The Lidocaine patch is a medication patch which is prescribed to people suffering from neuropathic pain, like that associated with the illness, shingles. Lidocaine is able to block the signals from nerve endings, this way numbing the painful area. This is actually a local anesthetic.
Before Applying Lidocaine Patch
Before a patient is prescribed lidocaine, a doctor must take into consideration several factors, such as allergys, to medications, dyes, additives, food etc. It is essential to report if a person has had a problem with anesthetics similar to lidocaine (procaine, tetracaine, Benzocaine etc.). A person should also report all the previous and current medical conditions and all the medications he is currently taking (this also includes both, prescribed and over-the-counter medications as well as vitamins and herbs). Pregnant women and women trying to conceive, should not be prescribed the lidocaine patch since the drug may cause damage to the fetus. The drug is also to be avoided during breastfeeding.
Precautions and Side Effects of Lidocaine Patch
In case of burning sensation, irritation, swelling, redness, blistering or even peeling of the skin where the patch has been applied, it should be removed immediately. Side effects of the lidocaine patch are not common but if they occur they are not usually severe since the patch does not contain too much of the basic medication. If a patch is applied onto damaged skin or in any other case which allows increased absorption of the drug the the patient may complain about lightheadedness, blurred vision, tremor, numbness of certain parts of the body, vomiting etc. In this case the patch must be removed right away.
Severe allergic reactions such as breathing difficulties, hives, dizziness and swelling of the face, mouth or throat rarely occur. These serious side effects require immediate medical attention. In majority of cases side effects are mild and they include rash or swelling at the patch site, abnormal feeling at the patch site, dizziness, headache, nausea and vomiting.
Since there is a chance of interaction with certain medications lidocaine patch is not prescribed to patients who are taking medications which may interact with lidocaine.