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
37
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (37)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
25
Tried for
nerve pain (neuralgia) (19) pain (8)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Valtrex)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
14
Treatment name(s)

(Ultram)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
8
Tried for
pain (6) nerve pain (neuralgia) (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lexapro)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
5
Tried for
anxious mood (5) depressed mood (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Famvir)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
5
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (5)
Treatment name(s)

(Ativan)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
5
Tried for
anxious mood (5)
Treatment name(s)

(Mobic)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
5
Tried for
pain (5)
Treatment name(s)

(Tylenol)
Type
Over the Counter Drug
How many have tried
4
Tried for
pain (4)
Treatment name(s)

(Xanax)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
4

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) (30 evaluations)
Side effects
fatigue alopecia 6 more
Total evaluations
32
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (37)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Perceived effectiveness
for nerve pain (neuralgia) (15 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness depressed mood 3 more
Total evaluations
30
Tried for
nerve pain (neuralgia) (19) pain (8)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Valtrex)
Perceived effectiveness
for shingles (herpes zoster) (8 evaluations)
Side effects
dizziness upset stomach 3 more
Total evaluations
8
Treatment name(s)

(Ultram)
Perceived effectiveness
for pain (4 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness
Total evaluations
4
Tried for
pain (6) nerve pain (neuralgia) (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lexapro)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (5 evaluations)
Side effects
headaches loss of sex drive (libido) 1 more
Total evaluations
5
Tried for
anxious mood (5) depressed mood (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Famvir)
Perceived effectiveness
for shingles (herpes zoster) (1 evaluation)
Side effects
Total evaluations
1
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (5)
Treatment name(s)

(Ativan)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (3 evaluations)
Side effects
memory and cognition problems sedation
Total evaluations
3
Tried for
anxious mood (5)
Treatment name(s)

(Mobic)
Perceived effectiveness
for pain (3 evaluations)
Side effects
Total evaluations
3
Tried for
pain (5)
Treatment name(s)

(Tylenol)
Perceived effectiveness
for pain (3 evaluations)
Side effects
Total evaluations
3
Tried for
pain (4)
Treatment name(s)

(Xanax)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (3 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness
Total evaluations
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 3
20s 20
30s 47
40s 84
50s 142
60s 99
70+ 48
Age at first symptom
Age at first symptom Proportion # of patients
0-19 years 13
20-29 years 33
30-39 years 35
40-49 years 37
50-59 years 44
60-69 years 14
70+ years 1

Sex

Distribution of sex

76% Female
24% Male

Diagnosis status
Diagnosis status Proportion # of patients
Diagnosed 238
Not Diagnosed 12

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