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Incidence of herpes zoster is up to 1,000,000 cases per year in the United States.3 PHN occurs in about 10% to 20% of cases of herpes zoster.4 Both herpes zoster and PHN are more common in older patients (PHN is rare in patients younger than 40 years of age and usually occurs in patients over 60) and those patients who are immunosuppressed. PHN is more likely after ophthalmic herpes zoster than after spinal segmental cases.1
PHN can affect everyday life—disrupting sleep, mood, work, and activities of daily living.3 The prolonged pain of PHN often does not respond well to analgesic therapy and can lead to behavioral complications, including depression.2
Greenberg MS. Postherpetic neuralgia. In: Handbook of Neurosurgery. 6th ed. New York, NY: Thieme; 2006:387-388.
Dworkin RH, Carrington D, Cunningham A, et al. Assessment of pain in herpes zoster: lessons learned from antiviral trials. Antiviral Res. 1997;33(2):73-85.
Dworkin RH, Malone DC, Panarites CJ, Armstrong EP, Pham SV. Impact of postherpetic neuralgia and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy on health care costs. J Pain. 2010;11(4):360-368.
Gauthier A, Breuer J, Carrington D, Martin M, Rémy V. Epidemiology and cost of herpes zoster and post-herpetic neuralgia in the United Kingdom. Epidemiol Infect. 2009;137(1):38-47.