Transplant and shingles: How do I know I'm over it?

Posted by pinkpam @pinkpam, Dec 20, 2021

I am 23 yr post kidney transplant. I have a mild case of shingles – How do i know if i'm over it? should i get extra valtrax in case i have a flare up?

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Hi @pinkpam, I think @alive and @hopeful33250 might have some valuable thoughts on this topic.

While valacyclovir (Valtrex) is used to treat infections caused by certain types of viruses like shingles (caused by herpes zoster) in adults, I suggest consulting with your transplant team. Are you asking if you should get a prescription of valacyclovir to have on hand in case you experience a recurrence and wish to start the prescription as soon as possible? Have you symptoms subsided?

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I am working with the transplant team. Tomorrow I see the dermatology and just wondering if i should have some on hand. So hard to know if i'm really done with this as i do have some pain. I am on my second script. Rash is better pain is comes and goes

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@pinkpam

I am working with the transplant team. Tomorrow I see the dermatology and just wondering if i should have some on hand. So hard to know if i'm really done with this as i do have some pain. I am on my second script. Rash is better pain is comes and goes

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Hello @pinkpam,

I had the same question after a bout with Shingles a little over a year ago. My rash was small and disappeared quite quickly after I took the anti-viral med. The intense pain, however, was really terrible and I took a lot of Gabapentin to deal with the pain. Even though it has been a year since my bout with Shingles, the pain still comes on a pretty regular basis, especially if I'm overly tired or stressed.

I asked my PCP if I should keep the anti-viral on hand and she said that I should just notify the office if it comes back. However, your transplant team may provide you with another answer given your transplant history.

How intense is your pain right now?

I look forward to hearing from you. Will you post again after your appointment and let me know what has been suggested for you?

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@pinkpam

I am working with the transplant team. Tomorrow I see the dermatology and just wondering if i should have some on hand. So hard to know if i'm really done with this as i do have some pain. I am on my second script. Rash is better pain is comes and goes

Jump to this post

@pinkpam, I am a transplant recipient, have not had shingles, have had the vaccine, I am listening to this conversation so that I can be prepared if/when I get it.
Did you you get the Shingrix vaccine?

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@rosemarya

@pinkpam, I am a transplant recipient, have not had shingles, have had the vaccine, I am listening to this conversation so that I can be prepared if/when I get it.
Did you you get the Shingrix vaccine?

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@rosemarya and @pinkpam

I had the Shingrex vaccine (both doses) the year prior to getting the Shingles. I feel that I must have a weakened immune system because the vaccination just didn't take.

I would be interested in knowing if you did get the vaccine, @pinkpam.

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I did not I had other issues/surgeries going on and was afraid it would drag me down further

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@hopeful33250

Hello @pinkpam,

I had the same question after a bout with Shingles a little over a year ago. My rash was small and disappeared quite quickly after I took the anti-viral med. The intense pain, however, was really terrible and I took a lot of Gabapentin to deal with the pain. Even though it has been a year since my bout with Shingles, the pain still comes on a pretty regular basis, especially if I'm overly tired or stressed.

I asked my PCP if I should keep the anti-viral on hand and she said that I should just notify the office if it comes back. However, your transplant team may provide you with another answer given your transplant history.

How intense is your pain right now?

I look forward to hearing from you. Will you post again after your appointment and let me know what has been suggested for you?

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Valtrax seem like a safe and common drug – i hope she will give me a script to take as needed for flare ups. I have pain in the am and at 3 in the afternoon. Wrapping gifts yesterday hurt it. – I'll let you know how appt goes.

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@hopeful33250

Hello @pinkpam,

I had the same question after a bout with Shingles a little over a year ago. My rash was small and disappeared quite quickly after I took the anti-viral med. The intense pain, however, was really terrible and I took a lot of Gabapentin to deal with the pain. Even though it has been a year since my bout with Shingles, the pain still comes on a pretty regular basis, especially if I'm overly tired or stressed.

I asked my PCP if I should keep the anti-viral on hand and she said that I should just notify the office if it comes back. However, your transplant team may provide you with another answer given your transplant history.

How intense is your pain right now?

I look forward to hearing from you. Will you post again after your appointment and let me know what has been suggested for you?

Jump to this post

after appt : I was able to get a follow up -3 appt. and can cancel if need. I also was able to get some more valtrax if i need that. I take Norco 1/2 or whole pill as needed from my primary. Made a quiche and lunch then 1/2 norco since the pain was bad. PA thinks i should be done with this in 2 weeks as my rash is better. Timing couldn't be worst as I'm afraid I'll get the virus – oh hum double masking and wearing mittens everywhere

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@pinkpam

after appt : I was able to get a follow up -3 appt. and can cancel if need. I also was able to get some more valtrax if i need that. I take Norco 1/2 or whole pill as needed from my primary. Made a quiche and lunch then 1/2 norco since the pain was bad. PA thinks i should be done with this in 2 weeks as my rash is better. Timing couldn't be worst as I'm afraid I'll get the virus – oh hum double masking and wearing mittens everywhere

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It sounds like you are doing as much as possible, @pinkpam . Does the Norco help with the pain?

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so-so hope to be done with the two meds. in 2/3 weeks

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@pinkpam

I am working with the transplant team. Tomorrow I see the dermatology and just wondering if i should have some on hand. So hard to know if i'm really done with this as i do have some pain. I am on my second script. Rash is better pain is comes and goes

Jump to this post

@pinkpam,
I hope at you got some relief. While reading about your Shingles experience, I began to wonder whether transplant patients can take longer to get over it. I have not had shingles, but whenever I have a health issue like a cut, abrasion, etc, it takes me longer to heal than is suggested. Do you ever experience that? I wonder if that could be contributing to your prolonged rash and pain?

How was your meeting with the dermatologist last week? Did you get any answers to your question about being over the Shingles? Did you learn how that can be decided?

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