Pain medicine for shingles

Mandy asks…

do doctors give you pain medicine for shingles?

im gonna go see the docs and the pain is unbearable…i just hope that they can give pain meds for my arm. it feels lik somebody is stabbing my arm!

admin answers:


You might need to try different pain medications, as they don’t all work well for everyone. Some pain meds are addictive, and shingles can last quite a while, so your doctor needs to consider which pain med will work best for you.

If you can see a doctor in the very early stages of a shingles outbreak, there is a drug that can help to stop shingles.

Also, there were some tiny pills I bought at a health food store that seemed to help. These pills were only about one eighth of an inch in diameter, and you put them under your tongue to dissolve. These pills either helped, or the shingles went away on their own, but the pills didn’t hurt. Sorry, I don’t remember what they were called … Something about supporting nerve health (the shingles/chicken pox virus lives in your nerves).

Sharon asks…



admin answers:

There is no way to predict the duration of the pain. Neurontin is a medication that may provide some relief from shingles pain, but otherwise, pain medication is not very effective. In your husbands case, a neurologist might be able to inject him with a nerve block that would work anywhere from weeks to months – it depends somewhat on which nerves are affected. The best bet would be having your regular doc help set up an appointment with a neurologist. Neuros are often booked months in advance, so a referral can be important.

Steven asks…

Any good pain medicine?

for shingles pain, perferably over the counter.
not with the shingles, the blisters are gone, but the pain remains, thats what i need pain medicine for.

admin answers:

Bc powder

George asks…

I have shingles and i want to know if there is any over the counter medicine to take for the pain?


admin answers:

Acyclovir (an antiviral drug) inhibits replication of the viral DNA, and is used both as prophylaxis (e.g., in patients with AIDS) and as therapy for herpes zoster. Other antivirals are valacyclovir and famciclovir. Steroids are often given in severe cases. During the acute phase oral aciclovir should be given five times daily for 7 to 10 days. Immunocompromised patients may respond best to intravenous aciclovir. In patients who are at high risk for recurrences, an oral dose of aciclovir, taken twice daily, is usually effective.

The long term complication postherpetic neuralgia may cause persistent pain that lasts for years. Pain management is difficult as conventional analgesics may be ineffective. Alternative agents are often used, including tricyclic antidepressants (particularly amitriptyline), anticonvulsants (e.g. Gabapentin, and/or topical capscaicin).

Zostavax is a vaccine developed by Merck & Co. Which has proven successful in preventing half the cases of herpes zoster in a study of 38,000 people who received the vaccine.[2] The vaccine also reduced by two-thirds the number of cases of postherpetic neuralgia (Oxman et al., 2005). However, prior to the vaccine, it has long been known that adults received natural immune boosting from contact with children infected with varicella. This helped to suppress the reactivation of herpes zoster.(PMID 12057605) In Massachusetts, herpes zoster incidence increased 90%, from 2.77/1000 to 5.25/1000 in the period of increasing varicella vaccination 1999-2003 (Yih et al., 2005). The effectiveness of the varicella vaccine itself is dependent on this exogenous (outside) boosting mechanism. Thus, as natural cases of varicella decline, so has the effectiveness of the vaccine (Goldman, 2005).

Often the same treatment given to burn victims relieves the pain of shingles, including over-the-counter moist burn pads.

Lizzie asks…

After Shingles Pain still there after several years…?

Hello, I’m 18 years old and have broken out in the shingles rash twice about six years ago (very rare, I know). Since then I still suffer from slight nerve pain caused by the virus. I was wondering if there was any sort of medicine available to help ease my pain whenever I get stressed out. Especially since I just started college and have been very stressed out.

admin answers:

There’s several different sorts out there – however, I should warn you that the pain resulting from shingles is neuropathic. The current available therapies for this are not enormously successful, though most people can gain at least a significant amount of relief, it’s not always complete, and depends on how severe it is.

The main medications used with most success are anticonvulscants. They’re usually used for managing seizures, but as neuropathic pain is a disorder of nerve cells, they have some success there as well. The two chief medications used are Gabapentin and it’s sister drug Lyrica. They’re rather odd medications, but they do tend to work for this sort of thing. Other medications in this class are sometimes used as well.

The other class to try is are the tricyclic antidepressants. These aren’t used so much for depression anymore, as there are better meds, but there’s still one thing they’re rather good at, and that’s neuropathic pain.

There’s quite a few things out there to try.

If you’re attending a four year university, there’s a student health center or clinic/medical center on campus – and you should have insurance there through your school. That’s the first place to try. Make an appointment to see a general practitioner. Every university has these – though if you’re attending a two year, or community/junior college, I’m not sure if they have such things.

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To learn more about shingles, please visit these sites:

Shingles and Babies |
FDA expands approval of shingles vaccine - Health - Health care ...

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