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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 49(8); 2006 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2006;49(8):701-706.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2006.49.8.701   
Diagnosis and Treatment of Postherpetic Neuralgia
Myung Ha Yoon
Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Korea. mhyoon@jnu.ac.kr
Although herpes zoster (HZ) is not a fatal disease, the legacy of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) often causes prolonged and significant misery and distress. There are now several therapeutic options, but the management of PHN is not always straightforward. Herpes zoster (shingles) affects up to half of all people who live to 85 years of age and can lead to long-term morbidity. Prevention and proper treatment are important in PHN. Most cases of zoster can be managed in primary-care settings and a full understanding of the condition is essential. In this article the author presents an update on the treatment of PHN. Treatment with antidepressants, anticonvulsants, opioids, nerve block, topical creams, TENS, cryotherapy, LASER therapy may be effective when pain has sustained over a long time. Social support and psychological interventions should also be considered. Although the measures described above can benefit many patients, the management of PHN remains, in some cases, to be challenging.
Key Words: Anticonvulsants, Antidepressants, Nerve block, Postherpetic neuralgia


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