Are antiviral meds needed for Shingles?

Patient: I went to visit the doctor today about a case of Shingles. He confirmed they were Shingles and recommended Zyrtec. However, I’ve researching the topic and I’ve ran across several articles that say “Get treated immediately, there are antivirals out there, it WILL spread and get worse without treatment.” The area affected is mainly my back, hip, and stomach. Should I try to get ahold of anti-virals or try to wait it out and get better with Zyrtec?


Doctor: Zyrtec is an antihistamine; it may help with the itch. You should go to another doctor and get a second opinion. Most, i f not all, cases of shingles are treated with antivirals. The virus that causes shingles stays on the nerves; if not treated with antivirals, it can be very painful and disturbing. Even if the shingles is starting to resolve, antivirals can still help in preventing or at least minimizing the pain. Some individuals perceive pain on the same area long after acquiring shingles. I strongly suggest you should see another doctor and request for a prescription of antivirals. I do hope this helps and take care always.


Ask The Doctor
Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He currently operates Infinity Health Centre, a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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