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What Is Lidoderm?

If you have pain that occurs after a case of shingles, your healthcare provider may prescribe the Lidoderm® patch (lidocaine patch). But what is Lidoderm?
The Lidoderm patch contains lidocaine, a type of anesthetic, which 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.
This medicated patch is typically applied to the skin once a day. It can be worn for up to 12 hours only in each 24-hour period. Up to three patches can be applied at once. Although most people tolerate this medication well, side effects are possible and may include skin redness, blistering, and burning.
(Click Lidoderm Patch for a more in-depth look at what Lidoderm is, how it works, when and how to apply it, and safety precautions to be aware of before using it.)
Alternative Therapies for Pain Management
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