An Update on the Treatment of Postherpetic Neuralgia

Christopher L. Wu, Srinivasa N. Raja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Like other types of neuropathic pain, postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) can be resistant to many types of pharmacologic and interventional therapies. Although many analgesic agents have been used for the treatment of other types of neuropathic pain, tricyclic antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs, opioids, and lidocaine patch appear to demonstrate relative analgesic efficacy for the treatment of pain from PHN. There are fewer studies on the use of interventional options for the treatment of pain from PHN. The majority of interventional therapies show equivocal analgesic efficacy although some data indicate that intrathecal methylprednisolone may be effective. Further randomized, controlled trials will be needed to confirm the analgesic efficacy of analgesic and interventional therapies to determine their role in the overall treatment of patients with PHN. Perspective: This article reviews the analgesic options for the treatment of PHN and suggests that tricyclic antidepressants, membrane stabilizers, opioids, and lidocaine patch may demonstrate analgesic efficacy in this group of patients. These data may potentially help clinicians who attempt to provide analgesia in patients with PHN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pain
Issue number1 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Neuropathic pain
  • pharmacotherapy
  • zoster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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