Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus. The disease is viewed as a mild viral illness with occasional complications. It is common and highly contagious and affects nearly all children before adolescence.
Chickenpox is usually a benign disease in children, and almost all children recover uneventfully. Even though many people think it is useless to treat it with antibiotics, sometimes it requires particular antiviral therapy. Chickenpox symptoms may include fever, abdominal pain, rash, headache, weakness, and loss of appetite, cough, and sore throat. Itchy rash and fever are the typical symptoms of pediatric patients with varicella.
Even though vaccination made it much less threatening, varicella is not entirely benign even today. A significant number of varicella cases are associated with complications including pneumonia and encephalitis. The purpose of antiviral treatment is to reduce virus activity that manifests as painful and itchy blisters and lesions on the body.
Antiviral treatment is prescribed for severe cases of chickenpox in adults and adolescents to prevent the development of adverse complications. Doctors recommend Zovirax for the treatment of chickenpox. It is so safe and well studied that it can be prescribed to small children.
Adolescents, adults, and pregnant patients are at increased risk for complications. That’s why they are often treated with antivirals. Other patients requiring specific treatment are immune-deficient children, those who are otherwise at risk for severe disease, and those who already have severe disease. Doctors recommend supportive measures, administration of varicella zoster immune globulin (VZIG), and treatment of secondary bacterial infection.
After recovery, the virus remains in the body hiding in the nerve ganglia. It can get activated under certain conditions, and then it again appears on the surface of the skin and manifests itself in the form of shingles. Shingles may have a protracted nature since it can take chronic and acute forms.
The pain of neurological nature accompanies it affecting the general health. The virus can get reactivated when the immune system is compromised and weakened after the course of chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and severe illness, HIV.
Varicella Zoster is more dangerous for adults because there is a high risk of serious complications. It lasts longer; the temperature is higher; the painful rash is more common and causes more discomfort; the blisters take longer to heal.
Usually chickenpox is not dangerous for children, and it passes in 7-9 days without complications. So it is not recommended to treat chickenpox in children with any drugs including Zovirax. However, adults require antiviral treatment even is the chicken pox is not complicated.
Acyclovir has the main component called Zovirax. It belongs to a group of acyclic nucleosides. It is prescribed for chickenpox because it is sufficiently safe, efficient and clinically tested.
Acyclovir has two advantages:
- Initially, the drug was created to kill the herpes virus. Since the chickenpox virus belongs to the same group as herpes, it can be treated with Acyclovir too.
- It suppresses the synthesis of the virus at the DNA level blocking its replication. It significantly accelerates the time of recovery.
Acyclovir is prescribed for severe forms of the chickenpox that have the following symptoms:
- watery painful rash on the body;
- general weakness;
- high temperature.
Zovirax is recommended for children with severe forms of chickenpox and with a high risk of complications. The doctors usually prescribe one or two tablets of Zovirax for three to five times a day depending on the condition of the patient. The doctor also determines the right dosage and duration of treatment. Usually, the course of therapy lasts up to 5 days.
Zovirax is recommended for adults and children older than two years. For younger children, a doctor should determine the dose. Depending on the severity of the disease, the course can be extended to ten days. In most severe cases of chickenpox, the patient is hospitalized, and acyclovir is administered intravenously.
Consult a doctor before taking Zovirax! The attending physician should determine the dosage. Zovirax is not recommended for breastfeeding women. However, it is safe for expectant mothers. Also, it is contraindicated for patients with an individual intolerance to its component. With particular caution, the medicine is prescribed to patients with renal insufficiency.