Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Overview

Change Language

Postherpetic Neuralgia: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment? How is the treatment done? Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?) Who is not eligible for the treatment? Are there any side effects? What are the post-treatment guidelines? How long does it take to recover? What is the price of the treatment in India? Are the results of the treatment permanent? What are the alternatives to the treatment?

What is the treatment?

Postherpetic neuralgia is basically a complication of shingles. This condition is caused by chicken pox and the risk of getting it increases as you age, especially after you hit your sixties. The condition causes a rash on the skin which comes with burning and itching sensations. These sensations tend to remain even after the rash disappears, making this condition quite frustrating for those who are suffering from it. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition. The treatment methods mainly focus on making the condition more bearable for the patients.

Although there is no cure, there are a variety of treatment options available. While no single treatment can help with the condition, it is usually a combination of different treatment types that end up relieving the pain. Doctors most commonly prescribe lidocaine skin patches, capsaicin patches, anti-convulsions, anti-depressants, opiod painkillers, steroids, and occasionally some pain medications that are available over the counter to help with the symptoms. Since there isn’t one specific treatment type that helps, finding the perfect combination to get rid of the symptoms can take a while. This can be very disheartening for patients who are suffering from extreme burning and itching sensations and can even hamper their daily tasks. However, it is important to note that eventually one does come across the correct medication and it can go a long way in pain management.

How is the treatment done?

Oncepostherpetic neuralgia is diagnosed, the treatment can begin. Lidocain skin patches are meant to be used topically on the areas where the infection shows itself. These patches eradicate pain. Capsaicin skin patches are patches that are made of chilli. Though that may sound counterintuitive (rubbing chillies on wounds never sounds like a good idea), these patches help a lot when it comes to relieving pain topically. Unlike the lidocaine patch, these patches cannot be applied at home and can only be applied by someone who is trained to use them. The infected area is numbed before the application, which is why the chillies don’t hurt you.

Anti-convulsion medications are also known to work. Since postherpetic neuralgia is a condition that affects the nerve endings, leading to the rash and itching and burning sensations, the medication can help stabilize abnormal activities in the nerves. Anti-depressants, on the other hand, are prescribed to alter the way your body perceives the pain it feels. It is not just used for people who are depressed. Anti-depressants are prescribed in dosages that are small and manageable so that they don’t play havoc on your mood and emotions.

For some people, the pain can be more intense than others and over the counter medications do not really help too much. If this is the case, your doctor will end up prescribing opiod painkillers to you. These painkillers are extremely strong and can help numb out almost any pain. They may help you manage your pain very well and can even help you lead a normal life.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

If you have been diagnosed with postherpetic neuralgia, then you are eligible to try out any of these treatments, per your doctors recommendations.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

Anyone who is not diagnosed with postherpetic neuralgia is not eligible to try out any of these treatments. If you just have chicken pox, you cannot use these treatments.

Are there any side effects?

Many of the medications that can be prescribed to help manage postherpetic neuralgia can have certain side effects. If you have been prescribed anti-convulsion medication, then you can expect drowsiness, swelling in the feet, unclear thinking, and unsteadiness. Similarly, anti-depressants can also lead to drowsiness, changes in your mood, dry mouth, weight gain, or even light-headedness. As to be expected, it is the opiod painkillers that come with the most amount of side effects to be vary of. These painkillers can make you feel extremely drowsy. They can even cause some dizziness, constipation, and confusion. Opiod painkillers are also addictive in nature.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The treatment of this condition never truly ends as there is no cure for it. Thus all guidelines given to you by your doctor regarding pain management apply to the rest of your life. Since you will be on so many medications, you may have to watch your diet or bring about certain changes in your lifestyle like avoiding alcohol, operating heavy machinery, and even driving.

How long does it take to recover?

The condition lasts for a lifetime, which is why there is no recovery period. However, there are periods in which you will not feel any pain, depending on the pain medication that you are on. For instance, capsaicin patches can lead to pain relief for up to three months in total while opiod painkillers can lead to pain relief for as long as you take the medication.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Most painkillers in India cost anywhere between Rs. 50 and Rs. 200, depending on the make and dosage of the product.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Since there is no permanent cure of this condition, the pain relief that you may feel will also not be permanent. It will last as long as you take your medication.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are no specific home remedies to dealing with this condition. However, you can try using anaesthetic creams topically as and when you require them. You can also try hot and cold compresses to relieve some of the pain. Soaking in a hot bath with an anti-inflammatory essential oil such as lavender essential oil can also help with some of the symptoms like itching, though not necessarily with the burning. Wearing sock gloves on your hands while you sleep to prevent scratching yourself can also help with pain as you may break the skin while scratching intensely. Finally, you can also try massages to soothe your skin and acupuncture as well, though they can only provide a little bit of relief. Sticking to the treatment plan outlined by your doctor can help you the most.

Popular Questions & Answers

My wife contracted Herpes zoster while at hospital. She was treated by Acivir tablets and cream. Now after one month all the Herpes lesions have gone and dried up leaving marks on the skin. She is complaining of severe pain at the site. How to relieve her of this pain?

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
YOur wife has postherpetic neuralgia and it is very common with herpes infection and she needs acyclovir like antiviral again
3 people found this helpful

Hi, What are the symptoms for sciatica neuralgia. How is it caused and what's the treatment.

MD - Brain Injury Medicine, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, MD - Internal Medicine
PMR (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) Specialist, Chennai
Sciatica is a term used for radicular pain, i.e. Radiating pain from the back to the foot. It's often associated with tinging, numbness and mild weakness of leg muscles. It could be caused due to various reasons such as degenerative disc disease, ...

Which is substitute medicine instead of tegrital cr 300 mg tab for trigeminal neuralgia.

MBBS, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Hyderabad
Tegrital contains carbamazepine, other brands containing carbamazepine are mazetol, zen retard, zeptol, etc,
1 person found this helpful

Is bagantin 300 can be taken by prostate enlargement patients will it affect urinary flow.

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
Gabantin 300 MG Capsule cannot be taken for prostate enlargement and it is an anticonvulsant which is used in the treatment of epilepsy and postherpetic neuralgia.

I many time have pain in left back of my head and inflammation in gums an teeth and sometime pain in ears went to dentist opg were done thrice no problem doctor said its trigeminal neuralgia went to ent no problem diagnosed refer to neurons for neuralgia what is this is this brain tumor or neuralgia have deficiency of vitamin d.

BDS, MDS - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Advanced course in maxillofacial sugery
Dentist, Lucknow
Neuralgia is a nerve pain what you describe appears to b a migraine send reports and xray on line what other details you can give to understand it better neuralgia is not a brain tumor.

Popular Health Tips

Post-Herpetic Neuralgia Chronic Pain Management!

MD,DNB, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Fellowship In Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Mumbai
Post-Herpetic Neuralgia Chronic Pain Management!
The condition of persistent pain in the body, where an outbreak of the Varicella Zoster virus has caused Shingles, is termed as post-herpetic neuralgia. It is a debilitating complication of the herpes zoster virus. The blisters that occur in shing...
4239 people found this helpful

What Is Faceial Neuralgia?

BHMS
Homeopath, Rajkot
What Is Faceial Neuralgia?
Facial neuralgia; worse, shaking head and stooping. Facial neuralgia from carious teeth and after extraction. Hecla lava can cure the patient, in few case Ferrum phosphoricum may be needed.
4 people found this helpful

Trigeminal Neuralgia - Things You Must Know About It!

DM - Neurology, MD - General Medicine
Neurologist, Ahmedabad
Trigeminal Neuralgia - Things You Must Know About It!
Trigeminal Neuralgia is basically a nervous disorder that can affect any person. The condition is caused mainly due to the trigeminal nerve or the 5th cranial nervebeing pressed against by a blood vessel. Cases have been reported without such spec...
3861 people found this helpful

Radiofrequency Ablation For Trigeminal Neuralgia!

MD,DNB, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Fellowship In Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Mumbai
Trigeminal Neuralgia is a type of chronic pain disorder, which affects the trigeminal nerve. There are mainly two types: Typical Trigeminal Neuralgia and Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia. The typical form or this disorder results in certain episodes ...
4362 people found this helpful

Trigeminal Neuralgia - Understanding the Treatment Options!

MD, FIPM, CCEPC, Fellowship In Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Jaipur
Trigeminal Neuralgia - Understanding the Treatment Options!
Trigeminal neuralgia can be best described as an ongoing condition that affects a group of nerves called the fifth cranial nerve which is responsible for sensation in the face. Individuals suffering from this pain say that the pain feels like that...
3798 people found this helpful
Content Details
Written By
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery,FRCS (UK),FRCS,MS General Surgery,Mch (Plastic Surgery)
Cosmetology
Play video
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Hi, I am Dr. Sidharth Verma, Pain Management Specialist. Today I will talk about trigeminal neuralgia. It is also known as the suicide disease. In this patient experience the facial pain. it may also effect inside the mouth. It is important to tre...
Play video
Non-Surgical Treatment For Trigeminal Neuralgia
Hi, I am Dr. Sidharth Verma, Pain Management Specialist. Today I will tell you about the non-surgical treatment options trigeminal neuralgia without open surgery. There are many patients who are suffering from this disease which is known as the su...
Play video
Homeopathy Treatment
Namaskar! Me Dr. Abha Gupta. Me South Delhi me practice krti hun last 25 years se. Meri general practice me har type ke patients se deal krti hun. Hum start krte hain bachon se. Bache homeopathic medicines ko like krte hain or unko dena bhi bhut a...
Play video
Pain Management
Hi, I am Dr. Uttam Sidhaye. Today I will talk about pain management. We see a lot of patients of back pain. Every time surgery is not the way to get rid of it. You can do some exercises, take some medicines. 90% of the patients can control their b...
Play video
Medications To Treat Pain
Hi, I am Doctor Varun Singla International pain specialist doctor of reviving pain and spine centre. So today we will discuss about medicine. What is pain medicine? Who is a pain specialist? Then we'll go to the conditions which are being treated ...
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice