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Varicella zoster/chicken pox - Herpes zoster/shingles (Antimicrobial)


Pregnant/immunocompromised/neonate: seek urgent specialist advice.

Chicken pox: Consider treatment if onset of rash <24hrs, and 1 of the following: over 14 years of age; severe pain; dense/oral rash; taking steroids; smoker.
Give paracetamol for pain relief.

Shingles: treat if >50 years and within 72 hrs of rash (PHN rare if ​<50 years); or if 1 of the following: active ophthalmic, Ramsey Hunt, eczema, non-truncal involvement; moderate or severe pain; moderate or severe rash.
Shingles treatment if not within 72 hours: consider starting antiviral drug up to 1 week after rash onset, if high risk of severe shingles or continued vesicle formation; older age; immunocompromised; or severe pain.

For glossary of terms see Glossary.

Drug details

Aciclovir 800mg five times a day

7 days

Last reviewed: 27/08/2020

Next review date: 27/08/2023

Author(s): Antimicrobial Management Team.

Approved By: TAM Subgroup of ADTC

Reviewer name(s): Area Antimicrobial Pharmacist.

Document Id: AMT172