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What are the treatment options for shingles?

Q: Is there another medication that can be taken along with Gabapin for shingles? My 80-year-old father suffers from shingles. A neurologist prescribed Gabapin for him. But I saw on the Internet that if this is used for shingles, it is usually used along with another medicine, but it did not say what type of medicine it should be. Please advise.

A:Pain that persists for longer than one to three months after healing of the rash is generally accepted as a sign of post-herpetic neuralgia. It is the most common chronic complication of herpes zoster, though generally self-limiting, as symptoms improve over time. Patients usually complain of constant burning, lancinating pain or it may be in response to pressure from clothing or bed sheets. Among various treatment modalities are: a) Topical agents like Capsaicin cream and Lidocaine b) Tricyclic antidepressants - Amitriptyline, Nortriptyline, Imipramine & Desipramine c) Anticonvulsants like Phenytoin, Carbamazepine & Gabapentin. Each drug needs to be given in gradually increasing dose and if it fails to act at full dose either the drug is changed or another added at the lowest dose. Please consult your doctor prior to changing medicines.

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