One hundred and fifty-six patients with moderate to severe postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) were followed for up to 11 years. Nearly half of all patients were doing well at the final assessment (median 2 years) and more than half of these were on no therapy at this time. The most commonly used agents associated with a good outcome were antidepressants, topical capsaicin and analgesics of various kinds. Longer duration PHN appeared to have a worse prognosis. More of these patients were noted to be using some form of treatment at follow up. A group of patients seemed to follow a progressive course and were refractory to all treatments used in this study.
∗Correspondence to: Christopher Peter North Watson, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Irene Eleanor Smythe Pain Clinic, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont. M5G 2C4, Canada.
Submitted November 6, 1990; revised December 12, 1990; accepted March 29, 1991.
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