What medication

Posted , 8 users are following.

hi everyone I'm new to this group, I started getting rearly bad pains in my back on new years eve I thought I'd pulled a muscle but about 5 days later developed the rash, I went to my GP and he prescribed me with anti viral I only took one and vomited 4 times so Dr said stop taking them and I was put on gabapentin and amitriptyline also taking co codamol inbetween it's 22 days now the rash has almost gone but the pain is awful and seems to be getting worse nothing is relieving it I've been back to my GP and he said double the dose of gabapentin still the pain is no better any advise out there please can't cope

1 like, 13 replies


13 Replies

  • Posted

    So sorry to hear youre in so much pain. I personally do not like Gabepentin but I DO understand that it helps. I've had several bad side effects with it so went off completely. The side effects get worse as dosage increases. I have many people I know that also had to get off The Gab. because of side effects.

    The side effects are constantly tired, foggy brain, can't remember anything, become very puffy like water retention ( so weight gain and the shakes are the most common side effects. I also heard there are links to dementia associated with Gabepentin. ???

    Anyone with Shingles nerve pain is almost ALWAYS given Gabepentin!!! I decided to turn it down and just fight thru the awful pain of Shingles and post-Shingles because I was given Gabapentin after a neck surgery about 5 years ago and it was awful with side effects. I gained 30 plus pounds on it and my friends and family said I looked horrible and all I did for a whole year is sleep.

    What I found worked for my shingle nerve pain was a med. called Toradol, generic is Ketorolac. It lists a lot of side effects but I did not experience any of them and it was not addicting, I was able to stop it once my pain got better, about 1 month.

    My Shingles was on my right side of face. It started off with a pain, like an under the skin pimple, very sore but within 1 day, I was fully broken out. I immediately went to Urgent Care. I did start the Valtrex immediately and within a month I had my first Shingle Vaccination shot and 2 months later had my 2nd shot. I didnt feel that the viral pill helped much at all. I did 3 rounds of it so I was basically on it for 1 month.

    I hope my perspective and experience with this nasty disease of Shingles helps you or someone else in this discussion. Feel better soon!!!!

    Report Reply
    • Posted

      hi Cindi thanks for the reply I've definitely got foggy brain and constantly asleep I'm gutted because just before xmas I was diagnosed with underactive thyroid and was piling on the weight so started the gym now I'm in so much pain I can't go but haven't put any weight on as yet. hate taking any tablet but think I'll try and reduce the gabapentin now scary reading all the side effects but thank you cindi.

      Report Reply
    • Posted


      You're very welcome! We're all in this together and so very glad we have somewhere to go to share experiences with each other! Feel better soon!!!!


      Report Reply
  • Posted

    Dear Eileen,

    I am so sorry you are going through this right now. I understand the agonizing, lancinating pain, sleepless nights, and suffering.

    Please read through all of this. Regarding your pain medication, I would see another physician and ask for Oxycodone. Codeine is a weak opioid, and the Amitriptyline and Gabapentin doesn't begin to address the acute pain of Herpes Zoster-Shingles. Another option is to go to A&E (Urgent Care). The third option is to ask for a referral to a neurologist ASAP.

    I am a Nurse Practitioner in the States. I have had Herpes Zoster-Shingles in my right ear, mouth, and throat every three to five weeks for the past twenty-two years and twice in my right eye. It has now escalated to include my entire right scalp.

    This is a summary of the stages, signs and symptoms of Herpes Zoster-Shingles, and medical management of the disease.

    The Pre-eruptive Phase lasts about one to ten days, but the rash occasionally takes much longer to appear.




    Generalized Aches and Pains

    Fever, Chills, and Sweating

    Enlarged Lymph Nodes near the pain and rash

    Fatigue and Exhaustion

    Pain usually preceding the rash, but not always


    The pain can be described as a deep burning or aching pain, or electric shock–like pains.

    Acute Eruptive Phase

    Rash of grouped vesicle-blisters in a dermatomal pattern.

    Occurs in waves or crops over a period of 5-7 days.

    Vesicle-blisters look dissimilar and are of different sizes.

    The rash is on a red base.

    The pain may continue to increase into the second and third week.

    The clear vesicle-blisters cloud over, look like pustules, scab over, and turn black. This process may take between 2-4 weeks. Once every vesicle-blister has scabbed over, you are no longer infectious!

    You are considered infectious (contagious) if your rash is open to the air, ie not covered, to anyone who has not had chickenpox. This includes all pregnant women! Remember, not all women know they are pregnant!

    Chronic Phase (Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN)

    30 days after onset of rash. Definition varies

    Duration may last months or years after initial episode of Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

    The resolution of the scars can take up to a year to heal.

    Management and Medications


    Famciclovir 500 mg 3x daily 7-10 days, sometimes 14 days.

    Smallest Tablet

    Convenient dosing

    Least Resistance

    Valcyclovir 1000 mg 3x daily 7-10 days

    Large Tablets difficult to swallow for some

    Based on Acyclovir

    Acyclovir 800 mg 5x daily 7-10 days

    Inconvenient Dose Schedule

    Growing Resistance to Varicella Virus

    Acyclovir is the antiviral most often prescribed in the UK

    What dosage of the medication are you on? Sometimes, the Physician places the patient on a lower dose, but needs to increase it to help with the pain-itching.

    Sometimes, you need to be placed on a cocktail of medications, as they will work synergistically to help you. These are all by prescription. I have grouped them according to class. A clinician would start with one from the Anticonvulsant class, taper the dosage up, then one from the Antidepressant Class, etc. This list is by no means complete.





















    2. I would find 100% cotton knit clothing. Make sure there are no seams to irritate your skin. The cotton knit is the most breathable, least irritating cloth to most individuals.

    3. Use Lidocaine Cream or Spray OTC topically to help with the pain- itching, eg, Solarcaine with Aloe or Bactine. Many on this forum feel either Lidocaine or Benzocaine help with the pain-itching. The cream might soothe the inflamed nerve endings better and last longer on the skin. You can only use Lidocaine 12 hours on and 12 hours off, as the usefulness will extinguish itself.

    4. Use ice or cool compresses. Do not take hot showers, as it will only increase the pain-itching

    5. You need to rest and sleep. You cannot power through this disease. Do not go back to work! This virus is way stronger than you are, and you will only get more pain, the more exertion you do.

    6. Most Importantly, get the Shingrex Immunization. It is a two phase vaccine, two months apart. It is given intramuscularly. It is highly efficacious in stopping Post Herpetic Neuralgia PHN and recurrent episodes of Herpes Zoster-Shingles.

    Shingrex is available in the US at the pharmacy and covered by insurance if you are over 50 years of age. If you are younger than 50, and have had a documented case of shingles, it is still covered.

    If you are in the UK/Canada/Australia/NZ, I know it has been distributed there, but the national health insurance may not cover it until age 70, which is ridiculous. It is expensive, but I would have paid thousands not to have recurrent shingles.

    Best Wishes,

    Merry Juliana

    Report Reply
  • Posted

    EILEEN ..... try a prescription for lidocaine and pain patch or otc pain patch . keep the rash coveed. the less air and oxygen on the rash the less it will itch. benedryl, hydroxyzine for itching. also keep area dry.

    if pain persists the dr will help prescribe meds.

    there are several anti viruals. they all made me sick if taken on a empty stomach, have you tried taking with food?

    once rash has healed then get the shingrex shot and booster immediately. it will help decrease the recurrence of the rash and can lesson the area of rash .

    shingles is a horrible disease i am very sympathetic with all the pain you have been thru. be sure to ask your dr for the shingex injection.

    Report Reply
    • Posted

      My rash is nearly gone I didn't have problems with the rash I'm lucky it went quite quick and never itched at all. It's the pain in my back can't stand it I'm in agony been back to GP just told me to double the dose of gabapentin.

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Be careful on the Gabepentin ! Thats what the doctors do.... they keep increasing the dosage because your body keeps needing more and more, like most drugs. I just had so many bad side effects on it as did everyone I've known who was on it. Hope you feel more relief soon... stay strong and you'll beat this NASTY Shingles stuff.

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      where is the pain in your back ? could it be a possibility that something else is going on? i had similar issue back pain where rash was turned out it was angina such a piercing pain could hardly move. mabe a xray ...is there a possibility its muscle or bone/joint issue? hope your better soon.

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      thank you no it's definitely shingles I've looked after people in the past with shingles and never realised until now how much pain they must of been in. the pain is under my shoulder blade and works it's around my ribs 23 days I've had this rash has nearly gone so hoping pain will follow

      Report Reply
    • Posted

      i hope the pain will be gone soon. the shoulder blade pain i have is not from shingles. plz remember to get the new shingex shot asap. i hope your get peace soon. take care.

      Report Reply
  • Posted

    hi the only thing i found was an OTC CREAM CAPSASIN use gloves to apply it burns for about 5 min but did calm the shingle pain. There is a prescription medication that has similar ingrediants as capsasin cream it begins w a Q ( sorry cant remember ) my insurance wouldnt pay for.

    Report Reply
  • Posted

    You don't need a prescription for Lidocaine. In the US, it is redily available as Aspercreme. That is 4% Lidocaine; same as you can get with a script.

    Report Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Eileen,sorry to hear about your pain. Ask doctor for Versatis Patch to put at pain area and also for Lyrica Pregabalin, I am on these months and they keep the pain away, I hope you get some relief.

    Report Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up