[Recommendations for treatment and prevention of herpes zoster and associated pain in aged adults]

Rev Med Interne. 2016 Jan;37(1):35-42. doi: 10.1016/j.revmed.2015.08.009. Epub 2015 Sep 14.
[Article in French]


Initiated within the first 72 hours of the rash, prescribing antiviral drugs reduces both acute neuralgia (AN) and later complications and especially postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). But their analgesic as well as preventative effect on AN and PHN is modest. Combination with analgesic drugs is more often needed for pain management. However, the pharmacological management of pain, in the context of old patients' frailty, co-morbidities and often polypharmacy, must be carefully considered. Based on analyses of the evidences from the literature, this review presents the therapeutic options we have at one's disposal and proposes a stepwise management for both AN and PHN specifically designed for aged population.

Keywords: Acute neuralgia; Herpes zoster; Névralgies aiguës; Névralgies post-zostériennes; Old adults; Personnes âgées; Postherpetic neuralgia; Traitement; Treatment; Zona.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged*
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Herpes Zoster / complications*
  • Herpes Zoster / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / prevention & control
  • Neuralgia, Postherpetic / therapy*
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Pain Management / standards*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic