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What medications treat Bell's palsy?

Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug that prevents the herpes virus from reproducing itself. (Viruses such as the herpes virus, cytomegalovirus, and the Epstein-Barr virus are why the facial nerve involved in Bell's palsy gets inflamed.) An example of an antiviral drug is acyclovir.

Your doctor may also prescribe a corticosteroid, but only if Bell's palsy has been diagnosed within 48 hours. This is because the corticosteroid is given to help reduce nerve swelling.

Steroids appear to be very effective in reducing nerve damage in Bell's palsy, if they are taken early. Evidence on antiviral drugs is more mixed, and the benefits are likely modest.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.