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Had shingles on chest, arm and back. Started pain in jaw and neck. Took gabapentin. What's going on?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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I had a pain from shingles about two and a half months ago in an area little above left chest, under left arm and and in the back in the same side and level. The shingles by itself appeared on the left side of the body under the arm on the heart level. Shingles were gone in a month. Right after I started feeling dull pain behind her left ear down to the jaw and neck, This constant pain does not go away. I felt it less while busy at work but it actually getting worse every day. The physician, otolaryngologist could not tell what is going on and if the pain relates to post shingles complications. They recommended MRI and Gabapentin. MRI was inconclusive. Gabapentin helped for a week in small dose (100mg) and then stopped helping. The doctor's recommended attempt to take 300mg made me drug sick and did not help with pain at all. So, here I am, with continuing and worsening pain, no ideas which specialist can help (thought about neurologist). I would greatly appreciate any meaningful advice.
Posted Sat, 12 Jan 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 32 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
The pain you are having is likely to be due to post herpetic neuralgia.
The pain in such cases is often sever and difficult to relieve. You can ask for pregabalin in case the side effects due to gabapentin are not tolerable. Over the counter pain killers and opioid analgesics may be needed in addition to pregabalin.
Other options that can be considered include topical anaesthetic patches and amitryptaline. You can formulate a treatment best suitable for you under the guidance of a neurologist.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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