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Ketamine Therapy for Post-Herpetic Neuralgia

Post - Herpetic Neuralgia can be a debilitating condition that can affect all aspect of an individuals’ life.  Ketamine treatment for neuropathic pain syndromes such as post-herpetic neuralgia are very successful.

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Symptoms of Post-Herpetic Neuralgia 

Symptoms of postherpetic neuralgia include:

  • Persistent pain: This is often described as a burning, stabbing, or sharp pain in the areas where the shingles rash occurred.

  • Increased sensitivity: The affected area may become overly sensitive to touch, even to the point where clothing or a light breeze can cause discomfort.

  • Itching or numbness: Some individuals may experience itching or numbness in the affected area.


Post-Herpetic Neuralgia falls under the category of chronic pain. Long standing chronic pain can cause secondary depression, anxiety and stress as patients might be limited in the activities that they can perform including mobility and social interactions. The depression can then lead to loss of sleep and changes in appetite and suicidal ideation. 

Traditional Treatments for Post-Herpetic Neuralgia

Treatment for postherpetic neuralgia aims to manage pain and improve the individual's quality of life. Common treatment approaches include:

  • Pain medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers or prescription medications, such as anticonvulsants or tricyclic antidepressants, may be used.

  • Topical treatments: Creams or patches containing lidocaine or capsaicin may help alleviate pain.

  • Nerve blocks: In some cases, local anesthetics or steroids can be injected into the affected nerves to provide relief.

  • Antiviral medications: If administered early in the shingles episode, antiviral drugs may help reduce the severity and duration of symptoms, potentially lowering the risk of postherpetic neuralgia.

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How Ketamine Treats Post-Herpetic Neuralgia 

  • Ketamine infusions for postherpetic neuralgia can be extremely effective because the pain is caused by inflammation of nerve cells. This inflammation in our nervous system causes an upregulation of pain signals making it impossible to get out of the pain cycle.  Ketamine works by binding to the NMDA receptor and modulating glutamate. Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that promotes pain signaling from one neuron to the next and when too much glutamate is circulating in your nervous system it sensitizes the neurons. This all translates to more pain and inflammation.

  • Research studies on the efficacy of ketamine in treating chronic pain are showing that about 80% of patient will have a 50% reduction in pain with ketamine treatment

  • Ketamine infusion therapy is an innovative treatment option for anyone who has failed traditional modalities for treatment of postherpetic neuralgia. It helps treat the cause of pain vs. the symptoms of pain and thus can achieve a better outcome without being dependent on pills every day.

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Why Choose Ketamine Therapy for Post-Herpetic Neuralgia

  • Ketamine treatment for postherpetic neuralgia gets at the root cause of the chronic pain by decreasing inflammation and resetting the pain signals and neurocircuitry.  

  • Ketamine treatment for postherpetic neuralgia can help patients decrease their reliance on opiate medications and increase their recreational activities. 

  • Ketamine treatment for postherpetic neuralgia can allow patients to become more independent and increase their overall quality of life. 

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