Medicines to Treat Fifth Disease


Fifth disease is an infectious disease typical of childhood also known as 'infectious erythema', 'epidemic megaloerythema' or 'slapped cheek disease'.
This disease occurs mainly in children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 15, but in some cases it can also affect adults.


The fifth disease is caused by a "viral infection caused by Parvovirus B19, otherwise known as Erythrovirus B19.


The characteristic symptoms of fifth disease consist of skin manifestations that present themselves in the form of reddish spots that can itch. These spots can also be in relief and expand throughout the body area, especially in the arms, legs, buttocks, trunk and cheeks. The cheeks, moreover, can swell and redden, and it is precisely from these manifestations derive the name of "slapped cheek disease".
Other symptoms that can arise in children with fifth disease are: fever, headache, rhinitis, joint pain and flu.
Generally, fifth disease does not lead to complications. However, in some susceptible individuals, parvovirus B19 infection can cause acute haemolytic anemia accompanied by leukopenia, decreased red blood cells and disappearance of reticulocytes.

The information on Fifth Disease - Medicines for the Treatment of Fifth Disease is not intended to replace the direct relationship between health professional and patient. Always consult your doctor and / or specialist before taking Fifth Disease - Medicines for the Treatment of Fifth Disease.


In the majority of cases, the fifth disease presents with rather mild symptoms and tends to resolve spontaneously within a few days or weeks, without resorting to the use of drugs.
However - even if they do not require pharmacological treatment - it is very important that patients with fifth disease are treated and, above all, that they do not expose themselves to sunlight and UV radiation, as a worsening of the skin manifestations typical of this pathology.
In some cases, the doctor may decide to prescribe symptomatic drug therapy to treat the fever, joint pain and itching that can occur in patients who have contracted the disease.In this regard, the drugs most used to relieve the symptoms of fifth disease are paracetamol and antihistamines.

The following are the drugs most used in symptomatic therapy against fifth disease and some examples of pharmacological specialties; it is up to the doctor to choose the active ingredient and dosage most suitable for the patient, based on the severity of the disease, the state of health of the patient and his response to treatment.


Paracetamol is certainly the drug of choice to combat the fever caused by fifth disease, thanks to its strong antipyretic properties. Furthermore, this active ingredient is also endowed with analgesic properties and, for this reason, it can be useful for counteracting joint pain. caused by the pathology.
Paracetamol (Tachipirina ®, Efferalgan ®, Panadol ®) is available in many pharmaceutical formulations suitable for different routes of administration, including oral, parenteral and rectal ones.
The dose of paracetamol to be administered varies according to the body weight and age of the child. The doctor will prescribe the most suitable pharmaceutical formulation for each patient and will provide information on the amount of drug to be used and on the frequency of administration.


In some cases, the doctor may decide to prescribe the use of antihistamine drugs to counteract the itching that can occur in association with the typical skin manifestations of fifth disease.
Among the various active ingredients that can be used, we remember:

  • Oxatomide (Tinset ®): oxatomide is a first generation antihistamine available in pharmaceutical formulations suitable for oral or topical administration.
    When administered orally, the dosage of oxatomide should be determined by the physician, according to the age and body weight of the child.
    When, on the other hand, oxatomide-based pharmaceutical formulations for cutaneous use are used, it is recommended to apply the product 2-3 times a day, exclusively on limited areas. Furthermore, if oxatomide is used for cutaneous use, application of the product with occlusive bandages must be avoided.
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