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Table 2 The effect of vitamin C on acute and chronic viral-associated pain

From: The role of vitamin C in the treatment of pain: new insights

Study type Intervention Findings
Placebo controlled RCT
 Herpes Zoster [70] i. Placebo infusion (N = 42) i. 4.2 ↓ VAS, 57% PHN incidence
ii. 5 g IV vitamin C (N = 45) on days 1, 3, 5 ii. ≥5.6 ↓ VAS*, 31% PHN incidence* (at 8 and 16 week follow up)
 Postherpetic neuralgia [69] i. Placebo infusion (N = 20) i. 0.9 ↓ NRS, 10% PGIC
ii. 50 mg IV vitamin C/kg body weight (max dose 2.5 g/day) (N = 21) three times over 5 days ii. 3.1 ↓ NRS*, 62% PGIC* (at 7 day follow up)
Uncontrolled prospective
 Herpes Zoster [68] 7.5 g IV vitamin C (N = 64) 2–4 times/week for 2 weeks Baseline: 58% pain (VAS)
Week 2: 22% pain
Week 12: 6% pain
 Chikungunya virus—moderate to severe pain [75] H2O2 + 25–50 g IV vitamin C (N = 56) single infusion Before: 80% pain (NRS)
After: 20% pain, no pain in 9% of patients
Case report
 Parvovirus B19 viremia—chronic arthralgia [74] i. 10 g/day oral vitamin C for 10 days i. Before: 30% pain (VAS) After: 5% pain
ii. 10 g/day oral vitamin C for 3 weeks ii. Before: 40% pain (VAS) After: 10% pain (at 3–5 week follow up, there was↓ pain within 5 days)
 Chikungunya virus—severe joint pain [73] 100 g/day IV vitamin C for 2 days Pain resolved within 24 h
 Refractory herpes zoster-associated pain [67] 4 g/day IV vitamin C for 5 days Before: 70% pain (VAS)
After: 0% pain (at 3 month follow up)
 Herpes zoster—severe dermatological pain [66] Cantharidin + 7.5 g IV vitamin C every 2 days for 2 weeks Before: 80% pain (NAS)
After: 40% pain (within 2 weeks), 0% pain (at 8 week follow up)
 Acute herpetic neuralgia [65] 15 g IV vitamin C every 2 days for 12 days Before: 80% pain (VAS)
After: 0% pain (within 8 days)
 Acute herpetic neuralgia [65] 15 g IV vitamin C every 2 days for 16 days Before: 100% pain (VAS)
After: 0% pain (within 12 days)
 Postherpetic neuralgia [64] 2.5 g IV vitamin C every 2 days for 5 days Before: 73% pain (NRS)
After: 0% pain (within 7 days and at 3 month follow up)
  1. IV intravenous, NAS numerical analogue scale, NRS numeric rating scale, PCIG patient global impression of change, PHN postherpetic neuralgia, VAS visual analogue scale
  2. P < 0.05