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
34
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (34)
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
15
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 (4) depressed mood (1)
1 more
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)

(Voltaren Gel)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
4
Tried for
pain (4)
Treatment name(s)

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

(Famvir)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
4
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (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
30
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (34)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Perceived effectiveness
for nerve pain (neuralgia) (21 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness depressed mood 3 more
Total evaluations
36
Tried for
nerve pain (neuralgia) (19) pain (8)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Valtrex)
Perceived effectiveness
for shingles (herpes zoster) (9 evaluations)
Side effects
upset stomach dizziness 4 more
Total evaluations
9
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 (3 evaluations)
Side effects
decreased sex drive (libido)
Total evaluations
4
Tried for
anxious mood (4) depressed mood (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Ativan)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (2 evaluations)
Side effects
memory and cognition problems sedation
Total evaluations
2
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)

(Voltaren Gel)
Perceived effectiveness
for pain (4 evaluations)
Side effects
Total evaluations
4
Tried for
pain (4)
Treatment name(s)

(Cymbalta)
Perceived effectiveness
for depressed mood (21 evaluations)
Side effects
decreased sex drive (libido) hunger
Total evaluations
21
Tried for
depressed mood (4) pain (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Famvir)
Perceived effectiveness
for shingles (herpes zoster) (1 evaluation)
Side effects
Total evaluations
1
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (4)
  • 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 18
30s 49
40s 84
50s 134
60s 107
70+ 53
Age at first symptom
Age at first symptom Proportion # of patients
0-19 years 13
20-29 years 32
30-39 years 35
40-49 years 37
50-59 years 44
60-69 years 14
70+ years 1

Distribution of sex

Sex
Sex Proportion # of patients
Male 105
Female 343

Diagnosis status
Diagnosis status Proportion # of patients
Diagnosed 247
Not Diagnosed 13

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