Relieving the Pain of Shingles

I have suffered from the after-effects of shingles for four years. I'm seeking help from anyone who had or was in the same predicament, and found some relief to ease the pain.

Shingles are painful lesions that are caused the chicken pox virus. If you had chicken pox as a child, the virus did not leave your body when you were over the disease. Rather, it lives, in a dormant phase in your spinal cord. On occasion the virus will reactivate. It will not cause the overall outbreak of chicken pox. Instead, it will travel down the spinal nerve from one segment of the spinal cord and cause the painful lesions in a stripe that wraps around one half of the body. The first sign is usually a tingling in the area affected. Anti-viral medicines, like Zorivax, are the only treatment for the problem itself. Once an outbreak has occurred, Zorivax only shortens the duration by a few days or so. It is also a very expensive drug. New drugs, like Famvir are also on the market. It is yet to be seen if they shorten the course of attacks better than Zorivax. If you get attacks frequently, a low-level maintenance dose might be considered to prevent outbreaks.

Once the outbreak has started, strong pain relievers to get you through until it goes away on its own are the best answer. Tylenol with codeine, Vicodin, and Lortabs are frequently used.

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