What Are Prescription Pain Patches Used For?


Quick Answer

People use prescription pain patches to manage chronic nerve or joint pain from diseases and ailments such as arthritis or shingles, states WebMD. The transdermal patch contains pain medication such as lidocaine or capsaicin and is placed on the skin on the affected area.

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Full Answer

Some prescription skin patches are applied by the patient daily or weekly, while others must be applied by a physician and changed every three months, notes WebMD. Lidocaine prescription patches are small, bandage-like patches with adhesive that can be cut or customized to fit only the affected area, such as the hands or knees. The patches contain the topical medication and provide temporary pain relief.

Capsaicin skin patches contain a high concentration of medication and are used to relieve nerve and joint pain, according to Mayo Clinic. A trained medical professional must apply capsaicin skin patches because numbing medication must be administered to the affected area and the process may take up to two hours. These skin patches may provide pain relief for up to three months.

In addition to prescription pain patches, some patients opt to treat chronic pain from diseases and ailments with antidepressants, topical pain relief creams, anti-seizure medications and prescription pain killers, explains Mayo Clinic.

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