Patient Comments: Postherpetic Neuralgia - Treatment


What treatment was effective for your postherpetic neuralgia? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Patty D, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

As all the others noted, nothing is effective for postherpetic neuralgia, nothing takes the pain away. I take 1600 mg gabapentin 3 times a day, tramadol twice daily, and 50 mg Elavil with 0.5 mg clonazepam at bedtime to help manage the pain. I’ve tried all the other treatments mentioned with no success.

Comment from: Wagriff, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 10

I have had 8 or 9 years of this postherpetic neuralgia nightmare so far. I have tried gabapentin (does nothing but turn me into a falling down zombie still in pain), morphine, topical creams, oxycodone (gives awful constipation but nothing else), physical therapy (made it worse by annoying the nerve), even talked to a shrink as some thought it was some form of anxiety (did nothing but waste time); you name it, it's been tried. There's not a day that I don't think of putting a bullet in my skull.

Comment from: Mac, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 19

I've had postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) for 5 years. I'm unable to wear any clothing on my left shoulder and arm. I've used every treatment listed and nothing helps for longer than 30 to 90 minutes tops. Actually 30 minutes, then a slow or fast increase in pain. A dose of 400 mg of Lyrica and a time release 30 mg Oxycontin every 12 hours helps; doesn't stop the pain but I am able to put on a loose shirt for about 2 hours. I wonder if there is a surgery for nerve burning, I'm really suffering.

Comment from: Khalid, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 06

I have legs and back pain from postherpetic neuralgia since last 6 years. I cannot walk freely or stand longer, I take medicine gabapentin. And for pain I take tramadol. Without these I cannot move.

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.

Comment from: Slkpain, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 22

I would like to know why the doctors always tell me to do physical therapy (PT) for postherpetic neuralgia. No! It’s the nerve. PT does not and never will work. Isn't someone working on finding a remedy for this! A cure? Seriously, it’s been over 9 years.

Comment from: beadflower, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 05

I agree with all the comments. I have had postherpetic neuralgia for 4 months now and 3 doctors told me my shingles was so severe I will have pain for years. Now I am scared and nothing is working for me either.

Comment from: Brian h, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: September 04

I am now 83 and I have suffered from postherpetic neuralgia (PN) for over 23 years on my right shoulder blade. I have used lidocaine patches for approximately 19 years, spent many thousands on pain management to no avail. I will probably go to my grave with a patch on.

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!

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.


Shingles is a painful rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. See Answer
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.

Comment from: Helen, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 07

I have had postherpetic neuralgia for 4 years. I don’t think doctors know just what to do about the pain. Nothing works. Friends and relatives don’t understand. Life is awful.

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.

Comment from: Rob B, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 19

I have only been diagnosed in the past week with postherpetic neuralgia. I am suffering with the most wicked headaches I have experienced in my life down the right side of my head. I have been prescribed gabapentin which hasn’t helped at all. I am also using Paracode which slightly helps. My pain is so intense it brings tears to my eyes, and I can’t sleep.

Comment from: Mira K, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

Six months ago I had shingles on the left side on my back and front. After the blisters were gone I still have itching. Not just in the area of shingles, which real bad, but also all over my body. I tried Zyrtec, and many topical creams. Nothing seems to help.

Comment from: Hopeful, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I have had shingles for 4 months, rash has long gone but I have been diagnosed with postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). I am looking for relief. The shingles was in my buttock area and the pain is still there. I also have extreme pain and burning in lower left leg, behind the knee and calf and top of ankle. I have used the lidocaine patches which helped a little. I am taking Horizant for shingles pain, not sure how much it helps. The pain is extreme at times and better at times. I do think this is the most severe pain I have ever experienced. Looking for relief and trying to remain hopeful!

Comment from: Jabez, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 20

I have had postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) for over 7 years. I"ve tried most pain treatments but I"m at the end of my rope. So I"m going through the process of having a spinal cord stimulator implant. I"ve had 2 epidurals, quite painful, but hopeful this treatment might work in some degree.

Comment from: MsFitness, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: March 22

I read about EMA401 as a treatment for postherpetic neuralgia. I wonder if anyone has tried this.

Comment from: RZM, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 25

I am also going through postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) since a week. I have started homeopathy medicines and it is helping.


What Causes Shingles? See Slideshow
Comment from: Jabez, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 14

I have postherpetic neuralgia and continue to be in severe pain daily. I've tried all known pain killers under the sun and nothing works.


Postherpetic Neuralgia See pictures of shingles and other viral skin conditions See Images