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Chickenpox treatment

  • Information

    Question:

    Can chickenpox be treated?

    Answer:

    Yes.

    Chickenpox symptoms can be controlled with soothing baths or antihistamines to decrease itching. Acetaminophen may help control fever, headache, or muscle pain. Do not give aspirin to children with chickenpox, because this can increase the child's risk of Reye syndrome.

    An antiviral drug can be used to treat the symptoms of chickenpox in persons older than age 2. The drug should help reduce the severity of chickenpox symptoms, especially in older children and teenagers, if taken within 24 hours of the rash's first appearance.

    A vaccine to prevent chickenpox is available for children over age 1 who have not previously had the disease.

    Chickenpox can be a very severe in patients who have weakened immune systems, such as persons with cancer and who have had an organ transplant. High risk people should be treated with antiviral drugs if they have been exposed to chicken pox and are not immune, or if they become sick with chickenpox. For detailed information, see the article on chickenpox.

  • References

    Myers MG, Seward JF, LaRussa PS. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 250.

    Grose C. Varicella (chickenpox). In: Rakel P, Bope ET, eds. Conn’s Current Therapy 2008. 60th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 18.

Review Date: 2/2/2007

Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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101 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 Main Phone: (217) 366-1200
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Toll Free: (888) 391-0412
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1801 West Windsor Road Champaign, IL 61822 (217) 366-8000
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209 West Borman Drive Rantoul, IL 61866 (217) 892-9671
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1001 Commercial Drive Mahomet, IL 61853 (217) 586-6600
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3545 North Vermilion Street Danville, IL 61832 (217) 442-8611
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300 North Main Street Tuscola, IL 61953 (217) 253-9258
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1207 South Mattis Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 355-1684
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109 West University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 366-5180
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2901 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61821 (217) 366-8130
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1710 East Windsor Road Urbana, IL 61802 (217) 344-9440
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2110 Fox Drive, Suite B Champaign, IL 61820
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105 B Professional Plaza Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 345-3000
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1000 Health Center Drive Mattoon, IL 61938 (217) 258-2588
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