Herpes Zoster (Shingles)

The following illustration presents a very quick review of VZV infection causing Herpes Zoster, also known as “shingles”.

Quick reminder about pain management: Do not forget that the most effective strategy to prevent pain complications is early treatment of infection with antiviral drugs. If pain is already established, the recommendation is treating the acute phase with NSAID drugs and maybe a short and limited course of oral opioids.

If pain persists beyond 4 months then we can say there is postherpetic neuralgia which is a form of chronic neuropathic pain. The evidence of the benefit of using medication such as gabapentin is still low quality and there is still discussion of its benefit over its undesired adverse effects. Tricyclic antidepressants and intrathecal glucocorticoids ar eother options.

Source: uptodate.com, TheNNT.com, cochrane.org.

Augusto Saldaña M.

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