Antidepressant, anticonvulsant and opioid medications relieve long-lasting pain after a shingles outbreak, according to WebMD. Over-the-counter topical anesthetics that contain benzocaine or capsaicin may help as well. Another option is lidocaine skin patches, available by prescription.
Postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN, is the persistence of shingles pain for more than a month after the shingles rash heals, explains WebMD. It is the most common complication of shingles, affecting up to 15 percent of those who develop shingles. Patients who begin taking antiviral medications such as acyclovir, famciclovir or valacyclovir within three days of developing the shingles rash are less likely to develop PHN.