The Journal of Drugs in Dermatology is delighted to present new findings from the Mayo Clinic's Department of Dermatology showing possible relief from the complications and pain secondary to Herpes Zoster, commonly known as shingles.
The pain associated with shingles is difficult to treat; and there have been few studies addressing the question of medical treatment of postherpetic pruritus. However, in "Amitriptyline/Ketamine as Therapy for Neuropathic Pruritus and Pain Secondary to Herpes Zoster," John R. Griffin MD and Mark D.P. Davis MD show that some reduction of both the pruritus and the pain was achieved with the usual multimodal therapy and the addition of topical 2% amitriptyline/0.5% ketamine gel. In this case study, a patient with severe problems unresponsive to standard medical therapy was able to be dismissed from in-patient care. This could be great news for patients suffering from shingles worldwide.
Quote from the authors:
'The patient's average pruritus score decreased from 7/10 to 5/10, with intermittent exacerbations, within 4 days of initiating topical amitriptyline/ketamine therapy while keeping all other interventions at previous doses. His pain levels showed a similar response. The patient stated that the addition of this medication gave him "significant" relief.'
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology