When should postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) be suspected in herpes zoster (shingles)?

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

If a patient complains of severe pain at any point at or beyond the appearance of crusted vesicles, the clinician should strongly suspect that PHN has developed. Once established, the pain is notoriously difficult to alleviate with traditional analgesics, including narcotics. Consequently, treatment of PHN is complex; a multifaceted, patient-specific approach is important.


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