Q. After chemo treatment, I had two bouts with shingles. Knowing that this is a herpes virus, I treated myself with L-lysine as I often do for cold sores. The discomfort and rash disappeared in less than a week. My oncologist was very interested to hear this and has been successful using L-lysine for other patients with shingles.

A. Prescription antiviral drugs such as Valtrex or Famvir can be helpful against shingles. Many people say that L-lysine works for cold sores. We have never heard that this amino acid might also work against shingles.

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  1. Susan
    Reply

    Last week I had burning bumps on my back. I live in Florida & garden and since I thought they were bug or spider bites, I used Benadryl Gel to soothe the burning & itching. It did help the symptoms, but the sores didn’t go away. Yesterday I realized it was possibly shingles & started taking Lysine capsules. The symptoms are already decreasing.

  2. James
    Reply

    Pertaining to Shingles:
    The reason a person should not eat nuts when they are taking L-Lysine for shingles is because the nuts are high in Arginine and it counter acts with the L-Lysine and renders it usless.
    L-Lysine also works good for the treating of herpes which is related to the shingle virus.

  3. Mom with a doctor for a son
    Reply

    HI there,
    I believe the fact doctors may be cautious in recommending an alternative treatments is because of liability. Just step into their shoes for moment, when they recommend a treatment, there usually has been numerous studies that can back up the reasoning for suggesting the use of that particular treatment. When a patient like you or myself comes in and lets the doctor know that a form of treatment has work for us, it’s not that they do not want to suggest this treatment to other patients, but sadly, they may not be legally allow to.
    We are unique, and yes, the treatment may have help us, but it may for others or worst, may actually make it worst. Since there is no actually studies that relate to that treatment, the variables are high. Even though you may have suggested its positive outcome on you and suggest your doctor to try this with other patients, the doctor is the one ultimately responsible, not you.
    So we can go back to the doctor, lets say they do decide on suggesting a method that has not been proven, this particular patient develops an adverse reaction. Since the doctor is the responsible party for treating a disease, he is legally liable for the adverse reaction. Since there is no studies out to prove the positive effect of the treatment, then he has no proof of “standard of care” and would lose in the court room when his patient decides to sue the doctor for everything they own.
    The sad truth is not because doctors are not open minded to new treatments, but the fact is in this day and age, legal liability reign supreme. I hope you just give them a little more slack.

  4. Kathy
    Reply

    I remember reading about nutritional helps and also foods that aggravate shingles or herpes. Can’t find it now. I know you are supposed to avoid chocolate and whole grains and nuts when you experience outbreaks. Anyone know about this?

  5. ATM
    Reply

    Over the past few years, I discovered that taking Lysine for a few days whenever I felt like a shingles outbreak might be starting worked to prevent it. I was amazed to learn on this site, that others had a similar experience.

  6. MLG
    Reply

    I also hope that Doctors will be open to what works and at least
    tell patients of the possibility that a certain alternative might also work for them.

  7. LS
    Reply

    I am 56 years old and sometimes feel cold sores coming on and am able to eliminate them with L-lysine. Several years ago I had shingles at a stressful time. I used the L-lysine and family recommended a Dr check.
    He put me on the drugs and I had very little pain, the spots dried up but I continued on the L-lysine. My husband pointed out spots on my lower back last night – I have been stressed so took large amt of L-lysine. This morning the spots have nearly disappeared. I will go to the Dr but am pleased with the help from L-lysine.
    I will try to share it with my MD but likely will get a brick wall. Silly isn’t it when people are having all this pain and trouble and some of us find something like L-lysine that helps and the Dr refuse to even consider it!?

  8. JulieN
    Reply

    Once I found out about lysine, I stopped taking Rx for shingles outbreaks. For about the last 8 years, whenever I feel the tingle of an upcoming outbreak, I take lysine for 3 days. That stops the outbreak. Or, if I let it go too far and actually get a couple of tiny blisters, again I take lysine for 3 days and that’s the end of them.

  9. keverett
    Reply

    another thing to keep in mind is to during an episode DO NOT eat: nuts, seeds, chocolate, popcorn or beans. They all seem to lengthen an episode due to an amino acid in them. ESPECIALLY, popcorn, nuts/seeds (speaking from personal experience and research)

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