Shingles Home > Lidoderm Patch

The Lidoderm patch is a prescription drug used to treat postherpetic neuralgia (pain that occurs after having a case of shingles). This medication works by inhibiting nerve impulses that pass along signals of pain to the brain. It comes in the form of a patch that is applied to the skin once daily. Potential side effects include redness or blistering of the skin.

What Is the Lidoderm Patch?

The Lidoderm® patch (lidocaine patch) is a prescription medication approved to treat postherpetic neuralgia, the nerve pain that can occur after a case of shingles.
(Click Lidoderm Uses for more information on what the medication is used for, including possible off-label uses.)

Who Makes It?

The Lidoderm patch is made by Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

How Does the Lidoderm Patch 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.

Clinical Effects of the Lidoderm Patch

This medication has been thoroughly evaluated in clinical studies. These studies compared the Lidoderm patch to a placebo (a patch with no active ingredients). These studies demonstrated that the Lidoderm patch was significantly more effective than the placebo for relieving postherpetic neuralgia.

When and How to Use It

Some general considerations include the following:
  • The Lidoderm patch is usually 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.
  • You can cut the patch to a smaller shape if desired, but make sure to do this before removing the sticky liner.
  • Apply the patch to clean, dry, unbroken skin.
  • After removing the patch, fold it in half with the sticky side together and dispose out of the reach of children and pets.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be used as prescribed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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