Understanding Postherpetic Neuralgia — Treatment

man holding his shoulder in pain

For most people, the symptoms of shingles usually fade away along with the rash that may have appeared along one side of their body or face. But for some people, pain persists long after their skin has cleared.

It’s called postherpetic neuralgia, and it’s a complication of shingles. You might feel intense sensations of tingling, burning, and shooting that don’t let up. This could last for 3 months or longer, and you could be sensitive to touch and have trouble wearing clothes.

If you’ve had shingles and you’re hurting weeks or months later, talk to your doctor.

She’ll want to know more about your symptoms and come up with a treatment plan. That can include a mix of medications and other things to give you relief.

What Can I Take to Feel Better?

Your doctor has a host of ways to treat your pain after shingles, including a variety of medications. They include:

Anticonvulsants: These medications were developed to control seizures, but they can also help reduce the pain of postherpetic neuralgia. Examples are:

• Carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Equetro, Epitol, Tegretol)

• Gabapentin (Fanatrex, Neurontin)

• Pregabalin (Lyrica)

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