Med for Post-Shingles Pain
Shingles, a burning rash caused by the same virus that that causes chicken pox, can result in a lingering nerve pain syndromecalled postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Months or even years after the original shingles blisters have healed,PHN may be so severe that it's disabling for some sufferers.
The risk of having PHN goes up with age and people over 60 are especially prone to it. Until now, effective treatment has eluded the medical profession but the FDA has just approved a drug called Horizant (gabapentin enacarbil) for the management of PHN. Horizant was originally meant for restless leg syndrome. It was approved to treat that condition on April 6th, 2011.
A release from the pharmaceutical companies that make Horizant, GlaxoSmithKline and XenoPort, said the drug should be administered in one 600 mg dose for the first 3 days of treatment, followed by 600 mg doses twice daily on day four and onward. Patients with renal impairment should have adjusted doses.
Reminder: A vaccination is now available to prevent the herpes zoster virus that is lurking near your spine if you ever had chicken pox from waking up and causing a case of shingles. Get the shot if you haven't done so already!