Shingles antivirals vs infections and reduced ... - CLL Support

CLL Support

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Shingles antivirals vs infections and reduced immunity


First, happy new year (if this is new year for you :-)

As well as being in watch and wait with my CLL, I am recovering from shingles (which i’ve never before had) during a period where I am also successfully (so far) coming off treatment for autoimmune haemolytic anaemia with a low maintenance dose of steroids (10 mg)

My consultant has advised that I take double doses of antibiotics for combating bacterial infections, as my immunity is declining slowly, and I’m wondering whether this should also apply to viruses; in this case the heroes zoster of shingles?

The outbreak is behind my lower thigh and hadn’t spread beyond two areas before beginning to decline. I’m on the final day of Acyclovir (800mg x 5 per day for 7 days).

I’ll be seeing my GP as soon as possible but I expect I’ll get a quicker response here!

10 Replies

I am no doctor. I did have AIHA from which I recovered. My doctor put me on acyclovir afterwards until I completed the Shingrix vaccine shots. Shingrix is a not live vaccine which some Cll doctors recommend. We can’t take live vaccines.

I would think your doctor should keep you on acyclovir, but I don’t know the protocol for that. I think I would still be on acyclovir but for completing Shingrix vaccination.

deveritt in reply to cajunjeff

I’ve never heard of Shingrix, but will look into it, so thanks for that! I’ll follow it up.

mrsjsmith in reply to deveritt


I think you are in the UK ? When I last checked Shingrex was only available in one Pharmacy in London and they didn’t have any stock.


deveritt in reply to mrsjsmith

Yes, in the U.K.- I see, but I’ll ask anyway…

poppykraus in reply to deveritt

Shingrix is not a live vaccine and is what your Dr. will recommend

I had an unconfirmed rash that could have been Shingles. Consultant put me on 3x acyclovir for life.

deveritt in reply to otonal

Wow, for life! You weren't offered the vaccination, then? What dosage, and did you receive any information about the load on your liver?

otonal in reply to deveritt

Hi 3x 200mg a day. I have liver and kidney function tests with full blood count every six months and my numbers have slightly improved since taking up running. Shingrix is very difficult to get in the UK and the consultant said it was expensive and the evidence was not clear for its use in CLL.

Justasheet1 in reply to otonal


I’m currently taking ibrutinib. The doctor has me on valacyclovir for prophylactic reasons. That is only one pill a day. I’m not sure if you are on a higher dose though. Perhaps for ease you could switch?

Not for nothing but I had both Shingrix shots and the doctor didn’t care. He still insisted on valacyclovir.


deveritt in reply to Justasheet1

I see. I had a high dosage for a week (which has ended), but I'll speak with my consultant to ask what the wisdom is for me about a prophylactic dose…

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