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

"Treatment aims to ... reduce the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia."

However, the most recent Cochrane review of this topic concluded (in 2014) that there was "high quality evidence that oral aciclovir does not reduce the incidence of postherpetic neuralgia significantly. In addition, there is insufficient evidence to determine the effect of other antiviral treatments". (

This is referenced in the most recent NICE guideline for shingles (May 2018) (!scenariobasis:2).

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 January 2019
David Spitzer
The Surgery, 62 Cranwich Road, London N16 5JF