And I thought famvir made me sick

On Friday I started taking famvir for an outbreak of shingles.  I knew from previous times that famvir gave me a pretty bad headache, but I thought I’d do it anyway and maybe this time it wouldn’t happen.  I withstood it for almost 4 full days, but then called the doctor to get something else. It was a wicked headache and I thought anything else had to be better.  I got the rx for acyclovir Tuesday and took my first dose with dinner. Pretty soon I was experiencing nausea.  Those of you who know me, know that this is a serious situation. I fought off the nausea for four hours and then finally had an episode of vomiting and diarrhea.  It was over fast, and probably not worth the four hours I spent trying to avoid it. We do what we do though, and it’s hard to overcome a phobia you’ve had all your life. This could have very well been a coincidence, but I attributed it to the acyclovir (nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are reported possible side effects).  I called my doctor the next day, and a nurse asked me if I could tolerate the famvir headache for just 3 more days.  So, I’m back on famvir now.  Just a couple of days to go.  Afterwards, I will probably take one a day to help prevent a recurrence of shingles.

The eye doctor told me that he saw no internal goings-on in my eye.  Only the exterior was affected, including the eyelid (outside and inside).  I have an antibiotic ointment to apply twice daily and a return appointment next week.

I should expect to have a complete recovery anywhere from a few weeks to 6 weeks.

More about shingles

I just learned that shingles’ name comes from the Latin cingulum, which means girdle or belt. There’s a lot of useful information about shingles at the FDA web site.


  1. sunshine

    Thinking of you; sending you best wishes.

  2. Gina

    shingles just bites all around; we’ve seen it first hand in our family. so sorry you have to deal with this again. esp in eye area. We’re doing the family pink eye thing right now, so know we’re thinking about ya! I myself am a DUKE EYE CENTER cornea transplant recipient for Stromal Herpes Kerititis.
    Seem’s like it’s all about putting out fires, I know. But at the end of the day, we usually have more blessings to count than we have fingers and toes, and I’ll say that’s a good day.
    Sign me 21+

  3. sunshine

    Oh agony. We are hoping for fewer weeks until complete healing..
    And oh so glad there is no vision injury.

  4. gregj777

    Just read the most recent post. Hope you’re feeling better! We touched base a few years ago when my sister developed a form of myeloma. She’s since had a full stem cell transplant at NCBH (that was October 06) and has been cancer-free since. But just after that she devloped the shingles too, in about the same area as you. She had to do the whole eye ointment thing, biopsy, tc. and had the awful headaches you’ve described. She managed through though just like you will. I’ve switched laptops over the years and just found your bookmark tonight in an archive. Keep on truckin!! Best regards, Greg.


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