Antiviral treatment of herpes zoster decreases the duration of postherpetic neuralgia if administered within 72 hours of rash onset. After 72 hours, antiviral use offers little advantage. It is not clear if any particular antiviral drug has an advantage over the other antiviral drugs; however, famciclovir and valacyclovir may be easier to administer because of less frequent dosing requirements. Administration of antiviral drugs within 72 hours also diminishes herpes zoster pain and reduces its duration. Antiviral resistance has been noted in immunosuppressed patients on long-term antiviral suppression, but resistance has not been demonstrated with the usual 7-day course of antiviral treatment for herpes zoster.
- Duration of postherpetic neuralgia is decreased by prompt antiviral therapy of herpes zoster (TRUE).
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