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
41
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (41)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
26
Tried for
nerve pain (neuralgia) (20) Pain (9)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Valtrex)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
16
Treatment name(s)

(Norco)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
7
Tried for
Pain (6) shingles (herpes zoster) (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Ultram)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
7
Tried for
Pain (5) nerve pain (neuralgia) (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lyrica)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
6
Tried for
Pain (4) nerve pain (neuralgia) (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Voltaren Gel)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
5
Tried for
Pain (5)
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)

(Advil)
Type
Over the Counter Drug
How many have tried
5
Tried for
Pain (5)

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) (33 evaluations)
Side effects
fatigue alopecia 10 more
Total evaluations
35
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (41)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Perceived effectiveness
for nerve pain (neuralgia) (14 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness depressed mood 4 more
Total evaluations
29
Tried for
nerve pain (neuralgia) (20) Pain (9)
2 more
Treatment name(s)

(Valtrex)
Perceived effectiveness
for shingles (herpes zoster) (9 evaluations)
Side effects
dizziness upset stomach 5 more
Total evaluations
9
Treatment name(s)

(Norco)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (2 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness chronic constipation 2 more
Total evaluations
3
Tried for
Pain (6) shingles (herpes zoster) (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Ultram)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (4 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness
Total evaluations
4
Tried for
Pain (5) nerve pain (neuralgia) (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Lyrica)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (4 evaluations)
Side effects
suicidal thoughts or urges anxious mood 3 more
Total evaluations
5
Tried for
Pain (4) nerve pain (neuralgia) (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Voltaren Gel)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (3 evaluations)
Side effects
Total evaluations
3
Tried for
Pain (5)
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)

(Advil)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (2 evaluations)
Side effects
Total evaluations
2
Tried for
Pain (5)
  • 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 19
30s 45
40s 78
50s 139
60s 95
70+ 47
Age at first symptom
Age at first symptom Proportion # of patients
0-19 years 14
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 239
Not Diagnosed 12

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