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Shingles treatment: Does alcohol use affect therapy?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/shingles-treatment/AN01944
- With Mayo Clinic internist
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.read biographyclose window
James M. Steckelberg, M.D.James Steckelberg, M.D.
Dr. James Steckelberg is a consultant in the Division of Infectious Diseases and a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School.
A native of Fremont, Neb., Dr. Steckelberg was a Rhodes Scholar and graduated from the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine as a resident in internal medicine and a fellow in infectious diseases, and is board certified in both. He is the former director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Steckelberg belongs to numerous professional organizations. He is a founding member of the Musculoskeletal Infection Society and a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He has served on many Mayo Clinic committees and is a member of the Department of Medicine Leadership Committee and of the executive committee of the Division of Infectious Diseases. He also served on the editorial boards of "Mayo Clinic Proceedings" and "Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy" and has been an editorial reviewer for more than a dozen publications.
Dr. Steckelberg's research interests include experimental models of infection, epidemiology of infection, and antimicrobial resistance and therapy of bacterial infections.
Risk factors (1)
- Shingles vaccine: Can I transmit the vaccine virus to others?
Treatments and drugs (1)
- Shingles treatment: Does alcohol use affect therapy?
- Shingles vaccine: Should I get it?
Shingles treatment: Does alcohol use affect therapy?
Does moderate alcohol use interfere with shingles treatment?
from James M. Steckelberg, M.D.
Generally, it's best to avoid alcohol during shingles treatment.
Shingles (herpes zoster) is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. An episode of shingles usually heals on its own within a few weeks. However, immediate shingles treatment — often including an antiviral drug, such as acyclovir (Zovirax), famciclovir (Famvir) or valacyclovir (Valtrex) — can reduce pain, speed healing and reduce the risk of complications.
Although alcohol warnings aren't specifically listed in the product labels for the antiviral drugs most often used to treat shingles, it's usually best to avoid mixing alcohol and medication. Alcohol can reduce the effectiveness of certain medications, as well as increase the risk of side effects, such as dizziness, especially in older adults.Next question
Shingles vaccine: Should I get it?
- Shingles disease — Questions and answers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/shingles/dis-faqs.htm. Accessed June 7, 2013.
- Albrecht MA. Treatment of herpes zoster in the immunocompetent host. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 7, 2013.
- Zachary KC. Valacyclovir: An overview. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 7, 2013.
- Zachary KC. Famciclovir: An overview. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 7, 2013.
- Zachary KC. Acyclovir: An overview. http://www.uptodate.com/home. June 7, 2013.
- Harmful interactions: Mixing alcohol with medicines. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/Medicine/medicine.htm. Accessed June 6, 2013.
- Shingles: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/shingles/detail_shingles.htm. Accessed June 7, 2013.