Managing Shingles During Pregnancy
Developing Shingles During PregnancyWhile developing shingles during pregnancy is possible, it is relatively uncommon. The treatments for this type of infection are similar for women who are pregnant and those who are not.
The main treatments for shingles include antiviral medications, such as:
These medicines are all pregnancy Category B medicines, meaning that they appear to be safe during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category B is one of the five categories the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses to classify different medications. Drugs in Category B have not been studied in pregnant women, but they showed no negative effects on the fetus when studied in pregnant animals.
In addition to antiviral drugs, pain medicines are also frequently used to treat shingles. The specific pain medicine your healthcare provider recommends will depend on how far along you are in your pregnancy. For example, aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (such as Advil® and Motrin®) should not be taken during the third trimester.
(Click Shingles Treatment for more detailed information about treating this infection.)
The remainder of this article discusses the specific risks chickenpox and shingles pose when developed late in pregnancy.