What is the role of vaccines in the prevention of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)?

Updated: Mar 06, 2018
  • Author: W Alvin McElveen, MD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Answer

A clinical trial has shown that a live-attenuated varicella-zoster virus vaccine is effective against herpes zoster (HZ) and postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Brisson estimates that for 65-year-olds, the number needed to vaccinate (HZ vaccine efficacy=63%, PHN vaccine efficacy=67%, no waning) to prevent a case of HZ, a case of PHN, an HZ death, a life-year lost, and a quality-adjusted life-year lost is estimated to be 11 (90% Crl: 10-13), 43 (90% Crl: 33-53), 23,319 (90% Crl: 15,312-33,139), 3762 (90% Crl: 1650-4629), and 165 (90% Crl: 105-197), respectively. Results of this study show that the main benefit of HZ vaccination is prevention of morbidity caused by pain. [8]


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