Vaccination Against and Treatment of Acute Herpes Zoster for Prevention of Post-Herpetic Neuralgia

Neuropathic Pain (E Eisenberg, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11916-013-0371-6

Cite this article as:
Kanbayashi, Y. & Hosokawa, T. Curr Pain Headache Rep (2013) 17: 371. doi:10.1007/s11916-013-0371-6
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neuropathic Pain


Zostavax (zoster vaccine) is a 1-dose, high-potency, live, attenuated varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccine that boosts VZV-specific cell-mediated immunity (CMI), and this is its presumed mechanism of action. Other strategies focus on preventing the major complication of HZ, post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). Evidence that the vaccine is effective in older patients comes from the pivotal Shingles Prevention Study. That study demonstrated that HZ vaccine significantly reduced morbidity due to HZ and PHN in older patients. However, the duration of efficacy beyond 5 years after vaccination remains unclear. The Long-Term Persistence Substudy, currently under analysis, may provide additional data on the duration of efficacy for zoster vaccine. This review discusses vaccination against HZ, and further reviews recent pharmacotherapy for prevention of PHN.


Varicella zoster virus Herpes zoster Zostavax Zoster vaccine Post-herpetic neuralgia 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hospital PharmacyKyoto Prefectural University of MedicineKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Pain Treatment and Palliative Care Unit, University HospitalKyoto Prefectural University of MedicineKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesiology, Graduate School of Medical Science and Department of Pain Management and Palliative Care MedicineKyoto Prefectural University of MedicineKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations