Shingles,anyone got any advice?

Have had RA for 10 years now,though I am one of the lucky few that has few symptoms,apart from the "flares" I'm on MTX, but only 4 tabs weekly, I have now come down with shingles, & it bl***y hurts!!!!! I've been trying to contact the rheumy team about the mood swings I'm having, but no one available! So all you lovely people on here HELP!! :)

12 Replies

  • Hi there.

    You need to get yourself to out of hour doctor, to get some Acyclovir tablets. They help with the pain and the itch. The doctor can also prescribe a cream to help to. I've just recently had shingles and they can be very painful. Always best to see the doctor. Calamine lotion also soothes the affected part.

    If around your face or eyes see someone as soon as possible.

    best wishes


  • went to the walk in centre, the nurse I saw was brilliant, on the tabs you mention,so hopefully will be feeling better soon! Thankyou so much for replying, G

  • You could ring the new 111 helpline. I did recently, and after 20 questions, I was phoned back by a nurse, then after 10 more questions I was rung back by a real GP from my area. And after a detailed conversation he faxed a prescription to the chemist nearby. Result!

    Worth a try? But patience is required.

  • Hi I have just nursed my OH through Shingles he had it from his thumb right to the top of his shoulder. Wear a shirt -keep covered while you have blister heads you are infectious .

    I hope it isnt in a joint that is the worse. You must ring the doctor and get the meds quick it will make a tremendous difference!

    Best wishes


  • I had shingles two weeks ago just before we went on holiday! Great! I thought they were mossie bites at first until they didn't respond to piriton. And yes they bloody hurt. Unfortunately unless you catch it within 48 hours of first symptoms, before the spots come out apparently, it's untreatable. So just slather yourself in calamine lotion and tough it out. Great!! The GP did give me amatryptil which she said May help but this is an anti depressant and just made me feel dopey in the mornings. So packed that up after 6 days as wasn't having any affect on the pain.

  • Have been given antiviral meds so hopefully its been caught in time, spots pretty spectacular now! Hope you enjoyed your holiday in spite of the shingles. G

  • feel sorry for you. wish I could help but was told it was incurable on this site. It isn't and I am cross.

  • Unless you can get diagnosed within 48 hours anti vitals won't works skeggy, this was told to me by my GP. This means as soon as you feel a tingling or itching sensation and well before spots appear. There is a inoculation you can get to prevent it, as long as your GP agrees to prescribe it. If anyone knows different I would be pleased to hear about it as I have have just had a bout of it.

  • I was told by the nurse I saw at the walk in centre that they will work providing they are taken within 72 hours of rash appearing, 3 days in & its still incredibly painful,plus its triggered a "flare" feeling very tearful this morning,sorry to be so miserable this early on a Monday morning! Oh I'm pretty sure my wonderful children are up to something,I have a significant birthday in a few days (3score years & 10)praying that I will be feeling less miserable by then!

  • It always amuses me that health professionals give different stories to different people. I am sorry that you are still in pain. As I said, I know what it is like. My last spots are finally going. If you have been given the anti viral drugs, did they tell you how long it would take to work? So all I can say is keep on with the calamine lotion and painkillers. I just hope you enjoy your birthday. Mine started just before our trip away for our 38th wedding anniversary! Life's unfair sometime isn't it?

  • Have had to stop taking the av's terrible diarrea (wrong spelling but you get the picture!!) they also gave me hives!! so will have to tough it out,could you tell me if you felt exhausted all the time/ I'm finding that almost worse than the rash,also the whole side where the rash is ,is very tender,did you get that too? Sorry to ask all these questions but it would so help to know I'm not being paranoid!! Many congratulations on your wedding anniversary,something like that makes you wonder where the time went, we celebrated our 40th last year,Hope you enjoyed your holiday .Gillian X

  • Yes I did feel tired. Whether this was a result of feeling ill and not sleeping due to pain of shingles or RA, I don't know. Probably the shingles. I was also given amatryptil which I took at night. This made me feel very dozy in the mornings and wasn't having any noticeable affect, so stopped it after 6 days. Hope this helps. And keep roughing it out.

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