A nurse is planning the care of a patient with herpes zoster. What medication, if administered within the first 24 hours of the initial eruption, can arrest herpes zoster?

Answer Explanation: Acyclovir, if started early, is effective in significantly reducing the pain and halting the progression of the disease. There is evidence that infection is arrested if oral antiviral agents are administered within the first 24 hours. Prednisone is an anti-inflammatory agent used in a variety of skin disorders, but not in the treatment of herpes. Azanthioprine is an immunosuppressive agent used in the treatment of pemphigus. Triamcinolone is utilized in the treatment of psoriasis.

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