When the rash of shingles is present, patients can take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to reduce the pain. Some antiviral medicines, such as Valtrex, Zovirax or Famvir, can also provide pain relief, as stated by WebMD.
Shingles results from a nerve infection by a virus called varicella zoster, WebMD explains. The rash, which usually consists of small bumps, appears in areas assigned to the infected nerve. These painful, small bumps may become blisters.
In some cases, the pain of shingles remains even after the rash is gone. The postherpetic neuralgia pain is so severe that it can affect daily activities. Patients may need stronger pain relievers such as codeine, oxycodone and morphine, according to WebMD.