Which medications in the drug class Anticonvulsants are used in the treatment of Herpes Zoster?

Updated: Feb 11, 2021
  • Author: Camila K Janniger, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Although they are most often used as antiepileptics, certain anticonvulsants are also effective for treating neuropathic pain.

Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise)

Gabapentin is a membrane stabilizer, a structural analogue of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA), which paradoxically is thought not to exert an effect on GABA receptors. Gabapentin appears to exert its effect via the α2δ1 and α2δ2 auxiliary subunits of voltage-gated calcium channels. It is used to manage pain and provide sedation in neuropathic pain. Gabapentin is primarily used for the treatment of PHN. It has also been used to treatment the pain of acute zoster.

Pregabalin (Lyrica, Lyrica CR)

Pregabalin is a structural derivative of GABA. It binds with high affinity to the α2-δ site (a calcium channel subunit). In vitro, it reduces calcium-dependent release of several neurotransmitters, possibly by modulating calcium channel function. It is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for neuropathic pain associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy or PHN and as adjunctive therapy in partial-onset seizures.

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