Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am Fam Physician. 2005 Sep 15;72(6):1075-80.

Herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia: prevention and management.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.

Abstract

The recognizable appearance and the dermatomal distribution of herpes zoster lesions usually enable a clinical diagnosis to be made easily. Herpes zoster and postherpetic neuralgia occur mainly in older patients. The role of the varicella vaccine in preventing herpes zoster is uncertain, but is being studied. There is evidence to support using antiviral therapy and possibly low-dose tricyclic antidepressants to prevent postherpetic neuralgia. There is good evidence that treating herpes zoster with antiviral medication is beneficial, particularly in patients older than 50 years with severe outbreaks. The use of steroids has an unfavorable risk-benefit ratio. In patients who develop postherpetic neuralgia, there is good evidence to support treatment with gabapentin and tricyclic antidepressants. More evidence for treatment with capsaicin cream, lidocaine patch, and opioids is needed. Intrathecal methylprednisolone is an option for patients with persistent pain.

Comment in

PMID:
16190505
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Academy of Family Physicians
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk