Stop shingles in its tracks

J Fam Pract. 2009 Oct;58(10):531-4.


Initiate antiviral treatment as soon as possible; rapid resolution of acute pain and reduction in the development of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) are most likely when therapy is started within 72 hours of the outbreak. Discuss herpes zoster (HZ) vaccination with healthy patients 60 years of age and older during their first office visit; the vaccine markedly reduces the incidence of HZ and PHN. Do not prescribe tricyclic antidepressants or corticosteroids in the acute phase of HZ.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Herpes Zoster / drug therapy*
  • Herpes Zoster / prevention & control
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / prevention & control*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic


  • Analgesics
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Herpes Zoster Vaccine