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Postherpetic Neuralgia: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Mar 18, 2023

What is Postherpetic Neuralgia?

Postherpetic Neuralgia is a medical condition in which you experience persistent pain in the place of shingles. It causes nerve and skin discomfort that is extremely painful and scorching. It is caused due to nerve damage when you had an infection of shingles. You can easily diagnose shingles, as they will appear as a strip of blisters on any one side of the body.

Summary- Postherpetic Neuralgia is an adverse effect of shingles that causes extreme pain, tingling and burning sensation.

What are the symptoms of Postherpetic Neuralgia?

The symptoms of Postherpetic Neuralgia are:

Summary- In the case of postherpetic neuralgia you will experience symptoms like persistent pain, burning sensation, numbness and tingling sensation.

What are the causes of Postherpetic Neuralgia?

The main primary cause of Postherpetic Neuralgia is the damage to the nerve fibres by the infection of shingles. The virus of chickenpox gets reactivated resulting in shingles. The brain receives pain messages from the injured nerve fibres. It produces intense, ongoing pain that can continue for years or months.

Summary- Shingles are the main cause of Postherpetic Neuralgia.

How is Postherpetic Neuralgia diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Postherpetic Neuralgia does not require any tests. Your medical history and symptoms can help doctors quickly identify it. They can also do physical examinations for proper diagnosis.

Summary- Postherpetic Neuralgia can be diagnosed by medical history and physical examination.

What are the Risk Factors?

The risk factors of postherpetic neuralgia are:

Summary- You are at a higher risk of postherpetic neuralgia if you belong to an older age group, have a weak immune system and have severe shingles.

How is the treatment done?

If you are diagnosed with postherpetic neuralgia, your doctor will prescribe you some antiviral medicines like acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir. These antiviral medicines can help to reduce pain, rashes, sores and itching in the affected area.

In case of mild pain, your doctor may prescribe the following medicines:

  • Acetaminophen
  • NSAIDs
  • Ointments like lidocaine and capsaicin

In case of severe pain, your doctor may prescribe the following medicines:

  • Antiseizure drugs gabapentin and pregabalin
  • Antidepressants
  • Botulinum toxin injections

Summary- The doctor will prescribe you antiviral and painkillers medicines in case of postherpetic neuralgia.

Should I go to urgent care for Postherpetic Neuralgia?

If you have severe symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia that are getting worse each day, then you should immediately go to urgent care.

Summary- Yes, you should go to urgent care if you have severe symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia.

Who is not eligible for the Postherpetic Neuralgia treatment?

If you are diagnosed with postherpetic neuralgia and have severe symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia, then you should immediately consult your doctor and get a proper course of treatment for it.

Summary- People with severe symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia are eligible for its treatment.

Who is not eligible for the Postherpetic Neuralgia treatment?

Individuals who don't have postherpetic neuralgia symptoms are ineligible for treatment.

Summary- Treatment is given to those who have symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia.

What are the complications of postherpetic neuralgia?

Complications of postherpetic neuralgia are:

Summary- Complications associated with postherpetic neuralgia are: fatigue, decreased appetite, concentration problems and sleep disorders.

What to eat in Postherpetic Neuralgia?

In postherpetic neuralgia, avoid the following foods:

Summary- You should take a diet rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants in case of postherpetic neuralgia.

What not to eat in Postherpetic Neuralgia?

Foods not to eat in Postherpetic Neuralgia are:

  • Fried foods
  • Processed foods
  • Saturated foods
  • White flour
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar containing foods

Summary- You should avoid low-nutrient and junk foods if you have postherpetic neuralgia.

How to prevent Postherpetic Neuralgia?

The only way to prevent Postherpetic Neuralgia is a shingle vaccine that helps to reduce the risk of shingles and PHN. The vaccine prescribed for shingles is a recombinant herpes-zoster vaccine that prevents shingles, especially for people of older age groups. It is a double-dose vaccine that provides protection for about four years.

Summary- The shingle vaccine is the only way to prevent Postherpetic Neuralgia.

Can Postherpetic Neuralgia go away on its own?

In most cases, postherpetic Neuralgia can decrease with time and eventually goes away.

Summary- Yes, postherpetic neuralgia can go away gradually.

Are there any side effects of Postherpetic Neuralgia treatment?

Side effects of postherpetic neuralgia are:

Summary- Yes, the side-effects of postherpetic neuralgia are: pain, insomnia, poor concentration and poor concentration.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Post-treatment guidelines for postherpetic neuralgia include:

  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Keep away from any kind of exertion
  • Take no stress
  • Maintain your personal hygiene
  • Eat nutritious and healthy foods
  • Sleep well
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Wear comfortable clothes

Summary- Aftercare guidelines for postherpetic neuralgia are: take a healthy diet, sleep well, take plenty of fluids and maintain hygiene.

How long does it take to recover from Postherpetic Neuralgia?

Recovery from Postherpetic Neuralgia may take a year.

Summary- It takes approximately a year to recover from postherpetic neuralgia.

What is the price of Postherpetic Neuralgia treatments in India?

Postherpetic neuralgia costs can range depending on where you live. It can be as little as Rs. 500 per hour to Rs. 2000 per hour for doctor consultations.

Summary- It may cost up to Rs. 2000 per hour for a doctor consultation in case of postherpetic neuralgia.

Are the results of the Postherpetic Neuralgia treatment permanent?

Postherpetic neuralgia cannot be cured permanently.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Medication and exercises are the only two alternatives to the postherpetic treatment.

Which is the best medicine for Postherpetic Neuralgia?

The best medicines for Postherpetic Neuralgia are antiviral medicines and antidepressants like duloxetine and amitriptyline.


Postherpetic neuralgia is an infection caused by shingles.On the affected side, it results in constant pain, a burning feeling, itching, and numbness. It can be identified using both a physical examination and your medical history. It can only be prevented with the help of the shingle vaccine. Complications associated with it are insomnia, loss of appetite and poor concentration. For this illness, there is no long-term cure. The doctors may prescribe you antiviral and antidepressant medicines to reduce the symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What triggers postherpetic neuralgia?

Postherpetic neuralgia can be brought on by mental stress and inadequate nutrition.

What does postherpetic neuralgia pain feel like?

Postherpetic neuralgia pain will feel like burning, stabbing and aching pain.

Does postherpetic neuralgia ever go away?

Yes, postherpetic neuralgia goes away in most cases.

How can post-herpetic neuralgia be prevented?

Postherpetic neuralgia can be prevented with the shingle vaccine.

Does vitamin C help postherpetic neuralgia?

Yes, vitamin C helps to reduce the symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia.


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Written ByDr. Ashish DavalbhaktaMBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery,FRCS (UK),FRCS,MS General Surgery,Mch (Plastic Surgery)Cosmetology
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