Shingles and Breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a 6 month old that I am exclusively breastfeeding, and I was just diagnosed with shingles. The doctor prescribed Valtrex and informed me that I can't breastfeed while I am taking the medication (1 week). I don't have any breast milk stored and my son has never had a bottle. I talked to a lactation nurse who said that I should pump and dump and give him formula. I am really worried about doing this and I am just wondering if there is anything natural i could do for the shingles and just skip the medication.
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#2 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 01:26 PM
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I don't have my Hale's text here, but call a local LLL leader and ask them to look up Valtrex in it and read it to you. If my memory serves me right, valtrex is fine for breastfeeding. I had shingles when DS was 9 months old and I took it with no problems. I'd look it up for you, if I could - but seriously, call a LLL leader and if they don't have the text, ask if they know someone who does. Then you can be sure.

Most doctors just tell you that as a precaution - they really have no idea.

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#3 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 01:50 PM
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I just posted this on another thread too:

Honey helps a lot! I had chicken pox when I was too little to even remember. I got shingles a few years ago after a bout of bronchitis when I first started teaching kindergarten. (Those guys put off some major germs!) A few years before that I remember reading that honey helps dry them out. My grandmother tried it first after getting shingles after my grandfather died. The honey worked for her. She had them all over! I had a little constellation of them on my abdomen. I used honey and let them see a little sun every day. They cleared up pretty quickly. Good luck!

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#4 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 01:55 PM
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Personally I wouldn't take medication but would take Sodium ascorbate to bowel tollerance till the symptoms where gone.

One gram or two every hour while awake.

If you get enough C you should be well in a couple of days.

Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases and Toxins by Thomas Levy is informative

I remember my grandmother when she had shingles
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#5 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 02:07 PM
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Hi, There is a new product on the market in Health Food stores called Blockade with Virabloc and it was clinically proven to stop envelope viruses (which the herpes family is) from entering cells and thus spreading. I know, from calling the co and asking, that it is completely safe for BF and even to give to children. I would take 8-10 of them a day for a few days. Skip the Valtrex all together.
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#6 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 02:28 PM
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How is valtrex suppost to help? It causes even more side effects than the It goes away fine on it's own just like chicken pox. they should be completely gone in a few weeks.
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#7 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 03:39 PM
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I'm wondering how it's supposed to help too? I've seen several posts where people were perscribed different medications for viral illnesses. I thought doctors can't do anything to clear up viral infections once you catch them other than relieve symptoms. Has there been some new information that I haven't seen?
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#8 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ZoeyZoo View Post
I thought doctors can't do anything to clear up viral infections once you catch them other than relieve symptoms. Has there been some new information that I haven't seen?
Yes. Valtrex is one of the newer anti-virals. They supposedly do help, but I would be wary of the side effects.

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#9 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 09:19 PM
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You don't have to take it. It's a way to help lessen the chance you'll get post-herpetic neuralgia. Very painful.

Sorry to hear you got it!

Michelle: wife to J, mom to M (2001), E (2003), C (2005), S (2007) and O! (2009) And someone new in 2011!
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#10 of 10 Old 10-15-2007, 09:53 PM
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I just was diagnosed in September I took the Valtrex and nursed my 14 month old son. He hasn't shown any effects from the medication. I checked with my pharmacist and he did a very extensive journal search and then called me at home and said that the drug would be okay to take while nursing. Apparently they've done studies using this drug with mothers who have genital herpes and are breastfeeding - the infants had little to no trace of drug and no effect.

To be honest, after going through what I've gone through, if I develop shingles again, I'll take the drug again. I took it immediately and I'm still suffering from Postherpetic neuralgia and I tell you - it's really hell. For 6 weeks now I've had the most excruciating headache - beyond all pain imaginable at times. I'd be afraid of getting worse symptoms without the anti-viral.
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