When is antiviral therapy indicated for pediatric chickenpox?

Updated: Nov 30, 2018
  • Author: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

The routine use of acyclovir or valacyclovir in healthy children is recommended by the AAP if it can be given within 24 hours after the rash first appears in children older than 12 years, those with chronic cutaneous or pulmonary disorders, those on long-tern salicylate therapy, and children receiving corticosteroids. [26] Intravenous acyclovir is recommended only for the treatment of varicella in immunocompromised children or in healthy children with varicella pneumonia or encephalitis. In some instances, acyclovir may be considered for teenagers and adults with otherwise uncomplicated varicella. Additionally, antiviral therapy should be considered for patients with recent steroid use or those with extensive eczema.


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