Amitriptyline and fluphenazine in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia

  • Graff-Radford S
  • Shaw L
  • Naliboff B
  • 14


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 76


    Citations of this article.


BACKGROUND: Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a vexing problem occurring in 10 to 20 percent of people with from herpes zoster (shingles). Anecdotal reports show that fluphenazine enhances the effects of amitriptyline for the treatment of PHN. The aim of this study was to determine, in a controlled manner, whether this was the case. METHODS: In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, 49 patients with PHN were randomly assigned to four treatment groups: Group 1, amitriptyline; Group 2, amitriptyline and fluphenazine; Group 3, fluphenazine; Group 4, a placebo. An active placebo was used to mimic the anticholinergic side effects of dry mouth. The study lasted 8 weeks, with weekly progress evaluations with use of visual analog scales (VAS), the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), and a side-effects scale. RESULTS: A statistically significant decrease was seen in pain in Groups 1 and 2, and no significant changes were seen in Groups 3 and 4. There was no significant difference when fluphenazine was added to amitriptyline. CONCLUSION: These data support the effectiveness of amitriptyline in treatment of PHN, but do not support the addition of fluphenazine.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Amitriptyline
  • Fluphenazine
  • Postherpetic neuralgia

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text


  • Steven B. Graff-Radford

  • Leon R. Shaw

  • Bruce N. Naliboff

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free