Shingles

Practitioner Guidance

The Condition

Shingles is an acute inflammation of nerve ganglia caused by the herpes zoster virus. The pain experienced in acute shingles can be debilitating and about 18% of people with confirmed shingles develop postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) which can linger for many months. 1

What the Research Says

Antiviral medication is effective in reducing acute herpetic pain, particularly when started within 72 hours of onset of rash. 2

Intravenous vitamin C can be used with antiviral medication. There is some evidence of an effect on acute herpetic pain when IVC is combined with standard therapy. 1,3,4 A study of IVC alone showed no effect. 5

There is evidence that intravenous vitamin C can reduce the incidence and severity of postherpetic neuralgia. 3,5,6,7

References

1) Schencking M., Sandholzer H., Frese T. Intravenous administration of vitamin C in the treatment of herpetic neuralgia: two case reports. Med Sci Monit. 2010;16:CS58-CS61. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20424557

2) Saguil A., Kane S., Mercado M. Herpes Zoster and Postherpetic Neuralgia: Prevention and Management. Am Fam Physician. 2017;96(10):656-663. https://www.aafp.org/afp/2017/1115/p656.html

3) Schencking M., Vollbracht C., Weiss G., Lebert J., Biller A., Goyvaerts B., et al. Intravenous Vitamin C in the treatment of shingles: Results of a multicenter prospective cohort study. Med Sci Monit. 2012;18(4):CR215-CR224. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22460093

4) Byun S. H., Jeon Y. Administration of Vitamin C in a Patient with Herpes Zoster – A case report -. The Korean Journal of Pain. 2011;24:108-111. http://dx.doi.org/10.3344/kjp.2011.24.2.108

5) Kim M. S., Kim D. J., Na C. H., Shin B. S. A Study of Intravenous Administration of Vitamin C in the Treatment of Acute Herpetic Pain and Postherpetic Neuralgia. Annals of Dermatology. 2016; 28:677-683. http://dx.doi.org/10.5021/ad.2016.28.6.677

6) Chen J.-Y., Chang C.-Y., Feng P.-H., Chu C.-C., So E. C., Hu M.-L. Plasma vitamin C is lower in postherpetic neuralgia patients and administration of vitamin C reduces spontaneous pain but not brush-evoked pain. Clin J Pain. 2009;25(7):562-569. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0b013e318193cf32

7) Chen J.-Y., Chu C.-C., So E. C., Hsing C.-H., Hu M.-L. Treatment of postherpetic neuralgia with intravenous administration of vitamin C. Anesth Analg. 2006;103(6):1616-1617. https://insights.ovid.com/pubmed?pmid=17122283

 

The information provided here is only for general reference and cannot replace personalised professional medical advice from a doctor.

Introductory Material

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Vitamin C

EDTA Chelation