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Monkeypox Treatment Overview

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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • See a healthcare provider if you think you have monkeypox. Testing is recommended to help prevent spreading the disease.
  • OTC pain medications, rest, and drinking plenty of fluids can often help relieve mild symptoms, like flu-like symptoms and a small rash.
  • Isolate at home to prevent spread of the virus.

When you may need a provider

  • If you have moderate to severe symptoms, including severe pain or large rashes.
  • It is best to have an in-person visit to get the rash looked at, especially if testing is recommended.

Emergency Care

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Go to the ER or call 911 if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe chest pain
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Extremely severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • A lot of vomiting or you can’t keep fluids down due to vomiting
  • New area of hot, red, or swollen skin

The suppliers listed follow Buoy’s clinical guidelines, but listing the suppliers does not constitute a referral or recommendation by Buoy. When you click on the link and/or engage with these services Buoy will be compensated.

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All treatments for monkeypox
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Read more about monkeypox care options

When to see a healthcare provider

If you think you have monkeypox, you should see a healthcare provider for testing. This will help stop it from spreading.

If you haven’t noticed improvement after 5 days of home treatments, tell your healthcare provider.

How to test for monkeypox

Your provider will ask for information to determine your risk for monkeypox. This will include a sexual history because many cases in the current outbreak have been linked to sexual contact.

A diagnosis can usually be made after a physical exam. But monkeypox does have similar symptoms to other common illnesses, especially before the rash develops.

If testing is needed, your doctor can swab the rash and send it to a lab for testing. It may take about 48 hours to get test results. You’ll probably be asked to isolate at home if monkeypox is the likely diagnosis. You may also be tested for other respiratory viruses or sexually transmitted infections that cause similar symptoms.

What to expect from your visit

  • Some people who are immunocompromised or at high risk of complications from monkeypox may be offered antiviral therapy. These medications are recommended for the closely related smallpox virus. They may help shorten the illness and reduce the severity of symptoms.
  • You’ll be given recommendations for reducing the chance of spreading it to others. This includes isolating at home, not touching the rash, and covering the rash when you must be around others. Wearing a mask can help prevent the virus spreading through saliva droplets.
  • Prescription medications may be prescribed if OTC medications haven't helped.
  • Monkeypox vaccines are not recommended once symptoms develop.

Prescription monkeypox medications

  • Antiviral medications: tecovirimat (TPOXX, ST-246), cidofovir (Vistide), brincidofovir (Tembexa, CMX001)
  • Prescription pain medications: hydrocodone plus acetaminophen (Lortab, Norco, Vicodin), oxycodone (Roxicodone), oxycodone plus acetaminophen (Percocet)

Types of providers

  • A primary care provider or urgent care can help make the diagnosis, order testing if needed, and offer appropriate treatment.
  • Seeing a dermatologist or gynecologist is a good idea if you have unusual skin or reproductive symptoms, which can sometimes happen when you have monkeypox.
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