Chickenpox Home > Chickenpox Medication

While not recommended for most people, chickenpox medication is sometimes recommended for people who have certain medical conditions. This medication may also be administered in people who have been exposed to the chickenpox virus but have not yet developed any symptoms. Medications for chickenpox may include the varicella vaccine, acyclovir, and varicella zoster immune globulin.

An Overview of Chickenpox Medication

In most cases, doctors do not recommend chickenpox medication. Chickenpox medication is recommend in people with certain medical conditions, or if a person has been exposed to chickenpox but is not yet showing symptoms of chickenpox.
Chickenpox medications include:

Varicella Vaccine

The varicella vaccine (also known as the chickenpox vaccine) may be used as medication for someone who has been exposed but is not yet showing symptoms. Treatment for chickenpox, in this case, involves giving the varicella vaccine to susceptible children within 72 hours and possibly up to 120 hours after chickenpox exposure. The vaccine may prevent or significantly reduce chickenpox symptoms in greater that 90 percent of cases if given within 3 days of exposure.


Acyclovir (Zovirax) is a medicine that works against herpes viruses. Acyclovir as a chickenpox medication is recommended for people who are more likely to develop a serious case of chickenpox, including:
  • People with chronic skin or lung disease
  • Otherwise healthy individuals 13 years of age or older
  • People receiving steroid therapy.
In order for acyclovir to be effective as a chickenpox medication, it must be administered within 24 hours of the onset of the chickenpox rash.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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