The Lidoderm patch is a large fabric patch made with an adhesive material that contains 5 percent Lidocaine. Lidocaine is an anesthetic medicine that prevents pain by blocking signals at the nerve endings in the skin. The Lidoderm patch is prescribed to people who had shingles, also known as herpes zoster.
After shingles blisters heal and go away, people often experience pain called post-herpetic neuralgia. This extreme burning pain stems from damaged nerve fibers and skin. The Lidoderm Patch temporarily relieves this pain by delivering Lidocaine directly into the affected skin areas. Lidoderm Patch will not eliminate the pain completely, but it does offer reprieve from post-herpetic neuralgia.
The Lidoderm Patch does not contain any narcotics, nor is it addictive. You may require a different prescription medication if shingles affected your head or face.
If a person had chickenpox when young, the virus never actually leaves the body; instead it becomes dormant in the nervous system. Many people are never affected again with the awakening of this virus, called varicella-zoster. Others, however, can find that the virus can be triggered and woken to cause shingles. If you have never had chickenpox and have close contact with someone that has active blisters from shingles, you can possibly get chickenpox.
Shingles begins with a tingling sensation, itching, or sensitivity to clothing as it touches your skin; this happens before the rash appears. The rash can appear on only one side of your body and spreads along lines of your nervous system to form a band of irritated, red skin that will become blistered, either around or above your waist, on your face, or on your neck. You are considered contagious from the time the rash appears until the blisters pop and crust over.
As with all prescription drugs, there are potential side effects of the Lidoderm Patch.
Some people may experience: