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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Reviews for Neurontin (Gabapentin)
57%
3% vs. Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
39%
28% vs. Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
19%
+1% vs. Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
Side effects
LidocaineNeurontin

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

More about Lidocaine side effects »
  • Dizziness 21%
  • Drowsiness 16%
  • Lack of muscle coordination 7%
  • Leg or ankle swelling 6%
  • Fatigue 6%
  • Hostility 5%
  • Involuntary eye movement 4%
  • Double vision 4%
  • Tremor 4%
  • Dry mouth 4%
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
  • Liver disease
  • Allergy to numbing medications (local anesthetics)
  • Not disposing of Lidoderm (Lidocaine) correctly
  • Children and pets can reach medication
  • Not washing hands after touching or applying Lidoderm (Lidocaine)
  • Applying Lidoderm (Lidocaine) to warm skin
  • Covering patch with wrap or heating pad
  • History of heart problems
  • Using Lidoderm (Lidocaine) with drugs to treat irregular heartbeat
Detailed Lidoderm (Lidocaine) risks & warnings »
    • Children ages 3 to 12
      • Taking with alcohol or drugs
      • Stopping Neurontin (Gabapentin) suddenly
      Detailed Neurontin (Gabapentin) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      LidocaineNeurontin
      BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      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.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.
      • 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.
      Food
      No specific food-related info.
      • Take the extended-release tablet with food.
      Kidneys and liver
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.
      • Neurontin (Gabapentin) is likely to cause some side effects, including memory problems, drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
      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
      More about NeurontinSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert