Herpes Home > Herpes Zoster Cure
While there is no herpes zoster "cure," there are drugs available that can reduce the severity and duration of a herpes zoster attack. For example, antiviral medications such as acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir are often used for treating herpes zoster. There is also a vaccine that can help prevent herpes zoster in the future.
Is There a Cure for Herpes Zoster?Herpes zoster (also known as shingles) is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. As with chickenpox, there is no cure for herpes zoster. There are, however, certain medicines (known as antivirals) that can shorten the length and severity of this condition. There is also a vaccine that can prevent herpes zoster in the future.
The Role of Antivirals as a "Herpes Zoster Cure"Antiviral medicines are used for the treatment of herpes zoster. When given within 72 hours of the first symptoms of herpes zoster, the severity and duration of a herpes zoster attack can be reduced. Some examples of antiviral medicines used for herpes zoster treatment include:
These herpes zoster medications have been shown to shorten the length of new lesion formation. They have also been shown to shorten the time it takes for full crusting, complete healing, and complete relief of pain. For example, in one study looking at valacyclovir, people who were treated with valacyclovir had their blisters stop forming one day sooner than those who did not take valacyclovir (two days versus three days). In a study with famciclovir, the average time to full crusting was five days compared to seven days in those people who did not take famciclovir.
Despite their effectiveness, these medicines are not a herpes zoster "cure." This is because it is possible for a person who has had herpes zoster to get it again, even if he or she was treated with antiviral drugs.