PHN after 2 months

Posted , 6 users are following.

I had shingles starting early March and now 2 and a half months later it's mostly gone away. The rash is now just some scarring, and I don't have the constant fatigue. But I still have nerve pain through my back every night. Luckily it's not so bad that I have to take gabapentin or anything for it, but it's bad enough that it keeps me from sleeping well. 

Any tips from experience on how to help the pain go away? I'm 37M and hopeful at my younger age that the PHN will eventually subside. There doesn't seem to be a lot of evidence on what specifically one can do to make the PHN go away other than stay mentally positive. 

One thing I noticed is that if I exercise, for example do push ups, the next day the PHN is pretty intense. But I feel like it's important get exercise, I can't not exercise forever! 

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  • Posted


    I am sorry you are still dealing with the aftermath of this disease...

    Regarding Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN, as the pain is disrupting your sleep, I would consider taking the Gabapentin. Also, it is well- known that increased activity and exercise will increase the neuropathic pain. That is reason 2 to take the Gabapentin.

    I would also use a spray eg Solarcaine with Aloe or cream with Lidocaine, topically to the area to numb the nerve endings.

    Ice or cold compresses applied to the area may also help numb the pain.

    Some people find Capasain applied to the area helpful.

    There are other first choice oral medications to help with Neurogenic pain, such as the SNRIs, Venlafaxine and Cymbalta. They can be used instead of or in addition to Gabapentin.

    The other first choice medication is Lyrica, in lieu of Gabapentin.

    As I have recurrent Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear every three to five weeks for the the past twenty-one years and twice in my right eye, I have my own regimen.

    I use daily

    Topiramate, an anticonvulsant like




    Opioid for acute excruciating episode

    Famciclovir 500mg 3x daily for 7 days

    Auroguard, ear drops containing


    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States.

    Best Wishes

    Merry Juliana

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  • Posted

    Hello dan36959

    Try taking b12, b6 vitamin C and Google other supplements that help repair nerve damage.

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  • Posted

    Good to know things are getting better💡I think at your age it will all be cleared up soon, strong immune and patience. I believe staying away from narcotic meds and taking safe supplements and eating well is the best defense. Stay away from things with high l-Arginine content...chocolate,nuts,legumes! The aspercreme with lidocaine helps me at night ..apply topically.

    Maybe a couple Tylenol if pain is disrupting your rest.

    I still have some itching and days that I could sleep 14 hours, low energy still at 6 weeks but the intense pain has subsided Thank God??Be well and check with your Doctor about the new more effective vaccine Shingrix.

    Exercise and hot temps seem to worsen my symptoms but can’t just sit around too much either?

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  • Posted

    Dan, I have had Shingles/PHN since last September. I take 6 or 8 CoCodamol a day (30 mg codeine per tablet), and 2 x 25 mg Amitriptylene at night. Gabapentin I did not like at all. My Doctor says he has never had any patient have PHN `forever', after 30 years as a Doctor ....... I am a 70 year old Male, and I have lost 15 kg in weight, which I could afford to lose. Hang in there, Colin England. Hi to Merry :-) 


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    • Posted

      Greetings Colin!

      Hope you are a little better, or actually, a lot better!!!

      It is finally summer in the US after a long winter and virtually no spring!

      I have already picked ticks off my 29 year old son and started the preventative treatment for Lyme Disease.

      Best Wishes

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi again Merry. I hope Summer in East Coast America treats you well :-)  I have been refurbishing our hall and landing, and have put about 150 screws into the floorboards to stop them creaking. Otherwise, I fly Radio Control model Gliders, so it has been good to get up to our field and Clubhouse, and watch the Kite (birds) outsoar us; wonderful birds.

      PHN wise slightly better, and my Doctor has cheerfully told me he reckons I will get better; it is just a question of how long it will take :-( Meantime my unmarried 40 year old son is looking for an apartment, but the asking price around here is £450,000 for a decent 2 bedrooom place - so I guess I am stuck with him for a while longer .........regards, Colin, England

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    • Posted

      My husband, 29 year old son, and I moved 1-1/2 years ago into a "new build" single house in the woods. It is tranquil, without the light pollution. We can see the stars, again. I have slowly rallied the son and husband, into gardening and landscaping.

      The asking price for a 2 bedroom apartment is quite expensive. Is that London? I know the housing prices in the UK and Europe have become unaffordable for so many.

      I did love living in Europe for six fantastic years, especially my frequent visits to Britain and Scotland.

      Best Regards

      Merry Juliana

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    • Posted

      Hi Merry, house prices in London and South East England have become very expensive. We have not enough land and 2-3 million extra people into the UK in the last decade. London prices ripple out to at least 40 - 50 miles. Our town has a direct railway link into central London in 25-35 minutes; so Commuters will pay extra for a house near good schools and a railway station. The market has slowed a bit recently; but this has resulted in less properties coming to the market ...... My Son would prefer to live outside the South East, but that is where the higher paying jobs are. Hey Ho. regards Colin.
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  • Posted

    I hear you!! It’s been 3 yrs for me. After doing an extensive natural healing regimen, I am finally beginning to add exercise back in slowly without pain!! Yeah!! I will send a message that I have sent to others of what I have been doing.

    You can do a cleanse for 28 days of solely raw fruit and veggies. I only made it 10 days, then switched over to a diet that will take longer to completely eliminate the virus.  So, the foods you have to have in your diet every day. Mangoes, pears, asparagus, wild blueberries, papayas, coconut, red apples, bananas, artichokes, avocado, red and green leafy lettuce, green beans, sweet potato, spinach. Eat a lot of these foods daily.

    The foods you CANNOT consume: corn, soy, canola oil, processed beet sugar, eggs, dairy, pork, farmed fish, gluten, msg, natural flavoring, artificial flavors, artificial sweetners, citric acid, 

    And avoid the amino acid L-carnitine , Argenine (nuts and chocolate)and whey protein at all costs. 

    I know this sounds crazy, but I have been doing it for almost a year and I have not felt this good in 3 years. I have shingles symptoms every month. Since on this diet my symptoms have lessened in frequency and intensity and I am not on any prescription meds! You should do the cleanse for as long as you can, then just start adding some cooked food. It is hard and boring, but effective so far. I also have made it more interesting by discovering some great recipes. Smoothies are the best way to start.

    Good luck

    I’ve actually been doing it for a year and a half now and I am doing very well!! I’m adding exercise back in and have not been in pain or had another outbreak. My energy level is amazing . I am 46 but I forst was struck with this demon when I was 42 and an avid exerciser!!! Take care

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