Shingles (herpes zoster)

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What is shingles (herpes zoster)?

Shingles is a disorder caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (chickenpox) that has remained dormant, often for decades, after the patient's initial exposure to the virus. It may cause severe pain and blistering along the path of the affected nerve.

Common symptoms reported by people with shingles (herpes zoster)

Common symptoms
How bad it is
What people are taking for it

Reports may be affected by other conditions and/or medication side effects. We ask about general symptoms (anxious mood, depressed mood, fatigue, pain, and stress) regardless of condition.
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Treatments taken by people with shingles (herpes zoster)

Treatment name(s)
Type
How many have tried
Tried for
Treatment name(s)

(Zovirax)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
25
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (25)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
12
Tried for
nerve pain (neuralgia) (9) pain (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Valtrex)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
9
Treatment name(s)

(Elavil)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
4
Tried for
pain (3) depressed mood (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Norco)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
4
Tried for
pain (3) shingles (herpes zoster) (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Mobic)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
4
Tried for
pain (3) shingles rash (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Ultram)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
4
Tried for
pain (3) shingles rash (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Tylenol)
Type
Over the Counter Drug
How many have tried
3
Tried for
pain (3) shingles rash (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Xanax)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
3
Treatment name(s)

(Celexa)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
3
Tried for
depressed mood (3)

Data from patients with shingles (herpes zoster), who reported starting treatments within the last 5 years.
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Compare treatments taken by people with shingles (herpes zoster)

Treatment name(s)
Perceived effectiveness
Side effects
Total evaluations
Tried for
Treatment name(s)

(Zovirax)
Perceived effectiveness
for shingles (herpes zoster) (22 evaluations)
Side effects
bad taste in mouth diarrhea 3 more
Total evaluations
22
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (25)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Perceived effectiveness
for nerve pain (neuralgia) (21 evaluations)
Side effects
constipation difficulty urinating (dysuria) 15 more
Total evaluations
37
Tried for
nerve pain (neuralgia) (9) pain (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Valtrex)
Perceived effectiveness
for shingles (herpes zoster) (7 evaluations)
Side effects
dizziness upset stomach 4 more
Total evaluations
7
Treatment name(s)

(Elavil)
Perceived effectiveness
for depressed mood (1 evaluation)
Side effects
Total evaluations
1
Tried for
pain (3) depressed mood (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Norco)
Perceived effectiveness
for pain (2 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness chronic constipation
Total evaluations
3
Tried for
pain (3) shingles (herpes zoster) (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Mobic)
Perceived effectiveness
for pain (3 evaluations)
Side effects
Total evaluations
3
Tried for
pain (3) shingles rash (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Ultram)
Perceived effectiveness
for pain (4 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness
Total evaluations
4
Tried for
pain (3) shingles rash (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Tylenol)
Perceived effectiveness
for pain (3 evaluations)
Side effects
Total evaluations
3
Tried for
pain (3) shingles rash (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Xanax)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (2 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness
Total evaluations
3
Treatment name(s)

(Celexa)
Perceived effectiveness
for depressed mood (3 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness dry mouth
Total evaluations
4
Tried for
depressed mood (3)
  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell
  • Severe
  • Moderate
  • Mild
  • None

Data from patients with shingles (herpes zoster), who reported starting treatments within the last 5 years.
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Who has shingles (herpes zoster) on PatientsLikeMe?


Age
Age Proportion # of patients
<20 1
20s 17
30s 60
40s 86
50s 138
60s 140
70+ 75

Distribution of sex

Sex
Sex Proportion # of patients
Male 122
Female 398

These charts show data from shingles (herpes zoster) patients who have completed their condition history
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