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Herpes zoster shingles is more commonly known as simply shingles and affects around 3 in every 1000 people in the UK each year.
Herpes zoster shingles gets its name from the herpes varicella-zoster virus (VZV) which is also responsible for chickenpox which most people will suffer from as a child. After a person has suffered from chickenpox, the body will develop the antibodies to ensure that the person is immune from the virus.
It is not possible for anyone to catch shingles from another person; although it is possible (on rare occasions) that chickenpox can be caught from someone suffering from shingles. Sufferers of HIV and AIDa€™s are at a larger risk of developing shingles than the general population, with the possibility of getting the virus 25 times higher. Young healthy adults and children are least at risk of developing shingles and those that do rarely suffer from anything other than mild symptoms.
Chickenpox and herpes zoster shingles are very similar in appearance and both have red spots which develop into blisters and then scab over. Herpes zoster shingles sufferers will generally suffer a feeling of pain several days in advance of the rash appearing.
Should you feel any of the symptoms mentioned then it is important to seek medical attention immediately. The virus is caused by an infected nerve and the area of skin around it; the results are pain in the infected area and a rash which is irritable and itchy. The VZV virus will remain dormant in the nervous system and usually remain that way for life. No reason is known for this being the case but it is thought that a decrease in the immune system is the biggest factor.

Recent organ transplant patients are also of a higher risk because of the medication needed to supress the immune system in order for the body to accept a new organ. Unlike chickenpox, shingles generally will affect only a specific area on the right or left side of the body and usually the chest and abdomen. Pain will begin as a burning sensation or oversensitivity of the affected area and will remain constant and dull. Shingles will usually last four around 2-4 weeks during this time a sufferer will feel exhausted, run down and often depressed.
However, problems that lead to a weakening of the immune system can cause the VZV virus to become reactive, resulting in shingles. Bone marrow transplant patients are also at higher risk due to the conditioning provided prior to transplant weakening the immune system. Wear sunglasses to prevent irritation.Who should not use Herplex (idoxuridine ophthalmic)?Do not use idoxuridine ophthalmic if you have a bacterial or fungal infection in your eye. Do not use idoxuridine ophthalmic without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Do not use idoxuridine ophthalmic without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.How should I use Herplex (idoxuridine ophthalmic)?Use idoxuridine ophthalmic eye drops exactly as directed by your doctor.
Apply gentle pressure to the inside corner of your eye (near your nose) for about 1 minute to prevent the liquid from draining down your tear duct.
If you are using more than one drop in the same eye or drops in both eyes, repeat the process with about 5 minutes between drops.Do not touch the dropper to any surface, including your eyes or hands. Keep the bottle properly capped.What happens if I miss a dose?Apply the missed dose as soon as you remember.

However, if it is almost time for your next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and apply the next one as directed. Call an emergency room or poison control center for additional advice in either of these situations.What should I avoid while taking Herplex (idoxuridine ophthalmic)?Do not touch the dropper to any surface, including your eyes or hands.
After applying this medication, wait at least 15 minutes before inserting contact lenses.Avoid other eye medications unless your doctor approves. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribedEvery effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc.
Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient.
Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc.

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