Can Ketamine Treat Postherpetic Neuralgia? 

If you’ve been experiencing persistent nerve pain after having shingles, you may have what’s known as postherpetic neuralgia. This nerve condition can sometimes cause severe pain, while other cases are more mild. Postherpetic neuralgia often disrupts daily life and makes it difficult to sleep or concentrate. If you think you may have postherpetic neuralgia, the first step is to contact your primary care physician. 

Although postherpetic neuralgia is often well-controlled with medication, some individuals have a harder time recovering from this condition. If you’re tired of experiencing persistent nerve pain, ketamine infusion therapy may be an option. Here, we share the details of using ketamine to treat nerve pain from postherpetic neuralgia: 

What Is Postherpetic Neuralgia? 

Postherpetic neuralgia is the number one complication of shingles, which is caused by the chickenpox virus. Those who develop postherpetic neuralgia after having shingles often experience burning pain at the site of the shingles rash. 

Unfortunately, this complication often causes significant symptoms, such as: 

  • A burning, sharp, or stabbing sensation at the location of the healed rash that lasts for three months or longer
  • Sensitivity to touch 
  • Numbness or itching 

Individuals who are over the age of 50, had a severe rash from shingles, or have conditions such as diabetes are more at risk for developing postherpetic neuralgia. This condition is also more common in people who did not receive an antiviral treatment within 72 of the rash appearing and/or had the rash on their torso or face. 

How Postherpetic Neuralgia Is Treated

If you’ve been struggling with pain from postherpetic neuralgia, you may be wondering what treatment options exist. Each individual responds to treatment differently, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treating this condition. Here are a few of the most common remedies

  • Lidocaine skin patches
  • Capsaicin skin patches
  • Anticonvulsants such as Gralise, Horizant, and Neurontin
  • Antidepressants such as Cymbalta and Effexor XR
  • Steroid injections 

You may have exhausted the treatments listed above if your nerve pain from shingles has been long-lasting or severe. If you’re tired of feeling the effects of postherpetic neuralgia and are ready for a new possibility, ketamine infusion therapy may be an option. 

Ketamine has been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory when given via intravenous infusion, and is often effective at quickly relieving chronic pain. If you’d like to learn more about medical ketamine, please contact our team at Infuse Ketamine. Founded by board-certified physicians, our practice is located in a soothing environment and your treatment plan is tailored to your needs. We look forward to discovering how we can help. 

Photo courtesy of Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

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