What is a Lidoderm Patch Used For?

(Image: "She's the angel on top of the tree..." is Copyrighted by Flickr user: mydearDelilah (Samantha Rose Pollari) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

The Lidoderm patch is a prescription medication—generic name lidocaine—that is used for the treatment of shingles, which is also known as herpes zoster. Shingles is a skin rash that is characterized by blistering and pain. It is caused by acute infection and is contagious. However, it will cause chicken pox in others, not shingles.The Lidoderm patch is a local anesthetic that soothes shingles pain by preventing the nerves from sending the brain painful impulses.


The Lidoderm patch should be applied on dry and clean skin. It should not be placed upon skin that is damaged, inflamed or broken. You should place the patch on top of the painful part of the skin. It can be worn for a maximum of 12 hours. If you experience any type of burning or irritation upon application of the Lidoderm patch, take it off immediately.

Common Side Effects

This pain-relieving patch can cause some common side effects. These include mild blistering, numbness, skin discoloration, burning, swelling, redness, irritation or bruising where the patch was applied on the skin. These side effects tend to fade rapidly. However, if you have any of them and find them to be particularly troublesome, you need to speak with your doctor about them as soon as possible.

Serious Side Effects

Using the Lidoderm patch can also bring on some severe side effects. These call for immediate medical help. They are changes in vision, throwing up, confusion, disorientation, dizziness, irregular, slow, or rapid heartbeat, feeling lightheaded, convulsions, tremors, shortness of breath, twitching, shallow breathing, changes in hearing (such as ringing within the ears), nervousness and mood or mental changes.


The Lidoderm patch is used to bring relief of other symptoms of shingles including itching, numbness, and tingling in one part of the body or on the face, and symptoms that are similar to influenza, including headache, nausea, chills and fever.


Despite its benefits, the Lidoderm Patch is not suitable for everybody. Certain people are advised against using this medication, such as those who are allergic to any ingredients of any amide-type medications. Also, some people are advised to be cautious with regards to the patch, including those with liver, kidney or heart problems, those with any allergies, those with inflamed, damaged, or broken skin where the patch is to be applied, and those who have ever experienced any serious allergic reaction to any anesthetic medication (such as benzocaine).

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