Can Diclofenac be used for shingles? 

Shingles is caused by a viral infection, which cannot be treated with Diclofenac.

Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of Diclofenac in managing the symptoms of pain and inflammation associated with this condition.

Can Diclofenac be used for shingles? 

Diclofenac does not have any effect on the varicella-zoster virus itself (the cause of shingles) and does not treat the underlying viral infection.

Furthermore, using this medication to treat the symptoms of neuropathic pain and infection related to shingles is not a common practice and is not a clinical indication listed in the prescribing information of this drug (1,2,3).

What does research suggest about the use of Diclofenac for shingles?

Some studies in the literature evaluated the efficacy of Diclofenac for the management of symptoms associated with shingles and have identified that this medication does not provide beneficial effects for patients with this condition.

In 2005, a systematic literature review was published, which assessed the efficacy of analgesic treatments for Postherpetic Neuralgia (a type of neuropathic pain that affects some people who had shingles). The mentioned study demonstrated that the medication Diclofenac was not effective in providing relief for this type of pain (4). 

Additionally, a clinical trial conducted at the Institute of Neurosurgery, University of Milan, Italy, demonstrated that Diclofenac, when combined with indomethacin, was not effective in providing pain relief for patients with acute herpetic neuralgia or individuals with postherpetic neuralgia (5).

How to know if you have shingles?

Some common signs and symptoms of shingles include:

  • Pain and Tingling: Shingles typically begin with pain, burning, tingling, or itching in a specific area on one side of the body or face. 
  • Rash: Within a few days of the initial pain, a red, painful rash with fluid-filled blisters develops in the same area. The rash usually appears as a band or a small cluster of blisters and can be quite painful.
  • Fluid-Filled Blisters: The rash consists of small, fluid-filled blisters that can break open and crust over. It is essential not to scratch or pop the blisters to avoid secondary infection.
  • Sensitivity to Touch: The affected skin may become sensitive to touch and may cause pain when clothing or any other object rubs against it.

Some people may experience other symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, and general body discomfort (3).

If you suspect you have shingles or experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage symptoms, reduce the severity of the infection, and prevent complications.

What medications are generally prescribed for shingles? 

Although there are many painkillers that can be used to treat pain associated with shingles, including both narcotic and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, these drugs don’t address the underlying  condition and only provide temporary pain relief. 

For more effective management of shingles, antiviral medications like Acyclovir are used to control the viral load. Additionally, in some cases, topical antibiotics may be used to prevent secondary bacterial infection (3). 

This is why it’s always advisable to consult your doctor if you experience symptoms related to shingles. 

As a precautionary measure, getting vaccinated against the herpes zoster virus is recommended to prevent initial infection.


In this short article, we have explored the question of whether Diclofenac can be used for shingles and what scientific studies have to say on this matter. Additionally, we briefly described some common signs and symptoms of shingles and mentioned some types of medications that can be utilized in managing the symptoms of this clinical condition.

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ZORVOLEX® (diclofenac).  U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Reference ID: 4786646 [Internet] [updated 2021 Apr; cited 2023 Jul 27]. Available from:


Alfaro RA, Davis DD. Diclofenac. [Updated 2023 May 22]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from:


Nair PA, Patel BC. Herpes Zoster. [Updated 2023 Apr 3]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023. Available from:


Hempenstall K, Nurmikko TJ, Johnson RW, A’Hern RP, Rice AS. Analgesic therapy in postherpetic neuralgia: a quantitative systematic review. PLoS Med. 2005;2(7):e164.