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Herpes Zoster: Medical and Nursing Management

Mary C. Sandy
CJON 2005, 9(4), 443-446 DOI: 10.1188/05.CJON.443-446

Herpes zoster, the latent descendent of the varicella zoster virus, commonly is seen in clinical practice. Healthcare providers must recognize and treat the virus to decrease the incidence of postherpetic neuralgic pain syndrome. Treatment with an antiviral medication regimen should be initiated rapidly for patients who have had lesions for up to 72 hours. Acyclovir has been the treatment of choice for herpes zoster in the past, but newer drugs, such as valacyclovir, a prodrug of acyclovir, and famciclovir, are as effective for treating the virus and have more convenient dosing regimens and decreased incidence of postherpetic neuralgia.

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