Antiviral Medicines for Chickenpox
Why It Is Used
Antiviral medicines may be prescribed if a person has been exposed to chickenpox and can't get the chickenpox vaccine or antibodies to help prevent chickenpox.
These medicines may also be used to help treat chickenpox.
Antiviral medicines are typically given to people who are more likely to become seriously ill or to have complications from chickenpox, such as:
- People who have a long-term illness, such as skin or lung disease.
- People with Reference impaired immune systems Opens New Window.
- Pregnant women with serious complications of chickenpox.
- Babies born early or babies who have a low birth weight and whose mother had chickenpox.
These medicines are usually NOT recommended for:
- Healthy children or adults as a way to prevent them from having chickenpox if they have been exposed to the illness.
- Healthy children as a way to treat chickenpox.
Antiviral medicines can help protect family members of a person with chickenpox from getting chickenpox. But they aren't used regularly if a person's symptoms are not severe or the illness is not causing problems for the family.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: May 14, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics