Enter your Email address:
Wolters Kluwer Health may email you for journal alerts and information, but is committed
to maintaining your privacy and will not share your personal information without
You currently have no recent searches
Gilden, Donald H. M.D.
Donald H. Gilden, M.D., is a professor and chairman of the Neurology department at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
Shingles (also called herpes zoster) causes a rash and pain. These symptoms usually occur in an area that corresponds to the region served by one or more nerve roots. The nerve cells that make up the nerve root become infected with the virus herpes zoster. The rash often disappears in about one week and the pain lasts four to eight weeks on average. Pain that continues beyond three months is called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Besides pain, people with shingles also experience allodynia, an extreme sensitivity to light touch over the skin.
PHN is a difficult problem to treat because there is no single medication that — like a magic bullet — makes it disappear. But several medications provide relief. Antiseizure medications, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol, Carbatrol) and gabapentin (Neurontin) have proven effective, as have antidepressants such as nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl) and amitriptyline (Elavil, Endep). These drugs may be used in combination with extra-strength Tylenol or a narcotic, such as codeine. Research is underway to determine if PHN occurs because there is still a low-level herpes zoster infection in the nerve cells of the affected nerve root. Hopefully, these findings will lead to new treatments.
Discuss your problem with your neurologist. Since everyone responds differently to medication, it may take a trial-and-error approach to find the best solution for your pain.
©2005 American Academy of Neurology
Friend's E-mail is Invalid
Your Name: (optional)
Separate multiple e-mails with a (;).
Thought you might appreciate this item(s) I saw at Neurology Now.
Send a copy to your email
Your message has been successfully sent to your friend.
Some error has occurred while processing your request. Please try after some time.
An Existing Folder
A New Folder
The item(s) has been successfully added to "".
Login with your LWW Journals username and password.
Username or Email:
Enter and submit the email address you registered with. An email with instructions to reset your password will be sent to that address.
Link to reset your password has been sent to specified email address.
What does "Remember me" mean?
By checking this box, you'll stay logged in for
days or until you logout. You'll get easier access to your articles, collections,
media, and all your other content, even if you close your browser or shut down your
To protect your most sensitive data and activities (like changing your password),
we'll ask you to re-enter your password when you access these services.
What if I'm on a computer that I share with others?
If you're using a public computer or you share this computer with others, we recommend
that you uncheck the "Remember me" box.
Save my selection