Shingles or herpes zoster is an infectious disease of a viral nature that manifests itself when the varicella-zoster virus is reactivated. The manifestations of the disease begin with painful sensations along the affected area of the skin, on which characteristic rashes with bubbles appear.
The most susceptible to the disease are people who have problems with the immune response, such as:
- patients with HIV;
- people with diabetes;
- patients with immunodeficiency states of various origins;
- patients taking immunosuppressants.
Shingles affects the central nervous system and can cause a variety of complications such as chronic pain that does not stop even after recovery. Therefore, it is important to start early treatment.
Antiviral drugs are used as treatment, for example, Zovirax based on acyclovir. At the same time, both the original drug and its generic are effective.
Why does herpes zoster develop?
Herpes zoster often develops in people who have had chickenpox. Virus reactivation is about seven times more common in older people, but it can also occur at a young age.
There are the following reasons for the appearance of shingles:
- old age and the associated natural decrease in immunity;
- dysfunctions of the immune system at a young age caused by a lack of immunity, autoimmune and oncological diseases (especially with the passage of radiation or chemotherapy), diabetes mellitus, severe injuries;
- chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- renal failure;
- liver disease;
- chickenpox infection in adulthood;
- mental illness and stress;
- taking certain drugs that suppress immunity (such as immunosuppressants after organ transplantation).
How does herpes zoster manifest?
The inflammatory process develops along the nerve trunks, more often intercostal and in the branches of the trigeminal nerve. In this case, the defeat is one-sided. In most cases, the rash is localized on the trunk and resembles a herpes rash.
In addition to the rash, the following manifestations are observed in patients:
- temperature increase;
- slight itching and tingling sensation in the affected area;
- neuralgic pains at the site of future rashes;
- the appearance of pink spots with bubbles.
Uncomplicated shingles lasts 21-28 days, less often less. After the rash disappears, poorly treatable postherpetic neuralgia may remain.
What lesions can be caused by the pathogen of shingles?
The chickenpox virus can cause the following diseases:
- Shingles affecting the eyes. In this case, there is a risk of damage to the cornea and the development of postherpetic neuralgia.
- Ramsey-Hunt syndrome (ear damage). The disease manifests itself in the form of unilateral facial peripheral paralysis of facial muscles and rashes in the external auditory canal or in the oropharynx. In some cases, symptoms of the disease are accompanied by severe pain in the ear canal, vertigo, and hearing loss.
- Motor herpes zoster. It is characterized by muscle weakness, damage to myotomes and dermatomes.
There are also atypical forms of shingles in which symptoms may be blurred or distorted.
The atypical forms of shingles include the following:
- Abortive: without the formation of bubble rashes in the affected area.
- Bullous: blisters with rashes are large with jagged edges.
- Hemorrhagic: the presence of bloody contents in the rash with the risk of scarring.
- Necrotic: development of tissue necrosis with a high risk of scarring.
- Generalized: bilateral lesion in which a rash appears all over the body.
How is herpes zoster treated?
For treatment, the patient is recommended to take antiviral drugs, and symptomatic treatment is prescribed to relieve the discomfort from the rash and relieve pain.
Antiviral drugs are given orally, so that they work more effectively and reduce the severity and duration of acute rashes, as well as prevent the development of severe complications in immunocompromised patients.
Antiviral therapy should be carried out as soon as possible, since a few days after the onset of the rash, treatment will no longer work.
In case of damage to the eyes or ears, you should also consult with narrowly focused specialists in order to assess the severity of the condition and prevent the adverse consequences of the disease.
What drug is effective for shingles?
In the treatment of herpes zoster, the drug of choice is Zovirax with the active ingredient acyclovir. It is an effective antiviral drug that is on the list of essential and essential medicines.
Zovirax acts selectively on viral DNA synthesis, with little or no effect on human DNA.
What side effects can Zovirax cause?
Zovirax is well tolerated and rarely produces unpleasant side effects. Among them, the following manifestations are possible:
- disorders of the digestive system;
- increased levels of liver enzymes;
- increased levels of creatinine and urea;
- skin rash;
Can you buy Zovirax without a doctor’s prescription?
In our online pharmacy it is possible to order a generic (analogue) Zovirax without a doctor’s prescription, and at a bargain price. Generic Zovirax has the same efficacy and safety as the original drug, since it contains the same active substance – acyclovir.
Before buying a generic Zovirax, you need to get a prescription from your doctor.