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Int J Clin Pract. 2009 Sep;63(9):1386-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2009.02089.x.

Postherpetic neuralgia in the elderly.

Author information

1
University of Bristol, Bristol, UK. r.w.johnson@bris.ac.uk

Abstract

Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is the most common complication of herpes zoster (HZ) or 'shingles' and affects a significant proportion of HZ patients with the disease, with the elderly being most frequently and seriously affected. Characterised by various types of pain (constant, intermittent and stimulus evoked) that persist between 3 months and many years after the resolution of the HZ rash, PHN can have a severe impact on the patient's quality of life and functional ability. PHN remains highly resistant to current treatments. In this review, we discuss the epidemiology, clinical features and management of PHN in the elderly and the potential of vaccination against varicella zoster virus as a means to prevent HZ, and thus decrease the incidence and severity of PHN.

PMID:
19691624
PMCID:
PMC2779987
DOI:
10.1111/j.1742-1241.2009.02089.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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