Postherpetic neuralgia (post-hur-PET-ik noo-RAL-juh) is a complication of shingles, which is caused by the chickenpox (herpes zoster) virus. Postherpetic neuralgia affects nerve fibers and skin, causing burning pain that lasts long after the rash and blisters of shingles disappear.
The risk of postherpetic neuralgia increases with age, primarily affecting people older than 60. There's no cure, but treatments can ease symptoms. For most people, postherpetic neuralgia improves over time.
Sept. 16, 2015
- Bajwa ZH, et al. Postherpetic neuralgia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 1, 2015.
- Tseng HF, et al. Zoster vaccine and the risk of postherpetic neuralgia in patients who developed herpes zoster despite having received the zoster vaccine. Journal of Infectious Diseases. In press. Accessed Sept. 1, 2015.
- Johnson RW, et al. Postherpetic neuralgia. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2014;371:1526.
- Dubinsky RM, et al. Practice parameter: Treatment of postherpetic neuralgia. American Academy of Neurology. 2004;63:959.
- Sampathkumar P, et al. Herpes zoster (shingles) and postherpetic neuralgia. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2009;84:274.
- Important drug warning. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://google2.fda.gov/search?q=cache:EKB1SS0qgzQJ:www.fda.gov/downloads/safety/medwatch/safetyinformation/safetyalertsforhumanmedicalproducts/ucm213266.pdf+tramadol+suicide+risk&client=FDAgov&site=FDAgov&lr=&proxystylesheet=FDAgov&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&access=p&oe=UTF-8. Accessed Sept. 3, 2015.