Postherpetic neuralgia is pain, headaches, and nerve problems that
occur as a complication of shingles (herpes zoster). Postherpetic neuralgia
lasts for at least 30 days and can continue for months to years.
People who develop shingles after age 50 and who have severe pain
and rash during shingles have the greatest risk for having postherpetic
neuralgia. It most commonly occurs on the forehead or chest. The pain
linked with postherpetic neuralgia may make it difficult to eat, sleep, and
do daily activities. It may also increase the risk for depression.
treatment of shingles with antiviral medicines may prevent postherpetic neuralgia. If postherpetic neuralgia does occur, certain
over-the-counter and prescription medicines can relieve
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.