Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Urgent Care


Bernard Toney Jr., DMSc, PA-C



Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the prevention and treatment for herpes zoster (HZ) and post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN).

Methods: A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms herpes zoster, post-herpetic neuralgia, shingles, and Shingrix. Nine pertinent articles were retrieved and served as the basis for this clinical review.

Results: Many therapies toward treatment of herpes zoster and post-herpetic neuralgia target symptom control. The latest evidence is inadequate for choosing the best definitive treatment.

Conclusion: Herpes zoster, also known as Shingles, is a viral infection that manifests due to the reactivation of the varicella virus. Antivirals are the mainstay for treatment in early stages. Adjunctive therapies such as gabapentinoids, topical and oral corticosteroids, topical, intravenous, and subcutaneous anesthetics, opioids, anticonvulsants, tricyclic antidepressants, and various procedures are used to treat PHN. Combination therapies have also shown beneficial effects. Vaccination against herpes zoster via Shingrix vaccine has been shown to provide the best protection against the virus. Despite several interventions, treatment of HZ and PHN remains a challenge. Further research is needed on the prevention and treatment of herpes zoster and post-herpetic neuralgia.


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