Shingles is a painful skin rash. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus. Shingles usually appear in a band, a strip, or a small area on one side of the face or body. It is also called herpes zoster.

Shingles is most common in older adults and people who have weak immune systems because of stress, injury, certain medicines, or other reasons. Most people who get shingles will get better and will not get it again. But it is possible to get shingles more than once.

If you think you may have shingles and can’t quickly see a doctor, our pharmacists might be able to prescribe and ship you an early treatment, under certain conditions, while you find a doctor’s appointment.

Medicine can help your symptoms get better sooner. However, if you have shingles near your eye, nose or any other area of your head, see your doctor right away or go to the emergency room. Shingles that get into the eye can cause permanent eye damage.


Eligibility criteria and details

A pharmacist may prescribe antiviral treatment to a patient with signs and symptoms similar to herpes zoster (Shingles), unless the signs and symptoms are present in the head.

The pharmacist CANNOT PRESCRIBE a medication if:

  • Signs and symptoms are present in the head.
  • A sign or symptom that recurs or persists after the first medication prescribed by the pharmacist.
  • A sign or symptom suggesting the presence of an undiagnosed chronic or systemic disease.
  • A sign or symptom suggesting a decline or impairment of organ or system function.
  • An unusual reaction to the medication.

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