Post-herpetic neuralgia is pain, headaches, and nerve problems that occur as a complication of shingles (herpes zoster). Post-herpetic neuralgia lasts for at least 30 days and can continue for months to years.
People who develop shingles after age 50 and who have severe pain and rash during shingles have the greatest risk for having post-herpetic neuralgia. It most commonly occurs on the forehead or chest. The pain linked with post-herpetic neuralgia may make it difficult to eat, sleep, and do daily activities. It may also increase the risk for depression.
Early treatment of shingles with antiviral medicines may prevent post-herpetic neuralgia. If post-herpetic neuralgia does occur, certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines can relieve pain.
Current as of: March 3, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christine Hahn, MD - Infectious Disease, Epidemiology & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.