Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
You may find that the following over-the-counter medications ease the pain of postherpetic neuralgia:
- Capsaicin. Capsaicin cream, made from the seeds of hot chili peppers, may relieve pain from postherpetic neuralgia. Capsaicin (Capzasin-P, Zostrix) can cause a burning sensation and irritate your skin, but these side effects usually disappear over time. Capsaicin cream can be very irritating if rubbed on unaffected parts of your body. Follow the application instructions carefully, including wearing gloves for application and washing your hands thoroughly after applying.
- Topical analgesics and anesthetics. Aspirin mixed into an absorbing cream or nonprescription-strength lidocaine cream may reduce skin hypersensitivity.
Treatment of postherpetic neuralgia. American Academy of Neurology. http://www.aan.com/professionals/practice/pdfs/pn_guideline_patients.pdf. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Bajwa ZH, et al. Postherpetic neuralgia. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Watson P. Postherpetic neuralgia. American Family Physician. 2011;84:690.
- Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology: A Color Guide to Diagnosis and Therapy. 5th ed. Edinburgh, U.K.; New York, N.Y.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-7234-3541-9..X0001-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-7234-3541-9&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Ultram (tramadol hydrochloride), Ultracet (tramadol hydrochloride/acetaminophen): Label change. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm213264.htm. Accessed July 3, 2012.
- Watson JC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 17, 2012.
- Irving GA, et al. NGX-4010, a capsaicin 8% dermal patch, administered alone or in combination with systemic neuropathic pain medications, reduces pain in patients with postherpetic neuralgia. Clinical Journal of Pain. 2012;28:101.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Update on herpes zoster vaccine: Licensure for persons aged 50 through 59 years. MMWR. 2011;60:44. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6044a5.htm?s_cid=mm6044a5_w. Accessed July 18, 2012.