Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice Best Practice

Herpes zoster infection

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 10 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:k5095

Re: Herpes zoster infection. Do we really need to consider Oxycodone?

I was saddened to read the suggestion of using Oxycodone for post herpetic pain. This is at a time when we are recognising the iatrogenic epidemic of narcotic addiction. In the UK I think Oxycodone is still not used to the extent that it is in the USA. I personally have never yet met a patient with post herpetic pain in whom I felt the need to narcotics beyond short term codeine. My understanding of the pathophysiology of chronic pain is that early neuropathic pain management (with traditionally triclcylics) may prevent the development of chronicity whereas narcotics are likely to have the opposite effect.

Competing interests: No competing interests

11 January 2019
nicholas john sharvill
Deal Kent