Patient Comments: Shingles - Treatment


What treatment(s) did you receive for shingles? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Fran G, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 30

This is the 2nd time I have had shingles. The 1st time I developed the rash. This time I had all the symptoms however, did not develop the rash. Wonder if I should get the Shingrix shot while going through it. The physician prescribed 3 medicines, they are prednisone 50 mg, acyclovir 800 mg, and tramadol 50 mg. I was prescribed these on the 5th day. I don’t know what damage was caused within the 4 days prior to taking the medicines.

Comment from: Gerald, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: August 07

Headache, midnight cold and neck pain were my symptoms of meningitis.

Comment from: Rae, 65-74 (Patient) Published: July 02

I was given acyclovir for my shingles to take 3 times a day for 7 days. Hope it works.

Comment from: Lynne, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I was prescribed Valtrex for shingles.

Comment from: Whatever, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: October 05

My mum is in her late eighties and got really bad shingles a few years ago on her face and neck. We are not into pharmaceuticals so I asked a qualified and practicing doctor friend who also dislikes them, for advice. He recommended a homeopathic remedy and within 24 hours it started healing rapidly. She got them again this week. Again he recommended a homeopathic remedy, although a different one this time, and again it has stopped the shingles from day one. She was sleepy but in no pain or discomfort.

Comment from: JH, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 27

After the shingles virus and rash were gone then Horizant worked for the PHN (postherpetic neuralgia) or shingles pain; taken with food in the morning and evening. I got a free trial card from my physician and it only cost me USD 20 a month under my insurance. Glad it wasn't an opioid and took care of my pain from the damaged nerves.

Comment from: Operamike, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 06

The treatment for my shingles was an oral prescription for generic Valtrex, an oral prescription for hydrocodone for the pain, gabapentin for the nerve pain, and a topical Lotrimin to apply to areas to stop the reacting nerves.

Comment from: wutwoo6, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I got super pulsed laser therapy from my chiropractor and my shingles PHN (post-herpetic neuralgia) pain was history! I had 9 visits, and each visit was 15 minutes long. They don't even touch you, they hold the laser over your painful areas and I am not exaggerating, my pain was no more! Go get your lives back! Hope this helps!

Comment from: dawn, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 24

I have been on famciclovir for over 12 months for herpes (shingles). If I miss taking tablets herpes returns. I feel sick after taking tablets.

Comment from: bdb, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 26

I noticed the shingles rash on my lower face cheek after shaving. I shaved off 5 or 6 blisters. I started on Famvir 2 days later and cephalexin. The rash/virus got to the size of a quarter before it stopped. I believe with the medicines and massaging cortisone ointment into the rash 3 times a day stops the blistering/scabbing and promotes healing faster. Seven days later the swelling and blistering was gone but I am still left with a red mark on my face that slowly fades away in about 2 weeks.

Comment from: Robin33048, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

About 5 years ago I had shingles appear on the right side of my face. My family doctor, who was also a family friend, prescribed 15 Valtrex a day for me. He was afraid I was going to lose my sight. The pain was like a blow torch to my face, but the aggressive treatment stopped the blisters right away. I used triple antibiotic cream on the blisters for months and it numbed the horrible pain!

Comment from: clay, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: December 20

I have suffered with shingles at least once a month for the last 45 years. After trying every doctor’s advice, I came up with the only thing that helps; to apply Blistex ointment and cover with a large bandage (to prevent irritation). it really helps with the pain and they clear up in about 4 days.


Shingles See pictures of shingles and other viral skin conditions See Images
Comment from: cheryl, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 19

I fell backward on the front porch on Monday, immediately my back and left rib pain ensued. Ibuprofen 600mg at mealtimes did not help. On Wednesday I went to the family doctor where x-rays were taken and Norco given. Thursday night pain worsened, with it starting at waistband center back and circled to umbilicus. By Sunday I went to the emergency room as I was now showing signs of the lesions. I had had herpes zoster in 1990, space of involvement and pain were much less. Today I went again to the primary care physician for change of medications: prednisone, acyclovir and nortriptyline were given. Hopefully tonight I will get some pain free sleep.

Comment from: Taz, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I began acyclovir once diagnosed. The pain was horrendous and oxycodone only made me nauseous. Tagamet was my godsend. Its usefulness for this pain was discovered accidentally. It was amazing how much my pain subsided after the second dose! My shingles was in the L2 dermatome, wouldn't wish this on anyone.

Comment from: jamieE, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 17

I got shingles on my right side, it hurts so much, and medicines are not really helping. I do get relief from applying Vicks VapoRub on the area.

Comment from: January, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 27

My friend got a really bad case of shingles. I went to the local health store and bought a bottle of Virux all viral capsules. My friend started feeling better after a few days and is going to take another bottle just to make sure the shingles go away. The product is good for all viruses.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

First outbreak in October when exposed to a friend w/ Shingles. Started taking Zovirax and 3 weeks later Gabapentin was added followed by Lexapro for the depression. I was already taking amitriptyline for insomnia. The next year I had a new breakout, neurologists started Cymbalta for the depression and pain which helped, but had to stop due to complications after 6 months. I’ve had breakouts occur when around others who have shingles and when I eat pork. I am still breaking out but currently only taking vitamins, L-Lysine and amitriptyline. I have constant stinging sensation in palms and bottom of feet. I experience extreme sensitivity to clothing, A/C, sitting, standing or clapping hands. Breakouts aren't as painful as the skin burning all over.

Comment from: sick of this, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I got shingles over 4 months ago in my left eye. I went in to the doctor for headaches that were like a severe migraine in the left eye and head. It spread to my forehead, head and left sinus. My eye closed for nearly 2 weeks. They have damaged the vision in my left eye and keep coming back if I get upset.

Comment from: Gracie , 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 03

I got the shingles vaccine in November 2012. We were told to get it by a friend. Well, April 2013 I got the shingles on my left side of my forehead, scalp and eyelid. I have been suffering so badly for 6 years now. I am 73 years old. I have sharp burning and am so itchy. I wish I never got that vaccine. I always have a headache, I almost never did before.

Comment from: Cheapyrates, 25-34 Male (Caregiver) Published: February 13

Zostavax is used to stop herpes shingles virus in people. Herpes zoster is caused by a similar virus (varicella) that causes chickenpox in youngsters. Once this virus becomes active once more in adult, it will cause herpes, or shingles. Herpes vaccine could be a live vaccine that helps stop shingles.

Comment from: Linnea, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

I have had shingles several times over the many years. I also was concerned very much at the time while pregnant with my first born. It developed on my back; large sensitive rash. I used cream to clear it up. My daughter was born healthy! Just relax as much as possible. My children were not harmed. It"s annoying, I am having another episode. It"s best to treat it immediately. Stress seems to trigger this monster.

Comment from: Effie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I'm 56 years old. I talked to my doctor last year, and she gave me the shingles vaccine. Just last week, I came down with shingles for the first time ever. I was so surprised at the diagnosis, because the pain was nowhere near as bad as I had always heard or read about. Apparently, about 50% of people who have the vaccine can still get shingles, but with the vaccine, the pain is greatly reduced, the duration is much shorter, and the postherpetic pain is also greatly reduced. My doctor also started me on Valtrex within 48 hours of my first blister. Within 24 hours of starting the Valtrex, the pain and swelling were going away, and I didn't get any more blisters. I think the vaccine is just wonderful, and I'm so glad I had it. I think I'll give my doctor a big hug when I go in for my follow-up.


Shingles is a painful rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. See Answer
Comment from: psuedo, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I'm 23 and I have shingles. I was so surprised to find out that's what the blisters in my eyes were. When I went to the doctor, I told her I had blisters in my eyes and some weird tingling pain around my eyebrows, which I thought was just an eye infection. Unfortunately, the doctor wasn't in and I had to see her PA, who sent me to the eyelid specialist; they diagnosed me with shingles but only gave me eyedrops. I had to wait till the doctor got in so I could get a prescription for famciclovir and some painkillers. Those were the most painful 24 hours of my life! After taking the correct medications, I have to say that I do feel a lot better now. The pain is still lingering, but it isn't as bad as it was.

Comment from: Good luck, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 20

My daughter was 10 when shingles appeared. We did not know what it was until I took her to the doctors four days later. She felt the tingling start about two days before any of the bumps formed, and that's when we acted. The doctors gave us (Ichthammol Ointment 20%). This is a black, goopy looking substance or (salve for the older crowd) and prednisolone. This has worked for us; maybe they can work for you too. It's to the point now that she can take care of it on her own.

Comment from: bradley, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: July 17

I am brad 27 of age, due to sports activity a shingles developed on my left legs, i went to the doctor and she gave me aciclovir 800 mg 3 tablets a day for seven days to heal my shingles and a hydroxyzine hel 25mg to relieve me from itch.Thats all i can share, i hope my shingles will be heal at the follwing days.

Comment from: gjcv, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I had a burning sensation on my skin last week. About three days later, I had three red bumps that broke out. A few days later, the bumps spread to the lower spine. I search the web for conditions based on my symptoms, and found out it was shingles. I also search for home remedies and learned apple cider was a good treatment. Apple cider vinegar has helped me tremendously, based on what I have heard about shingles pain. When I finally went to the doctor, he was shocked that I wasn't in pain. Everyone I talk to says I should be in pain. One friend says that I need to get a second opinion because it can't be shingles without pain. I am thankful for apple cider vinegar and no pain.

Comment from: Justadvise, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 01

I started having sciatica pain in my right lower back and right leg. Since I had numerous back operations, I thought it was an inflamed nerve. I went to the doctor, explained about the nerve pain, and also told him about a rash that had started on my butt a couple days before. He looked and told me I had shingles. This scared me. He gave me meds and told me what to do. I used Lotrimin – a cream for your feet, which worked very well. I have had the symptoms now for five days. It is getting better and I am back to work after four days. But I will tell you – it’s very painful. Get it checked early.

Comment from: brooke, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 11

Originally, I was told I had vaginal herpes. Now it has been seven months and I still have the burning pain. Today I had blood tests and it was discovered that I have shingles. I was on Valtrex and it helped somewhat for seven months, but I couldn’t go on. I went to my family doctor and was told about herpes zoster, herpes type 1 (HSV-1, or oral herpes) and herpes type 2 (HSV-2, or genital herpes). I think I waited far too long for a second opinion. By the way – I had lesions only on my buttocks for a short time; no other place.

Comment from: reab, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 02

For many years, I have had shingles from my feet all the way to the top of my head. The pain is bad – even the water hurts when I take a shower. Only after researching did I figure out what I have had all this time.

Comment from: Linda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

I've had shingles three times in the last two years. I start feeling a burning pain around my left eye and left ear. The left side of my face begins to itch. Then the rash appears. The pain is so bad that all I can do is cry and pray. It seems like the Acyclovir, Neurontin and painkillers hardly touch the pain. My doctor says that I have too much stress in my life.

Comment from: deano, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 01

I woke up on the 12th of January with a lump on my neck (gland enlarged). So I went and saw the doctor who diagnosed me with shingles. He sort of talked me out of drugs. They were on my right side of my back of head and ear. By Monday I had an break out on my face and neck. I was putting an antiseptic cream called Bepanthen on the breakouts even in my hair and ear. I saw the doctor on Tuesday and got Aciclovir(800mg). I stopped taking the Aciclovir on Sunday the 20th as I was pretty much heeled. I was physically stressed from playing sports which I think caused it. Personally I think the Bepanthen eased the rash. I live in New Zealand so I don't know if it's available in the States.


What Causes Shingles? See Slideshow
Comment from: Nika, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 03

I'm 27, and I've had shingles since 2002. I was shocked when I saw the rash, but I thought it was genital herpes. My doctor recommended Valtrex, and I have been taking it ever since. I basically have outbreaks every month due to my weak immune system, a sickle cell trait. Initially, I used to cry a lot, but now through reading and research, I have become empowered with knowledge to continue my life.

Comment from: stressed at college, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: August 25

I'm 18, and just started college. I've been getting very little sleep and my roommate noticed a nasty rash all over my back. Within two days, the pain wasn't tolerable anymore. I just got my prescription for Famvir, and I'm still waiting to have the Percocet prescription filled until I can get to an outside pharmacy. Shingles is the most painful thing I have ever experienced, and I highly recommend getting seen by a doctor immediately if you even suspect you have shingles.

Comment from: young one, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: August 19

I'm 15 years old and my pediatrician had just diagnosed me with shingles. This is quite odd since I am so young. The burning sensation is very painful, but the doctor has just put me on that Zovirax I just took it right now so I don’t know if it is working yet but hopefully it does. The thing that perplexes me is that my shingles looks nothing like the pictures I have seen. It is not really clustered and it looks more like spider bites than clusters of sores.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

I had shingles one and a half years ago and it lasted about a month. All the marks and itching sensations on the skin disappeared after the sixth week with the medications. Now, I think I have a possible mild reappearance of the disease. It started with the same tingling, itching redness sensation as before but without the tiny bumps. The doctors told me I could not have it twice and gave me some medication and a lotion for the itching. Today, two months later, I am still going crazy with the same itching, dry skin, and redness as when I had the disease on my face and arms, neck.

Published: July 17

I felt the skin tenderness that indicates shingles and went to get an acupuncture treatment and continued this for five days. I developed two small rashes that are almost gone now, though I did have quite a bit of pain the first few days. Advil seems to control the pain. I also took a few Zovirax pills and I got a vitamin B12 shot. It’s been a week and the shingles are almost healed. It's intensive treatment, but I think it was very effective.

Published: July 16

I experienced shingles when I was 48. My neurologist prescribed Zovirax, Tegretol and Elavil, which made the pain more tolerable and allowed me to sleep. I had almost no rash. The pain lasted for about two months and sensitivity continued in the area for years.

Published: July 10

I had shingles 10 months ago and without medication would still have pain. Lyrica and Vicodin have controlled my pain. The site is still pink and visible. I am allergic to all over the counter analgesics except Tylenol. My pain radiates from my back to my chest. I am a bilateral mastectomy and wonder if that is a risk factor. My cancer was 5 years ago and all tests show me to be cancer free.

Published: July 03

I had shingles on my face and in my eye about six years ago. The best relief that I found was the after-tan lotion with aloe, vitamin "E" and (the most important ingredient) lidocaine!

Published: June 17

I found that the Zovirax and Lyrica helped as I did not experience intense neurological pain. However it is over a year now and I still experience sensitivity in the area where the rash occurred. So much so that I have to change my style of clothing to ensure that there are no seams or heavy fabric pressing or rubbing against that area.

Published: May 29

My shingles have started as a rash, with intense itching, but not the severe neurological pain yet, and hopefully never. Ice packs have helped me quiet the itching and produced relief. (This method has also helped with fire ant bites for me.) I also have found relief with Caladryl, when in situations where icing wasn't available.

Comment from: vinzim, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 19

I'm 53 years old and have had a tingling, almost needle-like sensation for almost 8-9 weeks. Some days are better than others. I've had this before for the last 5 years or so. Usually it lasts from anywhere from 2 weeks to 8-9 weeks. This last time has been the longest. My pain is not limited to one side of my body or "dermatome". My doctors thinks that because the pain is bilateral (it can be virtually anywhere on my body, i.e., my face, arms, thighs,) it can't be shingles. Plus, I've never had an outbreak or rash but I certainly feel tingling, needle like pain that lasts for a few seconds and it feels that it could turn into a blister, but it just doesn’t. I also usually have an accompanying symptom which is heat. It feels like my body (or parts) are being heated up from just inside my skin almost like how I feel when I sit in my car and turn on the heated seats. That would be fine if it were cold out or I lived in Wisconsin but I live here in the SF Bay area where the weather is usually mild. My immune system is not compromised and I am not gay but rather lead a very boring (monogamous) married life. Otherwise I 'm pretty darn healthy but this is driving me nuts- especially the lack of a definitive diagnosis.

Comment from: Hayward, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: August 13

I have had shingles for more than four weeks now. I got it five days after receiving the Zoster vaccination. You figure that out! Nowhere in the sheet of information that accompanies the vaccination does it mention the possibility of actually getting shingles from the shot. I am perfectly healthy with a non-compromised immune system. The least the CDC can do is amend the information sheet to reflect the real possibility of acquiring a case of shingles from the live vaccination.

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

This is the third time I have had shingles. Had it when I was 17 yrs old on my abdomen and then at 48 on my right eyebrow and now at 53 on my back and abdomen. It was painful at the eyebrow site had shooting pain into my head for 3 weeks, but Motrin took away the pain. Only 5 days into this episode on my back. I am hoping the pain won't be too bad. Thinking about acupuncture instead of taking Valtrex. So far symptoms have not been debilitating.

Published: August 01

I’m 27 weeks pregnant and I have shingles. I’m only 20 years old, so it seems like I’m way too young for this, but the nerve pain was extremely severe and I feel like there is nothing to help pregnant women with shingles. There are so many effects it can have on the fetus, but I’m very optimistic and I pray my daughter comes out fine.

Published: July 31

I am a 19nyear old girl and just found out that the rash I developed is in fact Shingles which is not very common at my age. I am in a lot of pain around my arm and back. My doctor gave me some antibiotics and cream to put on the rash. It has been a couple of days and the rash is starting to heal it got worse before it got better. But with the right treatment and medical care you should be fine.

Published: July 22

I applied Aloe Vera gel directly to the painful, red areas and immediately experienced relief from the pain. The Aloe Vera gel completely took away the burning sensation and later in the day I actually took a shower and the water did not cause any pain when it encountered the red areas.

Comment from: Good luck, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 19

My daughter was 10 when shingles appeared. We did not know what it was until I took her to the doctors four days later. She felt the tingling start about two days before any of the bumps formed and that’s when we acted. The doctors gave us (Ichthammol Ointment 20%). This is a black, goopy looking substance or (Salve for the older crowd) and Prednisolone. This has worked for us; maybe they can work for you too. It's to the point now that she can take care of it on her own.

Published: May 19

I have had shingles and my husband had them also. We did not have them in the same year. This is the first site that answered the question specifically if they are contagious to people who have already had chickenpox or shingles before. This question came about because my husbands brother has shingles now and my husband didn't want him to come to our house because he thought he would catch it again.

Published: May 19

This is my first outbreak of shingles. I was on a six month treatment for hepatitis C that ended at the end of February. The chemo like drugs take months to get out of your system. So far I am clear of the hep C virus. I am wondering if there is a connection between the hep C virus/treatment and shingles. I didn't think to ask at urgent care when I was there today and they gave me the drugs for yet another virus.