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Treatment Neurology & Neurosurgery

Post-Herpetic Neuralgia

There are a variety of effective pain relief medications, but unfortunately no cure for post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). In most cases, the pain of PHN subsides with time.

Treatment options that provide pain relief include:

  • Skin patches
  • Anti-seizure medication
  • Narcotic analgesics
  • Antidepressants

At UCSF Medical Center, pain management specialists also use a skin patch with capsaicin, a hot-pepper compound that's found in jalapenos, that has been effective in treating this pain/

The effectiveness of treatment varies widely among patients. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a lidocaine skin patch for PHN pain and an anti-seizure drug, called gabapentin. Narcotic analgesics and antidepressant medications also have been effective.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

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