› 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.
› Lowers the frequency of seizures, especially for people with tonic-clonic and partial seizures.
› First-line option for trigeminal neuralgia (nerve pain involving the face, head, and neck), and can relieve other types of nerve pain.
› May be helpful in stabilizing mood for people with bipolar disorder.
Downsides and risks
› 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.
› Interacts with many other medicines and supplements.
› Higher risk of skin reactions compared to other antiepileptic medicines, ranging from mild to life-threatening rash.
› Can cause blurry vision, dizziness, and upset stomach.
› Not safe to use if you're pregnant.
› Requires routine blood tests to see how the medicine is affecting your body.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
› 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.
› For the first week, avoid activities that require you to be alert.
› Report skin rashes or blistering immediately.
› Don't use if pregnant.
› Requires routine blood tests.
› Report confusion, persistent abdominal pain, yellowing of eyes/skin, or easy bruising to your doctor.
› Takes up to 5 weeks to feel full effects on mood.