Shingles & Post-Herpetic Neuralgia
The pain associated with shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia has been described as excruciating. Shingles starts with a burning, itching sensation and progresses to a rash in the distribution of a specific nerve root. In some, the rash and the pain resolve over several weeks, but in others the rash resolves but the pain continues.
Continued pain, or post-herpetic neuralgia, is more common with increased age. To control the pain, anti-convulsants such as Neurontin and Lyrica and anti-depressants such as Elavil, Doxepin, Effexor, and Cymbalta are used. Topical Doxepin and Lidoderm patches are also helpful for sensitivity, pain, and itch associated with PHN.
Your physician may discuss other medication options with you. You may also be a candidate for a steroid injection to control pain and halt the progression of PHN. While the pain associated with shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia can be severe, your RCIPS specialist will be available to help you through this difficult time.
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