Varicella-zoster virus reactivation leads to herpes zoster – the main complication of which is postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). Rapid antiviral therapy initiated within 72 h of rash onset has been shown to accelerate rash healing, reduce the duration of acute pain and, to some extent, attenuate the development and duration of PHN. Other adjunctive therapies such as analgesics, antidepressants and some anticonvulsants are frequently required in the management of severe PHN. A live, attenuated zoster vaccine has been recently shown to significantly decrease herpes zoster incidence, PHN and the overall burden of illness when administered to adults older than 60 years of age. This new prophylactic modality has been reported to be cost-effective in the Canadian context, especially in the 60- to 75-year-old age group.