Schedule

    Growing Resistance to Varicella Virus

    Acyclovir is the antiviral most often prescribed in the UK

    What dosage of the medication are you on? Sometimes, the Physician places the patient on a lower dose, but needs to increase it to help with the pain-itching.

    Sometimes, you need to be placed on a cocktail of medications, as they will work synergistically to help you. These are all by prescription. I have grouped them according to class. A clinician would start with one from the Anticonvulsant class, taper the dosage up, then one from the Antidepressant Class, etc. This list is by no means complete.

    ANALGESICS

    NSAIDS

    Ibuprofen

    Naprosyn

    Acetominophen

    OPIOIDS

    Oxycodone

    Hydrocodone

    Codeine

    CBD

    ANTI-CONVULSANTS

    Gabapentin-Neurontin

    Pregabalin-Lyrica

    ANTI-DEPRESSANTS

    SNRIs

    Cymbalta

    Effexor-Venlafaxine

    Heterocyclics

    Nortriptyline

    Amitriptyline

    2. Use a Hydrocortisone Cream for the itching on your face combined with the Lidocaine below. Both help me tremendously!!!!

    3. Use Lidocaine Cream or Spray OTC topically to help with the pain- itching, eg, Solarcaine with Aloe or Bactine. Many on this forum feel either Lidocaine or Benzocaine help with the pain-itching. The cream might soothe the inflamed nerve endings better and last longer on the skin. You can only use Lidocaine 12 hours on and 12 hours off, as the usefulness will extinguish itself.

    4. Use ice or cool compresses. Do not take hot showers, as it will only increase the pain-itching

    1. You need to rest and sleep. You cannot power through this disease. Do not go back to work! This virus is way stronger than you are, and you will only get more pain, the more exertion you do.
    2. Most Importantly, get the Shingrex Immunization. It is a two phase vaccine, two months apart. It is given intramuscularly. It is highly efficacious in stopping Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN and recurrent episodes of Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

    Shingrex is available in the US at the pharmacy and covered by insurance if you are over 50 years of age. If you are younger than 50, and have had a documented case of shingles, it is still covered.

    If you are in the UK/Canada/Australia/NZ, I know it has been distributed there, but the national health insurance may not cover it until age 70, which is ridiculous. It is expensive, but I would have paid thousands not to have recurrent shingles.

    BTW, I had the first of two Shingrex injections, and it has helped decrease markedly the frequency and intensity of episodes.

    You are absolutely correct! Most

    physicians are abysmally ignorant regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and management of shingles.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Thank you so very much for the quick response and all the information you shared.

      There are many things you shared that was not made available or an option to me!

      My current treatment plan has been:

      Valacyclovir 1 gram once a day???

      Hydroxxyzine, 25 mg. up to 4 x's a day for itching

      Amitriptyline, 25 mg once a day at bedtime.

      Icing my face for 20 minutes about 4 times per day.

      **My initial treatment plan consisted of 😗*

      Valacyclovir, 1 gram 3 x's a day

      Ketorolac, 10 mg. every 6 hours for pain (then it was discovered that this was a dangerous pill to be on past 5 days, but IT WORKED....

      Percocet 10/325 for breakthrough pain between times to take Ketorolac

      My doctor that I see in Arizona (my actual doctor for many years is in Reno, NV but I've had to also get established with one in AZ since I live here for now). He doesn't seem to know a heck of a lot about this Shingles thing which has caused much of my suffering I believe.

      For creams, the only thing he could come up with was Calamine Lotion/Spray or Benedryl which Neither has helped a bit. What is your best suggestion?

      Is it ok for me to get the Shingles shot right now since all my rash has gone away? I just have itching (terrible) and sore nerve pain to the touch around the right bottom of my nose and in the right eye and under it.(eye is not in danger as I saw the eye doctor and got checked)

      Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and I look forward to hearing from you!!!

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    • Posted

      Cindi,

      For the itching on my scalp, I found the best combination was Flonase and

      Bactine spray. I was limited due to the hair, but I was wild with itching and pain. I use Oxycodone 10 mg only for severe acute pain. I take for Neurogenic pain Venlafaxine 300 mg daily and Topiramate 100 mg 2x daily. I get anaphylaxis with Toradol and it is a toxic drug.

      I would get the Shingrex ASAP.

      Regarding steroids on the face, you can only use the mildest one as Corticosteroids cause acne and atrophy, and facial skin is extremely thin.

      I would get off the Toradol STAT, as it is extremely toxic to your kidneys.

      If you have pain &/or itching in your eye, believe me, you need to see an ophthalmologist again . If the one you saw didn't schedule to see you again, find a better one, because you can still have complications. I had Zoster-Shingles in my right eye twice, as well, plus scleritis. You need follow-up.

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    • Posted

      I did get the Shingle shot #1 today.

      I am a little confused at what your treatment/pain management drugs are? Can you give me actual name of drugs and not their generic name?

      I did my research on the Toradol after I was given it for pain ( nerves) and I informed my doctor of the dangers of it! It does work but of course; serious side effects...not worth losing my life over.

      This has been a horrible 6 weeks and I Believe I've suffered more than necessary, very sad that I can’t seem to find a doctor in AZ that truly understands Shingles.

      Any feedback is greatly welcomed!!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Cindi,

      Regarding Shingrex:

      The side effects were the following:

      painful arm

      chills

      malaise

      fatigue

      aches and pains

      headache

      similar to the flu except for pulmonary symptoms...

      the symptoms lasted for 3 days.

      The arm pain gradually diminished. Of course, it was nothing compared to Shingles!

      Medications

      SNRI Venlafaxine Effexoxor 300 mg daily

      Anticonvulsant

      Topiramate Topamax 100 mg 2x daily

      Opioid

      Oxycodone- Percocet without the Tylenol

      Avoid Pregabalin Lyrica, as many people have difficulty weaning off Lyrica.

      Regarding physicians understanding shingles, they are indeed a rarity!

      Did the ophthalmologist schedule another appointment with you?

      As you still have pain in the right eye, you can have disease processes occur in the eye.

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    • Posted

      no pain in eye. just the top(outside) lid itches at night.

      I cannot believe the medicines needed to treat this awful thing I Now know as Shingles. I'm not in pain anymore I just am crawling out of my skin from itching? Nothing seems to work?

      I'm taking a "supposed" anti-itch med called Afarax that IS NOT WORKING??? ANY suggestions? My biggest complaint is the itching right now, not the pain.

      Report Reply

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