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Topical pain medication is another route to give people pain relief when pills may not be satisfactory or not provide enough relief. My previous article talked about non-prescription topical pain medications: www.empowher.com/skin-hair-amp-nails/content/do-topical-pain-medications-work, but there are also some medications that are available by prescription or that can be compounded by a special pharmacy.
The three types of prescription topical pain medication discussed below are: Flector patches, lidocaine patches and special formulations that a compounding pharmacist can mix into a cream or gel. Narcotic prescription topical pain medications are not covered in this article as they provide a whole other level of more serious pain control.
Flector patches are the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved prescription non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) patch allowed in the U.S. The active drug is called Voltaren or Diclofenac, which also comes in a gel form. Flector patches are used for muscle type strains. The patches are worn for up to 12 hours directly on the area of pain then replaced with another patch.
Flector patches do have numerous precautions particularly for their use in people with cardiovascular or kidney disease as well as those prone to gastrointestinal bleeding. Avoid Flector patches if you have had or will have CABG (coronary artery bypass graft) surgery. Do not take other oral NSAIDs while using Flector patches and check with your doctor or pharmacist about interaction with any other medications you are taking.
Lidoderm patches contain the anesthetic lidocaine and works by blocking the nerves from sending painful impulses to the brain. Lidoderm has been approved to treat post herpetic neuralgias from having shingles but can be used for other painful conditions off label. Unlike Flector patches they are only to be worn for a total of 12 hours a day then removed for 12 hours.