Shingles (herpes zoster)

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What is Shingles (herpes zoster)?

A disorder caused by reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that has remained dormant, often for decades, after the patient's initial exposure to varicella (chickenpox). It is characterized by severe nerve pain along the distribution of the affected nerve and red blister type rash over the area.

What is it like to have 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, insomnia, fatigue, and pain) regardless of condition.
Last updated:

What do patients take to treat Shingles (herpes zoster) and its symptoms?

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

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

(Valtrex)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
25
Treatment name(s)

(APO-Gabapentin, DOM-Gabapentin, Epleptin) 7 more
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
16
Tried for
Nerve pain (neuralgia) (13) Pain (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Conzip, Dolol, Dolzam) 23 more
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
11
Tried for
Pain (9) Nerve pain (neuralgia) (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar) 11 more
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
8
Tried for
Insomnia (8)
Treatment name(s)

(Anexsia, Lorcet 10/650, Lorcet Plus) 13 more
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
7
Tried for
Pain (6) Shingles (herpes zoster) (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Lyrica, Maxgalin, Provelyn)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
7
Tried for
Pain (5) Shingles (herpes zoster) (2)
Treatment name(s)

(Famvir)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
6
Tried for
Shingles (herpes zoster) (6)
Treatment name(s)

(Acetaminophen cream, Alvedon, Atasol-500) 36 more
Type
Over the Counter Drug
How many have tried
5
Tried for
Pain (5) Nerve pain (neuralgia) (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Adco-alzam, Alprax, Alprazol) 15 more
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
5
Tried for
Anxious mood (5)

Data from patients with Shingles (herpes zoster), who reported starting treatments within the last 5 years.
Last updated:
You’ve tried this treatment.

Compare treatments for Shingles (herpes zoster)

You’ve tried
Treatment name(s)
Perceived effectiveness
Side effects
How many evaluations
Tried for
Treatment name(s)

(Zovirax, Zovirax Topical)
Perceived effectiveness
for Shingles (herpes zoster) (15 evaluations)
Side effects
Alopecia Cognitive impairment 5 more
How many evaluations
15
Tried for
Shingles (herpes zoster) (25)
Treatment name(s)

(Valtrex)
Perceived effectiveness
for Shingles (herpes zoster) (9 evaluations)
Side effects
Stomach upset
How many evaluations
9
Treatment name(s)

(APO-Gabapentin, DOM-Gabapentin, Epleptin) 7 more
Perceived effectiveness
for Nerve pain (neuralgia) (16 evaluations)
Side effects
Brain fog Chronic constipation 13 more
How many evaluations
17
Tried for
Nerve pain (neuralgia) (13) Pain (6)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Conzip, Dolol, Dolzam) 23 more
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (5 evaluations)
Side effects
Nausea
How many evaluations
5
Tried for
Pain (9) Nerve pain (neuralgia) (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar) 11 more
Perceived effectiveness
for Insomnia (5 evaluations)
Side effects
Balance worsened Decreased appetite
How many evaluations
5
Tried for
Insomnia (8)
Treatment name(s)

(Anexsia, Lorcet 10/650, Lorcet Plus) 13 more
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (9 evaluations)
Side effects
Cognitive confusion Drowsiness 1 more
How many evaluations
10
Tried for
Pain (6) Shingles (herpes zoster) (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Lyrica, Maxgalin, Provelyn)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (2 evaluations)
Side effects
Anxious mood Mood swings 1 more
How many evaluations
3
Tried for
Pain (5) Shingles (herpes zoster) (2)
Treatment name(s)

(Famvir)
Perceived effectiveness
for Shingles (herpes zoster) (1 evaluation)
Side effects
How many evaluations
1
Tried for
Shingles (herpes zoster) (6)
Treatment name(s)

(Acetaminophen cream, Alvedon, Atasol-500) 36 more
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (1 evaluation)
Side effects
How many evaluations
1
Tried for
Pain (5) Nerve pain (neuralgia) (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Adco-alzam, Alprax, Alprazol) 15 more
Perceived effectiveness
for Anxious mood (2 evaluations)
Side effects
How many evaluations
2
Tried for
Anxious mood (5)

Data from patients with Shingles (herpes zoster), who reported starting treatments within the last 5 years.
Last updated:
You’ve tried this treatment.

  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell
  • Severe
  • Moderate
  • Mild
  • None

Who has Shingles (herpes zoster) on PatientsLikeMe?


Age
Age Proportion # of patients
<20 1
20s 19
30s 30
40s 59
50s 87
60s 38
70+ 15

Gender

Distribution of females vs. males

78% Females
22% Males
Age at first symptom
Age at first symptom Proportion # of patients
0-19 years 11
20-29 years 25
30-39 years 29
40-49 years 31
50-59 years 34
60-69 years 8
70+ years 1

Diagnosis status
Diagnosis status Proportion # of patients
Diagnosed 185
Not Diagnosed 9

These charts show data from Shingles patients who have completed their condition history
Last updated: