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
20
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (20)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
11
Tried for
nerve pain (neuralgia) (8) pain (6)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Valtrex)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
7
Treatment name(s)

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

(Lyrica)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
4
Tried for
pain (3) nerve pain (neuralgia) (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)

(Elavil)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
3
Tried for
pain (2) depressed mood (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Klonopin)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
3
Tried for
anxious mood (3)
Treatment name(s)

(Lexapro)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
3
Tried for
anxious mood (2) depressed mood (1)
1 more

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
diarrhea fatigue 2 more
Total evaluations
26
Tried for
shingles (herpes zoster) (20)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Perceived effectiveness
for nerve pain (neuralgia) (23 evaluations)
Side effects
constipation difficulty urinating (dysuria) 15 more
Total evaluations
38
Tried for
nerve pain (neuralgia) (8) pain (6)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Valtrex)
Perceived effectiveness
for shingles (herpes zoster) (6 evaluations)
Side effects
upset stomach dizziness 1 more
Total evaluations
6
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)

(Lyrica)
Perceived effectiveness
for pain (4 evaluations)
Side effects
sleepiness low blood pressure (hypotension) and chest pain 2 more
Total evaluations
6
Tried for
pain (3) nerve pain (neuralgia) (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)

(Elavil)
Perceived effectiveness
for pain (1 evaluation)
Side effects
dry mouth
Total evaluations
2
Tried for
pain (2) depressed mood (1)
Treatment name(s)

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

(Lexapro)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (1 evaluation)
Side effects
drowsiness
Total evaluations
6
Tried for
anxious mood (2) depressed mood (1)
1 more
  • 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 21
30s 57
40s 90
50s 139
60s 159
70+ 82

Distribution of sex

Sex
Sex Proportion # of patients
Male 131
Female 426

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