Patient Comments: Postherpetic Neuralgia - Treatment

What treatment was effective for your postherpetic neuralgia?

Comment from: Ethel Ann, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 19

I got a shingles shot and one year later I developed shingles. I got a horrible burning, stabbing pain 3 days before the shingles appeared. Although I didn't get lesions that you see people on TV have, my pain was excruciating! After 7 weeks with the pain worse than ever, my primary care physician tells me I have developed postherpetic neuralgia. So the pain continues. I make sure I take pain medication before the other pain medications run out or else I'm over the top with pain. I wish someone can tell me what works for them because I haven't found a good solution. I take Tylenol 650 mg and bite into another one to make it 750 mg because you can't buy 750 mg Tylenol any longer. I also take gabapentin (900 mg at night) and 300 mg 3 times/day. I had been taking opioids, but the constipation was too extreme to deal with. I try to go grocery shopping, but after getting half of the things on my list, I'm in so much pain and so groggy from pills, I have to leave.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Mary, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 14

I had a shingles shot and about 2 years later got shingles. I have now had postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) for about 5 years. It is mostly on my left rib area. I have bad pain most all the time. I take gabapentin and Lyrica which kind of keeps the worst pain away, but still almost constant pain. I have had a spinal stimulator but had it taken out because it seemed to stimulate the nerves more than gave any relief. I've had several shots in my spine, all to no avail, and I had the Qutenza patch which was very painful and did nothing; topical gels, patches, all nothing. I sure wish someone would fix this!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Gary53, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 12

I came down with a case of shingles in early 2008 at the age of 54. The pain and agony of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) has been constant now for almost seven years. I tried all the standard treatments shy of surgery, and the very, very minimal relief was not worth the unpleasant side effects. I even tried ten sessions of acupuncture early in 2014 and was pain-free for a few hours after the first session, but after a couple months of treatment the pain had returned to original levels, so I ended the treatments. I have accepted that this 24/7 curse will be with me for the rest of my life.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: psoriasis, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 03

I had shingles that developed into neuralgia. I am taking Lyrica with Panadeine at night. This is only masking the pain, but helps me sleep.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: KAKA, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 15

I have been able to cope with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) in the past. It all started after my appendectomy in 2004. From that point on I suffered from horrid outbreaks of shingles until 2010 when I got a proper diagnosis. I was in the emergency room (ER) countless times for those 6 years from severe dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, and pain caused apparently by the virus. I could go down to totally helpless in about 45 minutes after the onsets began. This disease is awful. I too wish it could be cured. I have missed out on holidays, parties, birthdays, and so much more because of this. I have been given Demerol, Lyrica, gabapentin, hydrocodone, Toradol, tramadol, and a number of ER cocktails. Most medicines had little to no effect on pain. The Lyrica numbed it some but not sufficiently. The Demerol which I was only given twice in 2005 was by far the most effective of them all. The rest of the painkillers just upset my stomach and give me terrible rebound headaches. My current doctors don't want to prescribe the Demerol again for whatever reason. I was prescribed the patches yesterday and Cymbalta. I had viral aseptic meningitis in 2011 and had to be on IV valacyclovir for 10 days. Now I have terrible headaches. I have modified my diet, tried TCM (transcendental meditation), and traditional Chinese medicines all to no avail. It feels very much like a trap of suffering. This last bout has been on me terribly for 4 months. I take 1000 mg of valacyclovir daily. I had the vaccine in 2012 and that was easily the best year of my life since before the shingles and PHN. After about 10 months though, I had an outbreak and it was back to the same old horror show. I have had so many problems related to this that I am borderline disabled now. I would do almost anything for some real relief or a cure. I get a little more desperate every day. I try to exercise and be social but anything seems to be like climbing Mt. Everest. I have had to take extended sick leave and go through a series of unpleasant gastrointestinal procedures, scans and tests looking for some other cause of the pain. I wish you all the best and hope that you heal and hope one of us with the help of doctors can find a treatment and cure that works for this.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Postherpetic Neuralgia - Symptoms and Signs Question: What symptoms and signs did you experience with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors