What long-term monitoring is needed following treatment of herpes zoster (shingles)?

Updated: Feb 11, 2021
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Answer

Typical cases of zoster may be treated in the outpatient setting and do not require extensive follow-up. Patients should be informed about the natural progression of herpes zoster and its potential complications. Initial evaluation should address the possibility of atypical manifestations. Pain relief should be a primary concern.

After initial treatment, further care consists solely of monitoring the patient and remaining alert for complications (eg, secondary infection, eye involvement, and meningeal or visceral involvement) and for sequelae such as PHN. Patients who develop PHN should be seen regularly and should receive emotional support in addition to medical therapy.

Since there is an increased risk of developing multiple myeloma, leukemia, and lymphoma, an appropriate screening with physical examination and laboratory test should be considered. [105]


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