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Truth Seeker
Picture of StorminNormin
A little over a week ago my wife started saying she felt like she had a sunburn on her skin when she didn’t. Then a week ago she developed the rash, was in horrible pain, went to the ER, and they diagnosed her with Shingles.

They gave her an anti-viral medication, Gabapentin, and 5% Lidocaine cream. She has been using all of it and her pain just seems to be getting worse. My wife has a very high tolerance for pain and any narcotic medication usually make her very nauseous.

I plan to call the hospital tomorrow to see if there is anything else they can give her. I had to call them last week to get them to prescribe the Gabapentin and Lidocaine as all they gave her was the anti-viral medication. She is also taking Tylenol and trying to use ice packs but nothing is working and even the slightest touch of her clothes is horribly painful.

It is across her abdomen just under her breast and wraps around to her back. I am just curious if anyone who has knowledge of this or experienced it has any suggestions to help alleviate her pain. I feel so bad for her and want to help her.
Posts: 7747 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Tinker Sailor Soldier Pie
Picture of Balzé Halzé
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I don't know what gabapentin is, but I took acyclovir when I had shingles back in 2020. If that is the correct anti-viral medicine in any case, it seems to me you waited a bit too long for it to be effective. You really have to catch it within a few days of first seeing symptoms. I was on my ship steaming towards Tampa from Philadelphia a day into the journey when I first noticed a weird sensation on my scalp and then a tiny rash developing on the back of my neck. I immediately suspected shingles. Luckily we stock a small pharmacy onboard for just about anything and we had the proper medication. I started taking it within 48 hours and only experienced really bad pain for about two days.

The only other thing that the doctor recommended to help with my shingles was Prednisone, but in the end I chose not to take it and ride out the shingles.

I have a lot of sympathy for your wife. Shingles sucks bad.


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Posts: 28322 | Location: Elv. 7,000 feet, Utah | Registered: October 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Victim of Life's
Picture of doublesharp
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About 10 years ago my dermatologist put me through a 2 week regimen of Efudex topical cream - basically a chemical face peal to remove potential skin cancers. Took my hide off - face looked like raw meat and was extremely painful. Walgreen's pharmacist recommended Burn Jel Plus and it worked better than anything else I tried.

God spelled backwards is dog
Posts: 4023 | Location: Sunnyside of Louisville | Registered: July 04, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cogito Ergo Sum
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I got shingles right in the middle of my prep for radiation treatment for prostate cancer. The doctor put me on an opioid and antiviral. The doctor would not extend the opioid prescription and shingles developed into postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). I was prescribed gabapentin which I thought 500mg of Naproxen was better. Made sitting still for the radiation therapy interesting. Still suffering from it after 1.5 years. My doctor said no to the Shingrex vaccine cause he was concerned about its interaction with the covid vaccine. I found sleeping on the floor or recliner eased the pain. Topicals didn’t seem to help.
My heart goes out to your wife and to you.
Posts: 5502 | Registered: August 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Staring back
from the abyss
Picture of Gustofer
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Paravertebral block with local and steroid.

Talk to your local pain management folks. It works quite well in the thoracic region for acute flairs as well as postherpetic neuralgia.

Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! - I hope you will make a good use of it. - if you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it. - John Adams
Posts: 17806 | Location: Montana | Registered: November 01, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Void Where Prohibited
Picture of WaterburyBob
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I believe gabapentin is a nerve pain med. Maybe th,e dose needs to be increased?

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Posts: 16046 | Location: Under the Boot of Tyranny in Connectistan | Registered: February 02, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of dry-fly
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Gabapentin is for nerve pain for sure. I take it for my back, but it can treat several issues. I had shingles as well, on the side of my face. Fortunately it was a relatively mild case. The ER likely won’t do more unless you go back. Do you have a primary care doc? Maybe try calling the after hours line instead of going the ER route again..?? Hang in there. It truly is terrible.

"Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway." Steve McQueen...
Posts: 6555 | Location: TEXAS | Registered: July 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of SigSentry
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Worth a shot other than going on a fast and cutting out the sugar for a while. Get well soon. Vit. D, L-lycine etc.
Posts: 2861 | Registered: May 30, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ice age heat wave,
cant complain.
Picture of MikeGLI
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When I had shingles, they gave me, IIRC, Valtrex. I was lucky, I'm young and it wasn't manifesting anywhere too terrible. Hurt like a motherfucker at times, but from what I could tell, it was mild case comparatively. I think I was also told to use Caladryl or the like as a topical.

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Posts: 9347 | Location: Orlando, Florida | Registered: July 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had shingles a few years ago and waited too long to see the doctor as I didn't understand what it was. My doc. visit was after the critical 72-hour period so there wasn't any medication that would help and I just had to gut it out until it got better.

A co-worker of mine came down with a bad case of shingles and she waited too long to see a doctor as well. Instead of just waiting for it to subside on its own, she went and tried acupuncture. She said it gave her a lot of relief.

Posts: 4763 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: September 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Effectiveness of pregabalin as a secondary treatment for neuropathic pain from postherpetic neuralgia

Pain management for acute and chronic conditions includes multiple agents, such as opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.3 However, opioids have many adverse side effects, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can potentiate gastrointestinal bleeding and renal toxicity.3 In recent years, pregabalin has become an attractive pharmacological agent for the management of chronic neuropathic pain.3 As a successor of gabapentin, pregabalin(Lyrica)pregabalin is a lipophilic gamma-amino-butyric acid analog with several neurological effects.3 Clinically, pregabalin requires less frequent dosing and is more potent, thereby reducing dose-related adverse effects and improving clinical outcomes.3 Pregabalin reduces neuropathic pain by reducing the hyperexcitability of dorsal horn neurons, allowing for reduced opioid consumption and opioid-related adverse effects.3–8 Given the limited therapeutic treatments for PHN, pregabalin has also been shown to be a cost-effective alternative for patients who fail to respond to gabapentin.9,10 Pregabalin was previously a controlled substance in the United States because clinical studies showed that some patients experience euphoria with pregabalin.11 However, pregabalin has shown increased opioid-sparing effects with a reduction in opioid-related adverse events.12 As a result, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved multiple applications for generics of Lyrica for the management of neuropathic pain.13 Given its effectiveness in reducing neuropathic pain, Lyrica should be considered for patients resistant to other forms of pain management.

More at link

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."
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Posts: 10749 | Registered: January 17, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Happily Retired
Picture of Bassamatic
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Ten years ago I had shingles so bad I could barely move. Ran from my front shoulder then down my back. The Doc prescribed several things but none of them really helped much. You just gotta tough it out. I dealt with that for a good month.

When all of this is behind you, go get the Shingix shots.

.....never marry a woman who is mean to your waitress.
Posts: 4595 | Location: Lake of the Ozarks, MO. | Registered: September 05, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My experience was about 5 years ago. Got into the doc's office early, started on anti-viral meds and 5% lidocaine ointment.

The anti-viral meds helped by stopping the spread. The lidocaine provided modest relief from the pain and itching sensations for a couple of hours at a time.

I found my best relief came from bathing the affected areas with very hot soapy water, then applying the lidocaine. Sufficient relief that I could lie down and sleep for a few hours. Followed that routine for about 3 weeks before it cleared up completely. Left some scarring (chest, shoulder, one upper arm).

Not fun stuff. Early diagnosis and treatment is my best recommendation.

Retired holster maker.
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Posts: 946 | Location: Colorado | Registered: March 07, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of henryaz
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My wife had an ER visit due to shingles. Among other things (some kind of cream), they also gave her a Medrol (methylprednisolone) dose pack, where you take 6 the first day, 5 the next, and so on down to 1 the last day. That seemed to help her considerably.

All your 10mm are belong to us
Posts: 10388 | Location: South Congress AZ | Registered: May 27, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wife had shingles a while back. She is sleeping and I don't remember what meds she was given, but do remember applying "two old goats" lotion morning and night for quite a while to alleviate pain and itch. Shingles didn't look like much fun. She got the shot after shingles cleared. Hope your wife finds relief!

I had my patience tested... I'm negative.
Posts: 44 | Registered: July 20, 2020Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Blackmore
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When my wife had shingles she got adequate additional relief from acupuncture after OTC pain meds weren't enough.

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act
Posts: 2759 | Location: W. Central NH | Registered: October 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Paravertebral block with local and steroid.

Talk to your local pain management folks. It works quite well in the thoracic region for acute flairs as well as postherpetic neuralgia

This is the best solution by far.
Posts: 13482 | Location: Stuck at home | Registered: January 02, 2015Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of mark60
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I only wish I knew what might help but I don't. I knew a few people that had them bad and I kept putting the shot off. A couple years ago a friend sent me a pic of his side and asked if I knew what it might be. I told him to get to the doc asap and I got my first shot the next day. The doc got him treated early enough that he only had a couple bad days.
Posts: 2972 | Location: God Awful New York | Registered: July 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of wingspar
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I had shingles on the right side of my face last August. It started with horrible muscle spasms near my ear that went away after about 3 days of horrible pain, then it felt like I was developing a tooth ache on that side. A visit to the dentist revealed nothing and they recommended that I see a Dr. Fortunately for me, I’ve had the same Dr. Since about 1982. He prescribed Valacyclovir and Methylpred. It worked fast. I never had the nasty rash that is associated with shingles ,but did break out in sores all over that side of my face that took some time to heal. I think I had a rather mild case in comparison to what I have read about those that have shingles. It was July 31 when I first felt the pain and August 10 when I got the prescriptions.

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Posts: 2439 | Location: Oregon | Registered: January 15, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I got the Shingles shots last year during Covid shot taking after watching a friend struggle with Shingles for a month. He missed 3 weeks of work because he could not wear pants. Tough to go to the office with no pants…

Posts: 2734 | Location: Unass the AO | Registered: December 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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