Compare Lidocaine vs. Neurontin

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Lidoderm
(Lidocaine)

Neurontin
(Gabapentin)

Treats nerve pain. Lidoderm (Lidocaine) patches work well by releasing a local anesthetic into the skin and relieving pain by targeting damaged nerves.Treats tingling and burning nerve pain. Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an old seizure disorder medicine that's now used to treat nerve-related pain caused by different conditions.
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Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Lidoderm (Lidocaine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Neurontin (Gabapentin)
57%
10% vs. Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
40%
32% vs. Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
19%
+3% vs. Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
620 reviews
Have you used Neurontin (Gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LidocaineNeurontin

The Lidocaine FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Lidocaine side effects »
  • Dizziness 9%
  • Hostility 5%
  • Drowsiness 4%
  • Mood swings 3%
  • Weight increase 3%
  • Bronchitis 3%
  • Dry mouth 2%
  • Fatigue 2%
  • Abnormal increase in muscle activity 2%
  • Respiratory infection 2%
More Neurontin side effects »
How it works
LidocaineNeurontin
Lidoderm (Lidocaine) is a local anesthetic. It absorbs into your skin where it targets damaged nerves and relieves burning pain.Neurontin (Gabapentin) is an antiepileptic and nerve pain reliever. Researchers don't know exactly how it works, but it has a similar structure to GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
Type of medication
LidocaineNeurontin
Local anestheticPrescription only
Anticonvulsant
GABA analog
Prescription only
Available as
LidocaineNeurontin
  • Cream, gel, or ointment
  • Jelly
  • Spray
  • Topical solution
  • Patch
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for (click to learn more)
LidocaineNeurontin
Risk factors for serious side effects
LidocaineNeurontin
  • Use of heating pad on skin
  • Applying patch to red, irritated or broken skin
  • Leaving patch on for more than 12 hours
  • Using patch on a very large area
  • Older age and lower body weight
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Children ages 3 to 12
  • Taking with alcohol or drugs
  • Stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) suddenly
Detailed risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Food
LidocaineNeurontin
No food related info.
  • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
Pain
LidocaineNeurontin
  • Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can treat pain better for people who can't take oral pain medications due to allergies or bad side effects.
  • Has been shown to relieve nerve pain due to shingles for up to 12 hours at a time.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
Sleep
LidocaineNeurontin
No sleep related info.
  • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
Upsides and benefits
LidocaineNeurontin
  • Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can treat pain better for people who can't take oral pain medications due to allergies or bad side effects.
  • Has been shown to relieve nerve pain due to shingles for up to 12 hours at a time.
  • Patches can be cut into smaller pieces to best fit the areas of skin they need to be used on.
  • Originally used to treat epilepsy (partial seizures), but now it primarily treats neuropathic pain that's caused by nerve stimulation or damage.
  • Studies show it's most effective for nerve pain from diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia (a painful muscle condition).
  • It's available as a generic, so it's less expensive than similar medications.
Downsides and risks
LidocaineNeurontin
  • Can cause skin irritation after using it the first time, but for most people it's mild and goes away in a few minutes or hours.
  • Used patches contain enough medicine to be dangerous to children and pets, so store and dispose of the patches in a safe place out of their reach.
  • Might not be the best choice if you've had allergic reactions to numbing medications (local anesthetics) in the past.
  • Even though only small amounts of Lidoderm (Lidocaine) are absorbed into the body through the skin, if you're taking medications that treat arrhythmias, Lidoderm (Lidocaine) can affect how they work.
  • Patches shouldn't be left on for more than 12 hours, used on very large areas of skin, or covered with a heating pad.
  • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
  • You can't skip or miss doses since suddenly stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) can cause seizures. This is even more likely if you drink alcohol, so it might not be the best medication for heavy drinkers.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
LidocaineNeurontin
  • Starts working with the first dose, but full effects can take longer.
  • Remove the protective lining on the patch before applying the patch to unbroken skin.
  • Leave the patch on for up to 12 hours during a 24 hour period.
  • You can cut the patches to create a custom fit for the area of skin you need to apply it to.
  • Don't place any tight wraps or heating pads over the patch while it's on.
  • Make sure not to touch your eyes after touching the patch. Always wash your hands after putting it on or taking it off.
  • Side effects are common, but usually manageable.
  • Don't drive while taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) until you know how the medication affects you.
  • Neurontin and generic forms of Gabapentin have the same ingredients as Gralise and Horizant, but are dosed differently. Make sure you know which form you're taking since they are used for different purposes.
  • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
  • Stop taking Neurontin (Gabapentin) slowly over at least one week to avoid getting withdrawal symptoms.
Learn more
More about LidocaineSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lidoderm (Lidocaine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about NeurontinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Neurontin (Gabapentin)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it