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Postherpetic Neuralgia

Postherpetic neuralgia is a chronic condition caused by shingles, resulting in persistent pain. It affects the nerves and can cause severe discomfort. Treatment options include medications, topical creams, nerve blocks, and alternative therapies. The shingles vaccine can help prevent postherpetic neuralgia. Taking preventive measures and managing overall health can reduce the risk and impact of this condition.

Best medications for Postherpetic Neuralgia

Drug NameClassRouteStandard DosagePrice
NeurontinAnti-epilepticsOral400, 250, 600, 300, 800, 100 MGfrom$8.94
LyricaAnti-epilepticsOral225, 150, 200, 300, 20, 50, 75, 165, 330, 25, 82.5, 100 MGfrom$10.60
Lyrica CRAnti-epilepticsOral165, 330, 82.5 MGfrom$42.26
ZTlidoLocal AnestheticsExternal1.8 %from$358.64
LidodermLocal AnestheticsExternal5 %from$28.68
GraliseAnti-epilepticsOral450, 300 (9) &, 600, 300, 900, 750 MGfrom$45.56
HorizantAnti-epilepticsOral600, 300 MGfrom$503.39
QutenzaTRPV1 AgonistsExternal8 %from$26746.01

What is Postherpetic Neuralgia?

Postherpetic neuralgia is a condition that occurs as a result of shingles, also known as herpes zoster. Shingles is a viral infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the nerve tissues. However, in some cases, the virus may reactivate, causing shingles.


The main symptom of postherpetic neuralgia is persistent pain that occurs in the area where the shingles rash initially appeared. The pain may be severe and sharp, aching, burning, or shooting. It is often described as a constant, throbbing sensation. Other symptoms may include sensitivity to touch, itching, and numbness or tingling in the affected area.


Postherpetic neuralgia is caused by the damage or irritation of nerves during a shingles infection. The varicella-zoster virus affects the nerves, and when the infection subsides, the damaged nerves may continue to send pain signals to the brain. Older adults, people with weakened immune systems, and those who had a more severe case of shingles are at an increased risk of developing postherpetic neuralgia.


The treatment of postherpetic neuralgia focuses on relieving pain and reducing discomfort. Medications such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and topical creams containing capsaicin may be prescribed to alleviate the pain. Additionally, lidocaine patches or nerve blocks can be used to numb the affected area. Some alternative therapies like acupuncture and relaxation techniques may also provide relief. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate treatment options.


Postherpetic neuralgia can be prevented or mitigated by receiving the shingles vaccine. The vaccine, called Zostavax, reduces the risk of developing shingles and postherpetic neuralgia in older adults. It is recommended for individuals aged 50 and older. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing stress, and taking care of the immune system can also contribute to reducing the risk and severity of shingles and its associated complications.


Postherpetic neuralgia is a chronic condition that can cause persistent pain and discomfort in individuals who have had shingles. While there is no cure for postherpetic neuralgia, various treatment options exist to help relieve the symptoms and improve quality of life. By taking preventive measures, such as receiving the shingles vaccine and maintaining overall health and well-being, one can reduce the risk and impact of postherpetic neuralgia.