Efficacy of lidocaine patch 5% in the treatment of focal peripheral neuropathic pain syndromes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Torsten Meier, Gunnar Wasner, Markus Faust, Thierry Kuntzer, François Ochsner, Michael Hueppe, Julien Bogousslavsky, Ralf Baron
Pain 2003, 106 (1-2): 151-8
Peripheral neuropathic pain syndromes (PNPS) are difficult to treat because commonly used analgesics are often ineffective when, for example, touch-evoked allodynia, hyperalgesia, and pain paroxysms are present. To investigate whether lidocaine patch 5% treatment is also effective in postherpetic neuropathy (PHN) and in other PNPS, 40 patients with various forms and localizations of PNPS completed a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, two-way, cross-over study in three medical hospitals. Patients suffering from pain in a localized skin area with intensity above 40 mm visual analog scale (VAS) and a stable consumption of pain medication were included in this study. The study was divided into four phases: 3-day run-in phase, treatment phase 1, wash-out period, and treatment phase 2, each lasting 1 week. At the discretion of the patients, up to four patches (covering a maximum of 560 cm2) were applied onto the maximally painful area for 12 consecutive hours daily, always either by day or at night. Throughout the four phases, ongoing pain, allodynia, quality of neuropathic symptoms, quality of sleep, and adverse events were assessed. When, after the wash-out period, the pain intensity scores did not return to the pre-treatment values (+/-20%), these patients were excluded from the study. The present study revealed that, as an add-on therapy, the lidocaine patch 5% was clearly effective in reducing ongoing pain (P=0.017) and allodynia (P=0.023) during the first 8 h after application and that the patches also worked well over a period of 7 days (P=0.018) in diverse focal PNPS. Calculation of the numbers needed to treat (NNT) to obtain one patient with more than 50% relief of ongoing pain revealed that the NNT of 4.4 in the present study compared reasonably well with other studies of PHN, such as topically applied capsaicin (NNT: 5.3-infinity) or systemic treatment with gabapentin (NNT: 3.2-5.0).

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"