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Health Tip: Using an Antiviral for Chickenpox

Health Tip: Using an Antiviral for Chickenpox

08/19/11

(HealthDay News) -- Chickenpox is a viral infection that causes itchy, fluid-filled skin blisters. Usually affecting children, the infection typically runs its course and clears up without treatment.

Adults and teens, however, may be at risk of more severe symptoms and may benefit from an antiviral medication, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says. An antiviral is most beneficial if begun during the first 24 hours of the skin rash.

The agency mentions these additional facts about use of an antiviral medication in a person with chickenpox:

  • Healthy children who don't have severe symptoms probably don't need an antiviral medication.
  • Adolescents who take regular aspirin may need an antiviral.
  • People with skin or lung conditions, or those who have recently taken a steroidal medication, may benefit from an antiviral.
  • People who have been exposed to chickenpox -- but haven't contracted the infection -- may benefit from an antiviral.
Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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