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Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of the topical 5% lidocaine medicated plaster in the treatment of localized neuropathic pain.
Study design: This was a case series at an Austrian pain clinic, using retrospective analysis.
Patients and methods: Data of 27 patients treated for localized neuropathic pain with the 5% lidocaine medicated plaster were retrospectively analyzed. Assessment included changes in overall pain intensity, in intensity of different pain qualities, and of hyperalgesia and allodynia, and changes in sleep quality.
Results: Patients (17 female, ten male; mean age 53.4±11.4 years) presented mainly with dorsalgia (16 patients) or postoperative/posttraumatic pain (seven patients); one patient suffered from both. The mean overall pain intensity prior to treatment with lidocaine medicated plaster was 8.4±1.2 on the 11-point Likert scale. In the majority of cases, the lidocaine plaster was applied concomitantly with preexisting pain medication (81.5% of the patients). During the 6-month observation period, overall mean pain intensity was reduced by almost 5 points (4.98) to 3.5±2.6. Substantial reductions were also observed for neuralgiform pain (5 points from 7.9±2.6 at baseline) and burning pain (3 points from 5.2±4.1). Sleep quality improved from 4.6±2.6 at baseline to 5.5±1.8. Stratification by pain diagnosis showed marked improvements in overall pain intensity for patients with dorsalgia or postoperative/posttraumatic pain. The lidocaine plaster was well tolerated.
Conclusion: Overall, topical treatment with the 5% lidocaine medicated plaster was associated with effective pain relief and was well tolerated.