Sweet Relief from Pox Pain
If you’ve had chickenpox, you’re at risk for shingles, a painful, blistering rash caused by the chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus). Shingles is typically diagnosed by burning, tingling, or shooting pain along one side of your body accompanied by a rash, then blisters wrapping from your middle back to your chest and breastbone area. It can even spread to your face.
After you’ve had chickenpox, the virus stays in your body, living in the base of your nerves. The virus reappears as shingles in about 20% of people who have had chickenpox. You can’t catch shingles from someone. But if you have never had chickenpox and come in close contact with someone who has shingles, you can contract chickenpox.
It is uncertain what causes shingles. Stress, a weakened immune system, cancer or cancer treatments, or even simple fatigue can trigger shingles. Over 50% of people contracting shingles are over the age of sixty.
Anyone who has ever had shingles will say the discomfort during the viral infection is unbearable. To make matters worse, a complication from shingles called post-herpetic neuralgia can cause headaches, muscle weakness, skin infections, and nerve damage for months or years after the rash disappears.
Home Care Pharmacy now offers sweet relief from shingles. A vaccine called Zostavax may prevent shingles or lessen its painful effects. Research indicates the vaccine reduces the number of shingles cases by half, and for those who contract the virus despite the immunization, the severity and complications related to shingles are greatly minimized.
The vaccine is recommended for men and women age sixty or over who have had chickenpox. Talk to your primary care physician to see if the shingles vaccine is right for you. With a prescription for the vaccine and a phone call to Home Care Pharmacy-Fennel, you can avoid the pain that comes with shingles. Call the pharmacy at (301) 766-4167 to make your vaccine appointment. You will need to provide the following:
- a prescription from your primary care physician for the vaccine
- your insurance information
Home Care Pharmacy will bill Medicare Part D and participating third-party insurers for the vaccine in advance of your appointment. Let us help you avoid the suffering associated with shingles.
For more information about shingles, listen to the December 20, 2011 episode of Health Matters, with guest Allen Ditto, MD, by clicking on the following button.