nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Lidoderm, the lidocaine patch
Lidoderm (lidocaine patch, 5% solution) is a topical anaesthetic patch that is only FDA-approved for the treatment of shingles (of all things), but which works miracles on joint pain, pulled muscles, neuropathic pain (such as associated with fibromyalgia), unspecified aches, and just about anything else you can imagine. They'll even take the edge off really deep joint pain, such as those associated with dislocated joints (yeah, I'm living proof there), and several people I know say that they work to work to minimize the phantom-spiders-under-the-skin effect that you sometimes get with fibromyalgia and other neuropathic disorders. They work on both chronic pain and acute pain brought about by specific incidents. They are non-narcotic and non-habituating, and the worst side effects that pretty much anyone has reported with them are a dry mouth or a mild rash. (Best Beloved, unfortunately, gets the rash. For once, I am not the one in the household who gets the weird-ass drug reactions.)

A lot of doctors don't know about them, or aren't familiar with their off-label use, and so won't think to prescribe them, but if you have a doctor who's not willing to write you controlled substances (or sufficient controlled substances), who keeps giving you the hairy eyeball when you say that something isn't working, or who treats you like a drug-seeker, you may want to ask about them. It might take coming in armed with some research about off-label use, but for most people, it is well worth the time to do the research.

Addendum: thette says that lidocaine isn't safe for everyone: "It's not a question of dosage, it's an idiosynchratic reaction. Generally, if you test lidocaine in a controlled setting first (at a doctor's or dentist's office), you'll find out if you can use it. There are occasional patients going into anaphylactic shock, but most medical settings are equipped to handle that."
Tags: lidocaine, pain, side effects

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