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HELP - Shingles & Aciclovir

11 replies

SparklingPinot · 27/07/2020 20:19

Hi, there are a few old threads on this topic but been diagnosed with shingles today & been prescribed 800mg aciclovir 5 x a day for 7 days a week, which just seems a really high dosage to me.
Doctor wasn’t very helpful when I asked about aciclovir & said it’s deemed as pregnancy safe but up to me as to choice to take. Midwife said the risk of shingles (nerve damage) outweighs the risk of the drug but I’m still not comfortable...
Wondering if there are any positive stories on taking it for this dosage for shingles that would help me make my mind up...MC before this pregnancy so I’m very anxious about everything & to date haven’t taken so much as a paracetamol... 😩

OP posts:
LouiseTrees · 27/07/2020 21:57

I can’t remember the dosage I took but i caught full blown chickenpox while pregnant. Never had it as a child. Will try and find out.

Tinyhumansurvivalist · 27/07/2020 22:01

My dd is on a low dose chemo for a non cancer related idsue and has to have acyclovir every time she comes into contact with anyone with shingkes/cp 800mg 5x a day is the same dose that she has (she's nearly 7) so I'm not sure that your dose is particularly high @SparklingPinot

Hope that helps reassure you

lockdownpregnancy · 27/07/2020 22:19

I have genital herpes (diagnosed over 10 years ago) and been on suppressant meds (aciclivor) for over 2 years and all the way through my pregnancy. I'm currently 31 weeks and baby is as happy as a clam 🥰
As the doctor said taking the meds outweigh the damage shingles (or in my case herpes) can do to baby, than the meds can. I think the risk is less than 2% I believe.
I understand your concerns but I'm sure you'll be fine.
Shingles is serious so I'd start taking your tablets ASAP

Birdy1991 · 27/07/2020 22:21

As above ^ I take suppressant acyclovir for genital herpes and baby has no issues. I’m 39+4. It is deemed safe in pregnancy.

TenThousandSpoons0 · 27/07/2020 23:37

Safe in pregnancy and that’s a normal dose.

But - treatment or no treatment won’t make a difference to any risk to baby. The risk is basically negligible anyway - it doesn’t transmit to baby while you’re still pregnant. If you have lesions still when baby is born that’s a risk though - baby can catch it from that.
The main reason to treat is to clear it up so you’re not sore. I’d say even more important to treat if you are near term. It’s very safe but if you prefer to avoid it you won’t do any real harm either - just make sure you keep it covered so no one else catches it.

BobCat2020 · 28/07/2020 18:08

I had Shingles the week before I got pregnant and I didn't get Aciclovir until the nerve damage was already done. I got it on my face and still have nerve damage and some minor scarring over 6 months on. I'd take it if I were you based on this, but it depends how severe your Shingles is and where it is as to whether it's worth it I guess!

LemonRabbit · 28/07/2020 21:49

It sounds like you should take the meds OP. I think if GP didn’t think it was necessary they wouldn’t prescribe it. And nerve pain sounds bad - you don’t want that.

I wish I would be prescribed! I hope you don’t mind me posting on your thread about my issue...
About 8y ago I caught GH. I work full time, couldn’t get to STI clinic. By the time I did (almost 2w later) they took a swab, but it came back negative. It was prob too late to get a +ve result (sores dried up). I’ve had pretty infrequent, not painful OB since then, so never felt the need to chase for a diagnosis. Until now!
Anyway I’m now almost 7w pregnant and obviously have no med. I’m worried sick about transmitting to baby. I’ve read as much as I can and “vertical transmission” isn’t that common, but it does happen. Ideally I’d like a CS to reduce possible transmission, but I want to be on antiviral med for last month of pregnancy (this is widely recommended) also in case something unplanned happened and I had to do a VB.
At the moment, SH clinics not open apart for abortions and I don’t want one of them! But I don’t have an OB so I don’t think I’d be able to be diagnosed anyway.
I went to the dr last week - I have thrush at the moment. I explained. He didn’t seem concerned. Said this looks like thrush - you don’t want to be on antiviral med during preg. That was that.
Basically I’m fighting the fact I’ve never been diagnosed by a medical professional. I don’t know what to do.
Any advice? @lockdownpregnancy @Birdy1991

Username6345789 · 28/07/2020 21:58

Don’t worry OP that is the standard dose for treatment of shingles and it is safe on pregnancy. The treatment is really important to help clear it up to prevent damage to the nerve tracts which the shingles follow and the issues from that outweighs the risks of taking the aciclovir. Hope you feel better soon!

TenThousandSpoons0 · 28/07/2020 23:54

@LemonRabbit don’t worry too much about getting the meds for the last month of pregnancy - most midwives/obs would be happy to arrange that based on your history. Just chat with your midwife at your first visit and don’t worry about GP/other clinics for now. If any difficulty you can also ask for a blood test that would show antibodies to HSV and prove that you’ve had it in the past. Risk to baby is low - and aciclovir treatment any earlier in the pregnancy won’t help with that anyway. Sounds like you are pretty well informed already :)

LemonRabbit · 29/07/2020 11:36

Thanks for your reply @TenThousandSpoons0
That is really reassuring. Smile

Superhero20 · 07/12/2020 17:53

Hi everyone,
I hope someone can respond Blush
I have a question regarding shingles / herpes. Is anyone about?

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