Antiviral medicines include aciclovir , famciclovir and valaciclovir . An antiviral medicine does not kill the virus but works by stopping the virus from multiplying. So, it may limit the severity of symptoms of the shingles episode. It had also been hoped that antiviral medicines would reduce the risk of pain persisting into PHN. However, the research so far has shown that the current antiviral medicines taken during an episode of shingles do not seem to have much impact on the prevention of PHN. Further research is needed in this area to determine if newer antiviral drugs can prevent PHN.
Many shingles patients experience pain before they develop a rash or blisters. Within several days, the pain will become stronger or escalate into feelings of numbness or tingling. They might also experience itchy burning. Red patches on the skin will begin to appear, along with blisters. These blisters might burst, forming ulcers that are dry and become crusty. This crust should fall off on its own within two to three weeks, with permanent scarring being a rare occurrence. Aside from the side of the trunk and waistline, the rash may appear in other areas of the body, typically around face and ears.