The Lidoderm patch is approved to relieve nerve pain that can occur after a case of shingles. This prescription medication comes in the form of a patch and works by inhibiting nerve impulses that send pain signals to the brain. This pain medication is not approved for children. Possible off-label uses for the Lidoderm patch may include treating other types of pain.
What Is Lidoderm Used For?The Lidoderm® patch (lidocaine patch) is a prescription pain medication. It is approved to treat postherpetic neuralgia, a specific type of pain that occurs after a case of shingles.
While shingles can be quite bothersome and painful when it occurs, it sometimes pales in comparison to the potential complication that may occur afterward known as postherpetic neuralgia.
Postherpetic neuralgia is pain that is present in the affected area for months, or even years, after the shingles rash has healed. Typically, the most bothersome of postherpetic neuralgia symptoms is pain. The pain with postherpetic neuralgia may be described as agonizing, excruciating, burning, sharp, electric-like jabs, throbbing, or aching. This pain can result in an inability to perform daily tasks of living.
Postherpetic neuralgia can be very frustrating, as there is "nothing wrong" (at least visibly) with the area causing the extreme pain.
Postherpetic neuralgia treatment usually involves medication. Lidoderm is one of the medications approved to treat the pain associated with postherpetic neuralgia.
How Does Lidoderm Work?The Lidoderm patch contains lidocaine, an anesthetic. It works by inhibiting the nerve impulses that pass along pain signals to the brain. At high enough doses, lidocaine can cause complete numbness. However, typically only enough lidocaine passes from the Lidoderm patch into the skin to cause pain relief, not complete loss of sensation.