ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficacy of treatment with gabapentin plus valacyclovir hydrochloride for the prevention of postherpetic neuralgia in patients with acute herpes zoster.
Uncontrolled, open-label study.
A private dermatology clinic.
Consecutive immunocompetent adults (age, ≥ 50 years) who presented with herpes zoster within 72 hours of vesicle formation with moderate to severe pain (≥ 4 on the 10-point Likert scale) were recruited for study participation. Intervention The patients received 1000 mg of valacylovir hydrochloride 3 times a day for 7 days plus gabapentin at an initial dose of 300 mg/d, titrated up to a maximum of 3600 mg/d, side effects permitting.
Proportion of patients with zoster pain (pain > 0) at 3, 4, and 6 months as well as average pain severity, the proportion of patients with sleep disturbance, and quality-of-life measures (determined by the Medical Outcome Study Short Form 36-Item Health Survey).
A total of 133 patients (mean age, 64.6 years) were enrolled in the study. The overall incidence of zoster pain at 6 months was 9.8%.
The combination of gabapentin and valacyclovir administered acutely in patients with herpes zoster reduces the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia. Trial Registration clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01250561.
Archives of dermatology 04/2011; 147(8):901-7. · 4.76 Impact Factor