The painful rash and blistering scabs of shingles cause a huge amount of discomfort in the United States. Nearly 1 in 3 people will get this painful condition in their lifetime and each year there’s an estimated 1 million cases of shingles. Shingles, which is also called herpes zoster, can develop in anyone who previously had chickenpox since the virus stays dormant in the body and then (for unknown reasons) reactivates as a case of shingles.
As if an active case of shingles isn’t uncomfortable enough to endure, approximately 1 in 5 shingles patients will go on to develop the painful and long-lasting condition of postherpetic neuralgia. This nerve condition leads to burning and/or stabbing pain that gives the sensation of shooting along affected nerve pathways. This is also sometimes referred to as post-shingles pain and can continue on for many months or even years.
Treatment for postherpetic neuralgia has been previously limited, often to painkillers including opioid painkillers that present a risk of dependency. Today there is a non-opioid pain relief option: a capsaicin 8% patch called Qutenza® (Averitas Pharma). This prescription-strength option is administered by a health care provider as a single one-hour treatment. One application of the patch can provide up to three months of pain relief from postherpetic neuralgia. If needed, the patch application can be repeated every three months.
Although Qutenza was first approved by the FDA for postherpetic neuralgia back in 2009, it was not generally available to prescribe until this year, when Averitas Pharma acquired the US rights. Averitas has now partnered with BioPlus to offer exclusive access to dispense this treatment option.
Qutenza patches offer an effective alternative to opioid medications for patients suffering from shingles complications. BioPlus is ready to facilitate access to this long-lasting non-opioid pain relief for patients experiencing postherpetic neuralgia. Reach out to BioPlus at 866-514-8082 for more information about this option to relieve post-shingles suffering in your patients.