Post-therapeutic neuralgia (post-hur-PET-ik noo-RAL-juh) is the most common complication of shingles. The disease affects the nerve fibers and skin and causes burning pain that lasts long after the rashes and shingles blisters have subsided.
The chickenpox virus (herpes zoster) causes shingles. The risk of post-therapeutic neuralgia increases with age and mainly affects people over the age of 60. There is no cure, but treatments can relieve symptoms. In most people, post-therapeutic neuralgia improves over time. Neuralgia, postherpetic Treatment in Hyderabad
The signs and symptoms of post-therapeutic neuralgia are usually limited to the area of your skin where the shingles outbreak first appeared – mostly in a band around your torso, usually on one side of your body.
Signs and symptoms can include:
Pain that lasts three months or more after the shingles rash heals. The associated pain has been described as a burning sensation, sharp and stabbing, or deep and painful.
- Nerves in the back
- Shingles affects the nerves Open the pop-up dialog
- After you have chickenpox, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life. As you get older or if your immune system is weakened, for example from medication or chemotherapy, the virus can reactivate and cause shingles.
Post-therapeutic neuralgia occurs when your nerve fibers become damaged in an outbreak of shingles. Damaged fibers cannot send messages from your skin to your brain as they normally can. Instead, the messages become confusing and exaggerated, causing chronic, often excruciating pain that can last for months or even years. Neuralgia, postherpetic Treatment in Hyderabad
If you have shingles you may be at a higher risk of developing post-therapeutic neuralgia due to:
- Age. You are over 50 years old.
- Severity of shingles. You had a severe rash and severe pain.
- Another disease. You have a chronic disease like diabetes.
- Location of the shingles. You have had shingles on your face or chest.
- Antiviral treatment for your shingles was delayed for more than 72 hours after your rash appeared.
Depending on the duration of post-therapeutic neuralgia and its pain, people with post-therapeutic neuralgia may develop other symptoms that are common with chronic pain, such as:
- Difficult sleep
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend adults 50 and older to get a Shingrix vaccine to help prevent shingles, even if they have had shingles or the older vaccine, Zostavax. Shingrix is given in two doses two to six months apart.
According to the CDC, two doses of Shingrix are over 90% effective in preventing shingles and post-therapeutic neuralgia. Shingrix is preferred over Zostavax. The effectiveness can be sustained longer than with Zostavax. Zostavax can sometimes still be used in healthy adults aged 60 and over who are not allergic to Zostavax and are not taking immunosuppressive drugs. Neuralgia, postherpetic Treatment in Hyderabad