What is the role of antiviral agents in the treatment of herpes zoster (shingles)?

Updated: Jan 25, 2019
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
  • Print
Answer

Clinical trials showed that oral acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir reduce viral shedding and accelerate resolution of symptoms (eg, pain) in uncomplicated herpes zoster. Some studies suggested that valacyclovir and famciclovir may be superior to acyclovir in resolving pain and accelerating cutaneous healing. In addition, both agents have greater bioavailability than acyclovir and thus require less frequent dosing. [45, 1, 94, 95, 96, 97] Moreover, acyclovir-resistant viral strains are emerging, suggesting a potentially increased role for newer agents.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!