Most cases of chickenpox in otherwise healthy children are treated with bed rest, fluids, and medications to control fever and itching. Children with chickenpox should NOT receive aspirin, because aspirin may increase the risk of Reye's syndrome (a rare and serious childhood disease that can be life-threatening). The recommended medication for fever control is acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Chickenpox may be treated with an antiviral drug in serious cases, depending on the patient's age,,health, the extent of the infection, and the timing of the treatment.
Varicella vaccine can prevent chickenpox. Most people who receive varicella vaccine will not get chickenpox.
The most common complication is bacterial infection of the skin or other parts of the body, including the bones, lungs, joints, and blood. The virus can also lead to pneumonia or infection of the brain. These complications are rare but serious. Complications are more common in infants, adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
Chickenpox poses a significant threat to immunocompromised people. The best way to prevent infection in each patient is by immunizing susceptible family members and close contacts of the person.
Chickenpox vaccine is recommended for the following:
The Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition
Immunization Healthcare Branch
Developed in cooperation with the Immunization Action Coalition and the Centers for Disease & Control and Prevention (CDC).