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Using Neurontin for Postherpetic Neuralgia

About one million people develop shingles each year, and a number of them experience a complication called postherpetic neuralgia. This is pain that is present in the affected area for months, or even years, after the shingles rash has healed. The most bothersome of postherpetic neuralgia symptoms is pain. The pain can result in an inability to perform daily tasks of living and may be described as:
 
  • Agonizing
  • Excruciating
  • Burning
  • Sharp, electric-like jabs
  • Throbbing
  • Aching.
     
Postherpetic neuralgia treatment usually involves medication. Neurontin is one of the medications approved to treat the pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia.
 

How Does Neurontin Work?

It is not known exactly how Neurontin works for nerve pain, nor is it known exactly how the drug works to prevent partial seizures in people with epilepsy. It is known that Neurontin affects certain calcium channels in the brain, and this may be how it works for seizures and nerve pain.
 

Neurontin Uses in Children

Neurontin is approved to treat partial seizures in children as young as three years old. Talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of using the drug in children.
 

Off-Label Neurontin Uses

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Neurontin for something other than the conditions discussed in this article. At this time, off-label Neurontin uses include the treatment of:
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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