Shingles Formulas

The Shingles Formula is a customized prescription blend that may include ingredients such as; antiviral, corticosteroid, nerve agent, antihistamine, hydrating agents, ceramide lipids, and/or antimicrobials that target the main symptoms of shingles. It is an odorless gel typically applied 4 to 5 times daily.

What is the Shingles Formula?

The Shingles Formula combines prescription ingredients in a proprietary base developed specifically to deliver ingredients to the affected area(s). It uses a unique delivery system designed to feel light, smooth and creamy with a pleasant finish on the skin. It is also not tacky or oily, leaving a light and silky feel on the skin. The Shingles Formula is specifically made without fragrance, or gluten.

Common Ingredients


Acyclovir decreases the severity and length of these outbreaks. It helps the sores heal faster, keeps new sores from forming, and decreases pain/itching. This medication may also help reduce how long pain remains after the sores heal.


Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that is widely used to treat chronic neuropathic pain (pain due to nerve damage). It has been recommended as a first-line treatment in many guidelines. Neuropathic pain can be treated with antidepressant drugs in doses below those at which the drugs act as antidepressants.

Beta Glucan

Beta-glucans are soluble fibers that come from the cell walls of mushrooms, plants, algae, yeasts, and oats. Because beta-glucans have antioxidant properties and are anti-inflammatory, they are excellent ingredients for improving the look of redness and other signs of sensitive skin.


Ceramides are essential lipids naturally produced in the body and make up nearly 50% of the outermost layer of skin. Ceramides help in creating a lipid barrier that helps boost skin resilience and prevents the skin from losing moisture. When the skin lacks ceramides, it can lead to dryness and irritation, contributing to skin sensitivity.


Diclofenac is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used to treat mild-to-moderate pain and helps to relieve symptoms of arthritis (eg, osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis), such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain.


Diphenhydramine belongs to a class of medications called antihistamines. Topical diphenhydramine is used to relieve the localized pain and itching.


Gabapentin belongs to a class of medications called anticonvulsants and has been used to treat nerve pain, such as burning, shooting, or stabbing pain. Gabapentin works by changing the way that nerves send messages to your brain. By altering the way nerves work, gabapentin may reduce your pain.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced by the body and is found in high concentrations within the skin. Hyaluronic acid is essential for maintaining your skin's moisture balance and is responsible for your skin’s plumpness and volume. Hyaluronic acid has been shown to attract and retain water, making it an excellent hydrating ingredient.


Hydrocortisone is in a class of medications called corticosteroids. This medication is used to treat a variety of skin conditions. Hydrocortisone works by getting the body to stop its extreme immune response. When the immune system's reaction calms down, cell turnover slows, and the itchy, scaly rash improves.


Lidocaine is in a class of medications called local anesthetics. Lidocaine is a numbing agent that blocks the nerve impulses that send pain signals to your brain.


Mupirocin is used to treat or prevent infections on the skin due to certain strains of resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This medicine works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth.


Petrolatum is a popular ingredient often found in over-the-counter lotions and creams for adults and children. It has long been considered one of the most effective moisturizing ingredients and is often referred to as the “gold standard” of occlusive ingredients because it creates a physical barrier that prevents moisture from leaving the skin.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E research has shown it offers multiple benefits for your skin. Vitamin E has been shown to be a potent antioxidant that helps against free radicals, which can lead to dryness, and rough surface texture.

Frequently asked questions

What is a compounded medication?

One size doesn’t fit all and every patient is unique. Drug compounding is the process of combining, mixing, or altering ingredients to create a medication tailored to the needs of a patient by a pharmacist as the result of a practitioner’s prescription drug order. While compounded medications are not FDA-approved, they serve an important patient need—especially when FDA-approved medication is not available for treatment. Our formulations are made to order in small batches to ensure freshness. The specific ingredients in your compounded formula will depend on your specific concerns and goals. It should be understood that your personal healthcare practitioner will make the final decision.

Are compounded medications FSA & HSA eligible?

Yes! All of our compounded formulations, regardless of ingredients, are eligible for Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Saving Accounts (HSA).

What is shingles?

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso. Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox. After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain. Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

The pain usually lasts 2 to 3 days before the development of a rash in the affected dermatome. However, some patients have presented with pain for approximately 1 week before development of a rash. Shingles generally lasts between 2 and 6 weeks. Most people only get shingles once, but it is possible to get it two or more times.

Are shingles contagious?

A person with shingles can pass the virus to anyone who isn't immune to chickenpox. This usually occurs through direct contact with the open sores of the shingles rash. Once infected, the person will develop chickenpox, however, not shingles. Chickenpox can be dangerous for some people. Until your shingles blisters scab over, you are contagious and should avoid physical contact with anyone who hasn't yet had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, especially people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and newborns.

When should I see improvement in my symptoms?

Based on research and patient testimonials, you may see improvement as early as 1 to 2 weeks; however, each patient is unique and time frames may differ.

How should I use the Shingles Formula?

  • The Shingles Formula is for topical use only. If this medicine gets in your eyes or mouth, rinse with water.

  • Follow all directions on your prescription label. Using this medicine in larger amounts than prescribed will not make it work any faster, and it may increase side effects such as irritation, and inflammation of skin.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after applying the medicine. Do not allow other people to get this medicine on their skin. If this happens, wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.

  • Apply a thin layer to cover the affected area(s) 4to 5 times daily or as directed.

  • Therapy should be initiated as early as possible following the onset of signs or symptoms

  • Care should be exercised to avoid further contamination of the infected skin.

Who should not use the Shingles Formula?

Do not start using the Shingles Formula if you have a history of hypersensitivity to the prescribed ingredients. Do not use the Shingles Formula if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby. Do not use the Shingles Formula if you have recently had a heart attack or have used MAO inhibitors in the past 14 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Apply the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not apply two doses at one time.

How should I store this medication?

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).

Safety Information

Research has shown, topically applied medications are less likely to cause the same systemic side effects or drug-to-drug interactions as oral medications; however, there is never an absolute zero chance that side effects or drug interactions will not occur. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

What should I avoid while using the Shingles Formula?

  • This drug product is contraindicated in individuals with a history of sensitivity to any of its components.

  • Do not use this medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding a baby.

  • Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds, the Shingle Formula may make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.

What are the common side effects of the Shingles Formula?

Common side effects may include application site reactions of:

  • Skin reactions (dermatitis)

  • Burning, stinging or warmth

  • Itching or tingling

  • Redness, dryness or peeling

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives, severe itching; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. These are not all of the possible side effects of the Shingles Formula. For more information, ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose is not expected to be dangerous. Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222 if anyone has accidentally swallowed the medication.


  • Shingles: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Accessed May 9, 2017.

  • Yun H, et al. Longterm effectiveness of herpes zoster vaccine among patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Journal of Rheumatology. In press. Accessed May 9, 2017.

  • Ferri FF. Herpes zoster. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2017. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. Accessed May 9, 2017.

  • Bennett JE, et al., eds. Chickenpox and herpes zoster (varicella-zoster virus). In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. Accessed May 9, 2017.

  • Shingles: Clinical overview. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed May 9, 2017.

  • Longo DL, et al., eds. Varicella-zoster virus infections. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. Accessed May 9, 2017.

  • Albrecht MA, et al. Vaccination for the prevention of shingles (herpes zoster). Accessed Sept. 10, 2021.

  • Zostavax (zoster vaccine live) recommendations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Sept. 10, 2020.

  • Shingrix recommendations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed Sept. 10, 2021.

  • AskMayoExpert. Herpes zoster (shingles). Mayo Clinic; 2019.


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