Which prophylactic options should be considered for individuals at risk of chickenpox (varicella) infection?

Updated: Aug 31, 2020
  • Author: Anthony J Papadopoulos, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Oral acyclovir should be considered for healthy persons at increased risk of severe varicella infections. Valacyclovir and famciclovir are other agents used in treatment. Intravenous acyclovir therapy is recommended for patients who are immune-suppressed or immune-compromised. Varicella-zoster immune globulin (VZIG) is indicated for use in highly susceptible, VZV-exposed immunocompromised or immunosuppressed populations. A live attenuated varicella vaccine (Oka strain) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1995 for prophylactic use in healthy children and adults. (See Treatment, Guidelines, and Medication.)


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