Earlier Treatment Improves the Chances of Complete Relief from Postherpetic Neuralgia

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Earlier Treatment Improves the Chances of Complete Relief from Postherpetic Neuralgia
Key Take-Away: 

Postherpetic neuralgia causes damage to sensory nerves causing severe neuropathic pain. The study evaluated that early treatment can manage the problem of pain in postherpetic neuralgia. It was a chronic university-based pain clinic study.

As herpes zoster progresses via postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) to well-established PHN, it presents its recalcitrant nature to the treatment.

ABSTRACT: 
Background: 

As herpes zoster progresses via postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) to well-established PHN, it presents its recalcitrant nature to the treatment.

At this point, the well-established PHN is fixed as a non-treatable, but manageable chronic painful neuropathic disorder. This study evaluated the incidence of complete relief from PHN according to PHN duration at their first visit, and the other factors influencing it.

Methods: 

A retrospective chart review was carried out on patients with PHN at a university-based pain clinic over 7 years. The responders were defined as patients who had complete relief from pain after 1 year of active treatment.

Age, sex, PHN duration at their first visit, dermatomal distribution, and underlying disorders were compared in the responder and non-responder groups. Responders were also compared according to these factors.

Results: 

Among 117 PHN patients (M/F = 48/69), 35 patients (29.9%) had complete relief from PHN. Mean ages were 64.3 ± 10.6 and 66.9 ± 10.7 years, numbers of male to female patients were 11/24 and 37/45, and mean durations of PHN at their first visit were 8.5 ± 6.3 and 15.3 ± 10.7 months in the responder and non- responder groups, respectively.

In addition, PHN patients who visited the clinic before 9 months showed a better result. Dermatomal distribution and underlying disorders did not show significant differences.

Conclusion: 

Almost 30% of PHN patients received complete relief. Those who sought treatment in a pain clinic before 9 months received a better result.

 

Source:

Korean J Pain 2017 July; Vol. 30, No. 3: 214-219

Link to the source:

http://pdf.medrang.co.kr/paper/pdf/Jkp/Jkp030-03-08.pdf

The original title of the article:

Earlier treatment improves the chances of complete relief from postherpetic neuralgia

Authors:

Dong Hee Kang et al.

Therapeutic, Gabapentin, Pregabalin, Postherpetic Neuralgia, Nerves, Anticonvulsants, Retrospective Chart Review
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