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Q. How can shingles be treated?

Answered by
Dr. Subhash Kashyap
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 13, 2020 and last reviewed on: Apr 28, 2020

Hello doctor,

My mom has a pretty severe case of shingles. Starting on the left side mid back and goes around to the belly. She has been prescribed Pregabalin and it is not helping, they tried Gabapentin and she has bad side effects from it. We have tried compounded pain ointments, ice, cool water, etc. Nothing is helping. She is 74 with late stage COPD, diabetic and has osteoporosis severely as well. Is there anything else we can do to try to ease her pain. She is bellowing out in pain every 5 minutes.



Welcome to

Shingles or Herpes Zoster occur due to reactivation of chicken pox virus which hide in spinal nerve ganglion during childhood. Reactivation can occur in immunosuppression or old age, thus it runs along a nerve in girdle like fashion. It starts with fluid filled lesion which heal within upto 2 weeks but nerve damage can give severe pain which may last longer. It is called post herpetic neuralgia. I hope there is no active fluid filled lesion. If so kindly send a photo and Renal function test report.

Otherwise start SR tablet Pregabalin 25 mg plus 1500 mcg Methylcobalamin tablet twice daily. Capsaicin or Lidocaine patch application. Tablet Tramadol if severe pain SOS once daily. Calamine lotion thrice daily. Review after 4 weeks. It is sometime resistant. Other modalities like intraspinal steroid or botox injection can also be tried but let's fist see how this responds.

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