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What is postherpetic neuralgia after shingles (herpes zoster)?

ANSWER

Shingles is caused by the same virus that gives you chickenpox. It gives you painful blisters that turn into scabs. As many as 1 in 7 people with shingles get deep pain called postherpetic neuralgia after the infection runs its course. The pain can last for months or even years, especially in older people. Chances of postherpetic neuralgia go up with age.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke: "Shingles. Seek Early Treatment."

Mayo Clinic Health Letter, June 2002.

Oxman M. June 2, 2005. New England Journal of Medicine,

Douglas M. ,  2004. Drug Safety

WebMD Health News: "Shingles Vaccine to Be Routine at 60."

FDA: "FDA Licenses New Vaccine to Reduce Older Americans' Risk of Shingles."

UpToDate.

 

 

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on March 31, 2019

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke: "Shingles. Seek Early Treatment."

Mayo Clinic Health Letter, June 2002.

Oxman M. June 2, 2005. New England Journal of Medicine,

Douglas M. ,  2004. Drug Safety

WebMD Health News: "Shingles Vaccine to Be Routine at 60."

FDA: "FDA Licenses New Vaccine to Reduce Older Americans' Risk of Shingles."

UpToDate.

 

 

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on March 31, 2019

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What causes shingles (herpes zoster)?

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