What is the role of corticosteroids in the treatment of herpes zoster (shingles)?

Updated: Jan 25, 2019
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Whether steroids are essential or even helpful for zoster remains subject to debate. Many practitioners have long used oral prednisone and similar medications to reduce acute pain. [85] Some have also hoped to decrease the incidence of PHN, presumably by reducing inflammation in dorsal root ganglia and involved sensory nerves. Whereas some studies have provided evidence that the early use of steroids may decrease the incidence of PHN, others have failed to show benefit. Additional study is needed.


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