Generally, it's best to avoid alcohol during shingles treatment. Shingles (herpes zoster) is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. An episode of shingles usually heals on its own within a few weeks. However, immediate shingles treatment — often including an antiviral drug, such as acyclovir (Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir) or valacyclovir (Valtrex) — can reduce pain, speed healing and reduce the risk of complications. Although alcohol warnings aren't specifically listed in the product labels for the antiviral drugs most often used to treat shingles, it's usually best to avoid mixing alcohol and medication. Alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications, as well as increase the risk of side effects, such as dizziness, especially in older adults. Shingles is a viral infection that follows a varicella-zoster infection, although it can take decades for symptoms of the secondary disease to emerge. The condition presents as a painful and blistering rash, but it is not life-threatening. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are nearly one million cases in the United States each year, and almost half of those cases are in older adults over age 60. Some people only see one instance of the illness, while others have recurring symptoms, but 30 percent of Americans will develop shingles at some point in their lifetime. The timeline of shingles is consistent once symptoms begin, but many people may have the condition for years without realizing it. Internal shingles can take decades to present itself, while many people never show symptoms at all. If you’re asking yourself, “how long does shingles last,” it can be different for each person, but below is a general progression.
Valtrex may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Important information. Before taking Valtrex, tell your doctor if you have HIV/AIDS, a weak immune system, kidney disease or if you are on dialysis, or if you have had a kidney or bone marrow transplant. This drug has proven to slow down the flare up of my shingles and if taken early it usually prevents the development of any blisters and stops the increase of nerve pain. So far good stuff. So far.