Author(s): Philip A, Thakur R
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Abstract BACKGROUND: During the past decade, important advances have been made in understanding the epidemiology, pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of post herpetic neuralgia pain as well as treatment of other neuropathic pain conditions. PHN is accepted as a model for management and clinical trials of neuropathic pain of less clear etiologies. In palliative medicine, where the etiology of pain may be nociceptive, neuropathic, or mixed, it is frequently to the research on PHN that we turn in order to extrapolate the data to the patients at hand. OBJECTIVE: To review and summarize what is known about epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features and prevention strategies for post herpetic neuralgia. Discuss the available including the most recent therapeutic options as regards to their mechanism of action, efficacy, safety and tolerability in an attempt to explain the rationale for their use. CONCLUSION: A multidisciplinary and integrative approach has the best chance of success in the management of patients with PHN pain, a problem that can be often frustrating to the patient and challenging to the clinician. Prevention strategies for PHN include administration of zoster vaccine, treatment with antiviral therapy within 72 hours of rash onset and aggressive pain control. First and second line pharmacotherapy include anticonvulsants, antidepressants, topical lidocaine, high dose capsaicin, and opioids either used individually or in combination. Interventional techniques play a limited role in the management of PHN although some data indicate that Intrathecal methylprednisolone and spinal cord stimulation may be effective.
This article was published in J Palliat Med
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research