Health Tip: Using an Antiviral for Chickenpox

Who may need the treatment

(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.
Diana Kohnle

Related Articles

Learn More About Sharp
Sharp HealthCare is San Diego's health care leader with seven hospitals, two medical groups and a health plan. Learn more about our San Diego hospitals, choose a Sharp-affiliated San Diego doctor or browse our comprehensive medical services.

Health News is provided as a service to Sharp Web site users by HealthDay. Sharp HealthCare nor its employees, agents, or contractors, review, control, or take responsibility for the content of these articles. Please read the Terms of Use for more information.