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Treating Post Herpetic Neuralgia Symptoms

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How is Post Herpetic Neuralgia treated?

There is no cure for PHN and it is difficult to treat. Therefore treatment tends to focus on:

  • relieving the pain by prescribing strong pain relievers
  • ensuring the sufferer has a good night’s sleep
  • ensuring the sufferer is not suffering from depression

Every person responds differently to different drugs so any medications taken by mouth should be started in small dosages.  Gradually, the dose is increased until the patient begins to feel pain relief. If the patient complains of a side effect, then the dose has to be decreased again. It is all a matter of the correct balance.

There is a topical pain reliever which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration called Lidoderm. This is applied as a patch, reducing the pain without numbing the skin. It also acts as a barrier against pain triggers such as items of clothing or bed linen. There are no serious side effects and no interaction with any other medication.

Reasons for a weakened immune system could be:

  • an operation or a serious illness such as an autoimmune disease
  • long periods of stress or worry
  • long periods of alcohol abuse
  • long term courses of steroids
  • cancer treatments where chemotherapy or radiotherapy have been used
  • organ transplants where immunosuppressants have been used

From reading the above, you can see how important it is to treat shingles in its early stages so that the length of the illness can be shortened and the severity of the symptoms and the risk of complications reduced

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