Changing the paradigm in postherpetic neuralgia treatment: lidocaine 700 mg medicated plaster

Fornasari D, Magni A, Pais P, Palao T, Polati E, Sansone P.
Changing the paradigm in postherpetic neuralgia treatment: lidocaine 700 mg medicated plaster.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2022 May;26(10):3664-3676. doi: 10.26355/eurrev_202205_28862. PMID: 35647848.


Objective: Chronic pain is currently considered a disease state with biopsychosocial consequences and a negative impact on patients' quality of life (QoL). Pain from postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) can persist for months or years and is a prototypical example of chronic pain. We analyzed PHN as a model of chronic pain, including its effects on QoL and clinical aspects. We explored treatment options, focusing on the topical treatment with lidocaine 700 mg medicated plaster (LMP) and how this impacts PHN management.

Materials and methods: This article is a narrative review of published studies. Preclinical and clinical studies were retrieved from literature through a search performed in PubMed/MEDLINE.

Results: To choose the appropriate treatment for chronic pains, such as PHN, not only efficacy but also tolerability, manageability, practicality, and compliance are important factors, especially in the long term. It is also important to set treatment expectations with the patients as total suppression of pain may be unrealistic, and a balance needs to be found between pain control and the minimization of adverse events. In this respect, LMP may be the best currently available treatment: it is easy to use, has low systemic absorption and thus a low risk for pharmacological interactions. Therefore, treatments can be personalized, and concomitant medications can be added, if needed. Recent data from a real-world study support this view by showing that LMP has superior effectiveness in reducing pain and improving the QoL compared to other commonly used systemic treatments and confirming its good tolerability profile that is mainly characterized by localized skin reactions.

Conclusions: LMP is one of the best currently available treatment options for PHN patients balancing good efficacy with an excellent tolerability profile and can therefore be considered for use as a first-line treatment for PHN.

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L'Associazione Italiana per lo Studio del Dolore è il capitolo italiano dell'International Association for the Study of Pain IASP® e della European Pain Federation EFIC®