How long can nerve pain last

Persistent pain after shingles (post-zoster neuralgia)

Persistent nerve pain can be treated in several ways:

  • with anticonvulsant drugs (anti-epileptic drugs),
  • Painkillers,
  • anti-anxiety drugs () and
  • pain-numbing patches.

If nerve pain persists, anti-epileptic drugs such as pregabalin or gabapentin are often used. They are initially combined with pain relievers as they take time to work. Then the pain medication can be stopped again.

If anti-epileptic drugs are insufficient, it is possible to take additional drugs. Both inhibit the transmission of pain to the brain and dampen the excitability of the affected nerves.

If the pain is limited to one part of the body, plasters with pain-numbing ingredients such as lidocaine or capsaicin may help. Studies suggest that high-dose capsaicin (8%) patches can reduce nerve pain.

Which active ingredient and which combination is suitable depends on the severity of the pain and how you tolerate the medication. It is therefore very important to describe to the doctor as precisely as possible how severe the pain is, how the remedies work and whether there are side effects.

Other treatments such as or are not adequately explored in studies. It is therefore not possible to reliably say whether they work and how well they are.

If the pain persists despite treatment, it can make sense to contact a doctor specializing in pain therapy or neurology, a pain center or a pain clinic.