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Pharmacy First: Management of shingles

This is the first in a new series of CPD modules which cover conditions included in the proposed NHS Pharmacy First service in England and equivalent schemes in other parts of the UK.

Key facts:

  • Shingles is a reactivation of a previous chickenpox infection and is more likely to occur in older people
  • The most common complication of shingles is post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN)
  • Actively encouraging eligible patients to have the shingles vaccine is a key public health intervention
  • Early diagnosis and prompt treatment with aciclovir can reduce the severity and duration of shingles
  • To be most effective antivirals should be started within 72 hours of the shingles rash appearing

Contributing authors: Professor Alison Blenkinsopp and Dr Martin Duerden 

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