Turner White CommunicationsAbout TWCSubscribeContact TWCHomeSearch
Hospital PhysicianJCOMSMPBRMsCart
Current Contents
Past Issue Archives
Self-Assessment Questions
Review of
Clinical Signs
Clinical Review
Pediatric Rounds
Resident Grand Rounds
Article Archives
Case Reports
Clinical Practice
Pediatric Rounds
Resident Grand Rounds
Review of
Clinical Signs

Guide to Reading
Hospital Physician
Editorial Board
Information for Authors

Reprints, Permissions, & Copyright
Site Map
Self-Assessment Questions

Family Medicine

Answer 7
  1. Acyclovir. Antiviral drugs have been shown to decrease the severity of pain associated with the herpes zoster rash and rash duration.3 However, benefits have only been shown to occur in patients who received antiviral therapy within 72 hours after the onset of the rash. There are 3 antiviral drugs typically used to treat herpes zoster infection: acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir. Of these drugs, acyclovir is the least expensive but has the lowest bioavailability and must be taken 5 times daily. Famciclovir and valacyclovir are more bioavailable than acyclovir and both are taken 3 times daily.3 Intravenous use of acyclovir is used in patients who are severely immunocompromised or who cannot take oral medication. Ganciclovir is an antiviral drug that is generally used to treat cytomegalovirus infections.

    3.  Stankus S, Dlugopolski M, Packer D. Management of herpes zoster (shingles) and postherpetic neuralgia. Am Fam Physician 2000;61:2437-44, 2447-8.

Click here to return to the questions


Hospital Physician     JCOM     Seminars in Medical Practice
Hospital Physician Board Review Manuals
About TWC    Subscribe    Contact TWC    Home    Search   Site Map

Copyright © 2009, Turner White Communications
Updated 7/6/07 • kkj