Mar 2012

Gabapentin Not Shown to Prevent Postherpetic Neuralgia

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Philadelphia VA Medical Center and Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

Arch Dermatol. 2012;148(3):400-401. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.2864

I read with interest “Prevent Rather Than Treat Postherpetic Neuralgia by Prescribing Gabapentin Earlier in Patients With Herpes Zoster, ”1 the Practice Gaps commentary accompanying “Incidence of Postherpetic Neuralgia After Combination Treatment with Gabapentin and Valacyclovir in Patients With Acute Herpes Zoster ” by Lapolla et al.2 The commentary states that the study “provides convincing evidence that the use of gabapentin combined with valacyclovir during an episode of acute herpes zoster reduces the rates of PHN [postherpetic neuralgia]. ”1(p908) Further interpreting the study results, the commentary authors also recommend that dermatologists should prescribe gabapentin to prevent PHN.1

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