Lidoderm patches are used to relieve the burning, stabbing aches and pains that occur for months or years following a shingles infection. Lidoderm patches contain a local anesthetic, which stops nerves from sending pain signals and provides a temporary loss of feeling where the patch is applied.
Lidoderm patches are usually applied directly to painful skin areas once daily. It is acceptable to cut patches if necessary. Using Lidoderm patches on broken, irritated or blistered skin is not advised. No more than three patches should be applied at one time, and the patches should not be left on for more than 12 hours. Applying too many patches or leaving them on for too long sometimes leads to symptoms of overdose, including nervousness, lightheadedness, uncontrollable twitching or shaking, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
Using Lidoderm patches sometimes leads to side effects, such as skin burning, discomfort, redness and swelling at the site of application. It's best to remove the patch and leave it off until the symptoms resolve. Occasionally, serious side effects occur while using Lidoderm patches, including rapid pulse, fast breathing, confusion, weakness and fainting. Hives, breathing problems, swelling and difficulty swallowing may also occur. Patients experiencing serious side effects are advised to contact their physician immediately.