Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Includes Expert Content
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome Shingles
An_240881 posted:
Hi! I was diagnosed with Shingle and had a Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. I did not loose hearing or have facial drooping. Had terrible vertigo which is slowly subsiding, but, have lost most of my sense of taste! It has been 3 months out since it all started and still no taste. Think it will return or am I doomed to not taste again???
Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
That would be impossible to predict, since nerve damage is so variable, and the body's ability to heal is really not something that we can determine. I am so sorry that you have lost your ability to taste. What about smell?
CareyLeeM replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
Smell is fine, just affected the nerve that affects balance and taste. Can't complain too much, it is a great weight loss program. At least the balance is back and I can work again. Thanks for your response.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to CareyLeeM's response:
It is very unusual for a herpes virus to do this since it tends to follow a nerve pathway. The nerve for balance is in the inner ear; the nerves that effect taste is from the tongue to the brain. There is really not a connection....different pathways.

I am glad that your balance has improved, so perhaps this is an indication that your ability to taste will also improve over time.
WyleeKHill replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
According to the 2001 article published by Drs. Sweeney and Gilden, J. Ramsay "Hunt hypothesised correctly that a herpesvirus could spread from either a seventh cranial nerve vestigial remnant to the oropharynx or from special sensory fibres to the anterior two thirds of the tongue."
In other words, losing the ability to taste on 2/3rds of the tongue is a common symptom of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.
LadyAT responded:
RHS affects all the nerve endings on one side of the face, including those associated with taste buds on the affected side of the tongue. Five years ago when I developed RHS symptoms, everything tasted bitter for three months. I lost twenty pounds. Then it switched up and everything tasted very salty. I developed a taste for martinis (which I enjoy to this day.) That lasted for several more months until everything started tasting sweet. Some things, like steak and broccoli just shouldn't ever taste sweet. After a couple years of these roller-coaster switchbacks, things have settled down to nearly normal, but I still have bad days with both my sense of taste and ability to smell things.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to LadyAT's response:
I would sincerely like to thank the last two posters for their very helpful information, and for beating me to the punch on my own research. I have to tell you that I have personally not seen taste disorders with RHS, but clearly it happens. By taking the time to post, you have educated both this person (and myself) and I thank you.
Auntie replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I thank you for all this information. I was diagnosed with RHS 4 weeks ago and it has been very painful for me. I had Bell's Palsy in 2004 and thought I had it again and after several test doctor said RHS. My taste buds are ALL messed up and my tongue feels like all the skin is off of it and I have burned it really bad. I do stay very dizzy all the time. My face is very disfigured and my speech is slurd from it. I get frustrated trying to eat and talk but like an earlier post it is a weight loss process also. I could really use any information or help that I can get for this cause I am new at it.
Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Auntie's response:
Are you taking a herpes antiviral medication, like acyclovir or Famvir?
shell421 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
I had shingles on one side of my forehead 2 months ago. My taste is severely distorted. I can't toast sweets at all. Most things taste bitter or sour. My doctor doesn't think it is from the shingles virus. The more I read about the more I sm convinced it is from shingles. My doctor had sent me for an endoscope and everything looked fine. I lost 30 pounds. I feel fine. I just have altered taste which is now getting depressing. Will it ever come back?

Helpful Tips

Most People with a penicillin allergy can safely take cephalosporinsExpert
Medical providers have always been taught that if you are allergic to penicillin, you have a greater chance of also being allergic to a ... More
Was this Helpful?
31 of 62 found this helpful

Expert Blog

Focus on Flu

Find answers to your questions about seasonal flu issues and answers to your concerns about the flu season and H1N1...Read More

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.