Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.
What is a Lidoderm patch?
It is a medication used to reliever nerve pain. It has the ability to reduce extreme pain and discomfort. It contains lidocaine, a drug class belonging to local anesthetics. Once you apply the patch, the target area becomes numb. (1, 2)
Image 1: Lidoderm containing 5% of lidocaine.
Picture Source: www.advertigo.net
Photo 2: A standard sized Lidoderm patch applied on severely painful site of the body.
Image Source: healthncare.info
What are Lidoderm patches used for?
- It is used to alleviate the pain.
- It has the ability to treat painful nerve disease.
- It is effective in the treatment of long-term pain problems.
- It can ease the pain caused by shingles. (1, 2, 3)
How to use Lidoderm patch?
The Lidoderm patch should only be used topically. It should be applied to healthy and normal skin. It shouldn’t be used on broken or irritated skin. It should be placed on the most painful areas of the body.
Use the Lidoderm patch once a day for up to 12 hours or as prescribed by your doctor. Make sure the patch will not get wet as it might not stick to the skin. Make sure that you wash your hands before and after application. (3)
Lidoderm patch ingredients
Lidoderm patch 5% contains an adhesive material that contains 5% lidocaine applied to white non-woven polyethylene terephthalate and covered with a transparent polyethylene terephthalate release liner.
The patch is approximately 10 cm x 14 cm. other ingredients include polyvinyl alcohol, glycerin, D-sorbitol, polyacrylic acid, kaolin, sodium polyacrylate, propylene glycol, urea, edetate disodium, methylparaben, dihydroxyaluminum aminoacetate, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, propylparaben, gelatin, and tartaric acid. (4, 5)
Lidoderm patch abuse
Excessive dosing is possible if Lidoderm patch 5% is applied to large areas of the skin more than the recommended duration. It could lead to increase of absorption of lidocaine and high blood concentration.
This could result to serious adverse effects. Lidoderm patch abuse is rare, but it is possible. If you are suspecting Lidoderm patch abuse, then the blood concentration should be checked. The patient should be closely monitored. Supportive and symptomatic treatment should be given too. (5, 6)
How much (cost) is Lidoderm patch?
A single film of Lidoderm patch 5% costs $27. There is a slight variation depending on the pharmacy. (7)
Lidoderm patch drug test
As mentioned above, Lidoderm patch 5% contains about 800 milligram of lidocaine. Lidocaine is a distant family member of cocaine, which will mistakenly show up on urinalysis.
The lidocaine component of Lidoderm patch will leave the system after seven days or so.
To get rid of the remaining lidocaine in your system, you should increase your fluid intake. (6, 7, 8)
Can you use lidoderm patches while pregnant?
Lidoderm patch belongs to the pregnancy Category B, which means that it does not appear to pose any significant risk to the developing fetus. In an animal study, a pregnant rat was injected lidocaine under the skin and it didn’t cause any harm to the fetus.
However, medicines can react differently to humans. Therefore, you should consult your doctor before using Lidoderm patch. (4, 6, 7)
Things you shouldn’t do when using Lidoderm patch
- Do not use Lidoderm longer than prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not stop or change the dose without consulting your doctor.
- Avoid using coverings like dressings or bandages unless your doctor told you to do so.
- Do not put the patch on cuts, scrapes, and damaged skin.
- You should avoid heat sources including long hot baths or sunbathing. It could rise up the body temperature causing too much drug to pass into the body.
- Do not chew or swallow the patch. It might cause poisoning once put inside the mouth.
- Make sure you keep the patch dry. A wet Lidoderm patch will not stick to the skin.
- Lidoderm patch should be used with utmost care in children and patients 65 years old and above.
- Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding. (1, 2, 4, 5)
What you should tell your doctor before using Lidoderm patch?
- You should inform your doctor if you have known allergy to lidocaine and other components of Lidoderm patch.
- Tell your doctor if you are currently taking other drugs or if you have any infection or health problems. Lidoderm patch may interact with other drugs.
- Inform your doctor before taking any drugs or using products on your skin.
- Inform your doctor about your past medical and surgical history, especially if you have liver-related disease.
- Do not wear the patch if you are going to have an MRI test. Better yet, you should inform the personnel that you a Lidoderm patch. Some patches may contain metal that might lead to serious burn during MRI scan. (2, 6, 7)
What are the side effects of lidocaine patches?
- Redness and swelling might take place in the application site. There will also be blisters, but ill eventually disappear after some time.
- A serious allergic reaction is rare. If it does happen, you should immediately seek medical help. Examples of serious allergic reaction are rashes, swelling, itching, difficulty breathing, slow heartbeat, and severe dizziness.
- Signs of infections such as fevers and chills. In some instances, the patient might have sore throat, cough, and sinus pain.
- Extreme numbness and tingling sensation
- Blurry eyesight and light-headedness.
- Ringing sensation in the ears (tinnitus).
- Gastric upset 98)
It should be placed at a room temperature. Do not put inside the fridge or freezer. Make sure you keep the Lidoderm patch away from heat.
Keep it in a safe place, away from children and animal’s reach. You should check with your pharmacist on the proper ways to dispose Lidoderm patch. (3)