Over-the-counter or prescription medications can treat postherpetic neuralgia, or pain caused by shingles, according to Mayo Clinic. The most common treatments are lidocaine or capsaicin skin patches, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and opioid painkillers.
Although there is no cure for postherpetic neuralgia, current therapies can help manage the symptoms. Direct application of skin patches that contain lidocaine, a topical pain reliever, or capsaicin, a compound derived from chili peppers, provide pain relief. Certain oral medications can also be effective in managing symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia. Doctors often prescribe anticonvulsants, such as gabapentin and pregabalin, and antidepressants, such as nortriptyline, amitriptyline, duloxetine and venlafaxineared. Opioid painkillers, such as oxycodone, tramadol, and morphine, also alleviate pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia.