Shingles is a painful, blistering rash that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. The first sign of shingles is often burning or tingling pain, or itch, in one particular location usually on one side of the body. After a few days the rash often progresses to fluid-filled blisters. Shingles attacks can be made less severe or shorter with prescription antiviral medications. Treatment also reduces the risk of postherpetic neuralgia, which is chronic pain that can last for months or years after the shingles rash clears.