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Lidoderm Patch - Where do you put yours??

Kris-NYKKris-NY Posts: 2,207
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Pain Medications
OK I am loving these patches!!! I would be lost without them as I am changing meds and the pain is so much worse. But slap on one of these and I'm feeling so much better.

What I was wondering is where others use them? The neurologist gave them to me for the nerve pain in my forearm. But said I could experiment with different areas of the arm. He also said I could cut the patch up and put it in different areas.

The other afternoon I move a piece up to my shoulder and today I put one at the base of my neck because my upper back was soo painful. I'm finding that if I put them closer to my spine they cover the pain further out also. Almost like it is cutting off the nerve path.

My other question is how do you hide them under clothes and how do you keep them from rubbing off? I like to wear sleeveless tops which is fine at home. But the other day I was out so I moved the patch up higher on my arm and it started to come off under the sleeve. I hate the idea of having to wrap them. Any ideas?


  • I use mine on my lumbar region of my back. Buttocks, even my thighs for pain relief. I only wish I could use more then 3 at a time. Sometimes I wish I could wrap myself in them.
    I generally don't have issues with them coming off. (in these areas and they are conspicuous places.)
    Your skin should be clean & dry (no lotion or body oils) when you apply them, I rub them down really good. The trick is to place it exactly where you want it without lifting & re-positioning it. I have never cut them, maybe that's why they stick so well on me....
    Those puppies are not cheap, box of 30 $256.00!
  • I just got my first box. It was $270 at CVS. I only use one per day but I cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. It is an incentive for me to get in the shower early in the morning because I don't put them on until after. I'm going to have to look for some tape because under a shirt they seem to come off quickly.
  • I tend to use mine more at night, so I can try and sleep, but not even pain meds, muscle relaxers, valium and patches buy me more then 4 hours....
    Very tired, Virginia
  • I still have my oxy's for those really bad nights. Problem is I have to get up with the kids at 545 so I won't take one after about 10 pm.
  • wear 3 at a time and can't live without them.

    One goes down my left buttock, vertically.

    The other two lay horizontally across my lower back. Occasionally, I will take one down my right buttock and put only one on my lower back.

    These even help my nerve pain, which feels "deep" and you wouldn't think a topical patch really would make a difference. It does.

  • Mine are covered by the no-fault car insurance right now so I don't worry about the price. But I thought someone said their insurance denied them. ANyone know about that?
  • hmmm....I hope insurance pays...I need to get some more as I used to use them a lot and got out of the habit. I think mine are expired, but i still use them from time to time when it's really bad. I had NO IDEA you could use up to 3 at a time! I would think it would be dangerous due to lidocaine toxicity....do the docs say 3 at a time is ok?

    I don't usually have much trouble with them rolling off...i would think you could tape them on though. I use mine either on my neck/shoulder or my sciatic area...whichever is worse...but if it's ok to wear 2 at a time, I may do that now! Good to know!
  • I wear the Fentanyl patch and use Tegaderm film ( clear ) cover and mine lasts for the needed 48 hrs before I need to change it again.

    PS: I just looked up lidoderm patch at drugs.com and it says NOT to cover up.

    ( Do not use large amounts of Lidoderm, or cover treated skin areas with a bandage or plastic wrap without medical advice. )

    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
  • I have $25 co pay, but price is $256; as I mentioned earlier, I only know this as I was complaining to pharmacist that ins would not refill my patches till a certain date. He then jumped back with....do you know how much these cost?
    According to instructions (in box) & my pain mgmt doc you can use up to 3 patches for 12 hours within a 24 hour period. 12hr on 12hr off.
    tonight i only have two on, i get my refill Wed!
  • I only recently discovered these wonderful patches. They are non-narcotic, non-addicting, and they can be very effective. I use them on my lower back and rear on one side (one patch covers the entire area that hurts the most). I also get debilitating headaches from tension behind my shoulder blades. I have found that if I put a patch on the tight muscle by my shoulder blade my headache goes away very quickly.

    I agree that they are a tremendous help. One person mentioned that they used medical tape to hold them on; they do have a tendency to come off.

    Take care,
  • That's pretty funny when you consider the cost of some other meds. Because my problems came from the car accident I have to pay cash and then submit the bill to the insurance company for reimbursement.

    The oxy's are the cheapest - around $20. Skelaxin was about $250 a month. Neurontin (generic gabapentin) was $450 a month at the full dose.

    It's funny because everytime I go to pick up the cashier has a horrified look on her face and asks if I know how much this is. lol even the pharmacist has double checked with me.
  • I was prescribed the Lidoderm patches to use over my SCS implant. I experience pain in that spot after bending alot or sitting in the same position for long periods (driving), as well as in the day or two after charging it. They have helped a lot with that, but I don't have to use them often so my box has never even been refilled. I do find that they tend to wad up, especially when I'm sleeping.
  • I put mine directly on my arms where it hurts. I cut them up and run them along the pain path. They help alot. I wish they would stay in place better. I had no idea they cost so much as I have a 25 dollare co payment.
  • I love my lidoderm patches and would hate to be without them now. I use at least 1 a day, mostly 2 and on bad days, 3... and like Virginia, there are days that I wish I could just wrap myself up in them.

    Why do they help/work? I have no clue, but I thank my doctor every time I see him for recommending these. I wish they'd write the script out for more than 1 a day... as if I'm not going out, I try not to use them so I have them for in the office work days. My doctor did tell me I could use up to 3, 12 on/12 off and they could be cut. I sometimes need to use some paper tape around the edges- I need to be careful because I've actually pulled my skin off with the patch when removing it :( So, some stick almost too well, others need a bit of help.

    If I'm wearing a patch, the first one ALWAYS goes across my lower back...about an inch or two above my butt, when I'm having bad mid back pain, one goes vertically under my bra strap, about half above, half below the closure area, and if I can spare one, I'll split it between my knees.

    I consider these lifesaving, really. I do not think I could manage half the (really short) walks I do without them. I feel as this is one of the things that allow me to keep going into work as I will not take meds before work due to an hour drive in unreal traffic, the patch gets me from the car to my desk without crying at work...it really is a major help to me.
  • I'm finding that if I put one at the top of my arm or over my shoulder (under bra strap) it covers 90% of my arm pain. So I like this one. Then I put the other half just below my neck over my spine and this takes care of the upper back pain.

    I can't wait to talk to my neurologist about using them this way. I think he will be very interested to hear that they seem to work well at cutting off the path of the pain.
  • Kris, thank you for the idea about below the neck... I'm definitely going to give it a try... it does make sense, in that these seem to work this way, hehe. I'm glad you are finding some relief with them as well!
  • Well I went to my neurologist last week for my monthly check-in. I tried to explain how I am using the patch pieces and he gave me such a look!! This guy is a character but his reaction was so funny. Then after a brief pause he says "hey that's great that they are working for you. You can use more than one if you want..just let me know how many a day you need and I will adjust the prescription". Yeah ME!!!

    So now I use them on my shoulder, base of neck and mid back over my spine. I think I am going to use a second one directly on my arm since those pains are still there and instantly flare if I do even the simplest things.

    I love the fact that these are topical and that I can adjust them daily depending on what I feel and what I am doing. What I was wondering is if anyone uses the around the clock but on different areas? At night my shoulder blades are the worst so I was thinking of saving half a patch to put on that area after I take off the other patch from different areas. I know you need to give your skin a 12 hr break but wasn't sure if applying to different areas was ok.
  • I asked my Dr about an Rx for these, he wouldn't do it, he said that they are not for long term use. I am really disappointed after reading how well they work for so many people. Has anyone elses Dr mentioned this?
  • Please don't say that!! They aren't perfect but they do provide some instant relief. My biggest problem is that I like sleeveless tops which don't look right with these big white patches.

    I know they are expensive so maybe he is just trying to stay away from that cost/insurance issue for you. What I just found out though is that you can get them online for much less.
  • Kris,

    The flyer I read said 12 on 12 off not so much for your skin, but for drug levels in your system. Per the flyer:

    "Excessive dosing by applying LIDODERM to larger areas or for longer than recommended wearing time could result in increased absorption of Lidocaine and high blood concentrations, leading to serious adverse effects. Lidocaine toxicity could be expected at lidocaine blood concentrations above 5 mL. The blood concentration of lidocaine is determined by the rate of systemic absorption and elimination. Longer duration of application, application of more than the recommended number of patches, smaller patients, or impaired elimination may all contribute to increasing blood concentrations of lidocaine."

    My GP warned me NOT to use more than 12 hours. She has had patients do what you're describing Kris, and though she didn't give me the details, I could see the concern on her face. I might be putting mine in the wrong places, as I am not seeing much of a change - and for you, you're seeing "instant" change or result? Hummm...guess I will move them to new places! :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • There are days/weeks like my current ones where I wish I could melt them down and take a bath in them!!

    I think where they work for me is in the nerve pain department... I get a lot more relief on my very lower back (this is where I am super HOT to the touch, so maybe that is why they help so much there?) than anywhere else, and when I tried it up higher, it did nothing for me And got caught up in my hair!~

    I have to say, I adhere to the 12 on, 12 off. Mt doctor explained that I could put up to 3 a day anywhere for 12 hours, but at 12 hours they All had to come off, regardless if they'd all been on for the 12 hours.

    I'm just so very glad there is something that helps me even a little bit... it can make the difference in a day for me.

    This is not to say that they remove all pain, or that, if you happen to touch my back accidently I won't fall over... I will. But up until that moment they do give me a decent sense of relief back there :)
  • I have issues throughout my spine, but the lower back is the more "loud mouth" when it comes to pain. Now I *think* at the back itself, it is mechanical pain, the legs are nerve. I've been on these for only a few days, and not sure yet if they are helping. I haven't used them for the last two days (forgot, busy schedule), so not sure if I have to let it "build up" in my system?

    After my shower in the morning, gonna put them on again, but a wee lower in my back, and see if that helps. Man, oh, man oh... I so hope I get some of the relief I've seen on here. :) Yep... my doctor is hard on the 12 hour rule.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hey Brenda,

    When you put them on, try for as low on the lower back as you can... I try for right above umm...the crack of my butt(sorry!) ;p Seriously, I find if I go too far up from there I lose a lot of the comfort I've become used to.
    I have had bone/joint, muscle and nerve issues back there forever and it's always been difficult for me to describe it adequately. When I'm walking it feels like my back starts burning...if I dont sit down, it burns more and more until I either sit or fall...so, whatever it is, it's a pain in the butt! (or back)
    --- a few stupid funnies!

    I've been told that if I described it better they could have done something sooner...it irks me that I can't explain my pain well enough to doctors for them to help me properly!
    When I was much younger, both my parents and doctor left me (my arm hanging at an odd angle) for 3 days because I "couldn't possibly have been in THAT much pain" based on how I was acting- by the time it was x-rayed it, I had 3 broken bones between the wrist and arm:P
    Here is Mondays' conversation with the surgeon: I'm going to give you something stronger for the pain, (okay). What are you taking now (Vicoprophen 7.5/200) alright, I'll give you percocet... I said no, that doesn't work for me and I have NO idea why, it does nothing or makes me violently ill, usually both. So, here I am still on my vicoprophens and still in some pain...I've had bottles of perc in the drawer from other times until I disposed of them... so it makes no sense to try again... I just wish there were something between the two that worked for me, bleh.
  • Just a quick note! I think I notice how much they help when, after I miss a day and realize how badly it hurts now!

    Also, my doc said they do not always work for everyone, but if they do it's really nice to have the option! :)
  • Okay I just had to share this stupid pharmacy story. I pay for my meds and then submit the bill to the car insurance for payment. I get a call this morning that they can't pay for the lidoderm this month because the orthopedist prescribed it and they have already decided that I don't need an orthopedist.

    I'm trying to explain that the neurologist is the one who prescribed it but she's not believing me. THen she looks at the neuro's notes from last week and sees that it says the lidoderm is working. So she's puzzled. She agrees to pay for them but I will need a new script for the next box.

    I called the neuro just to confirm and find out he did write it. SO I go to the pharmacy. They pull the paper script and show me that it was the neuro. Their explanation is that when they enter it in the computer it gives them the names of the last few doctors I have gotten meds from and they pick one. She says "this happens all the time". Gee I wonder what else happens all the time!!
  • Clandy,

    Thanks, I will try putting those puppies a wee bit lower, and see if I feel anything differently. Thanks for the umm "good" description on where to put them! Rofla - but hey, if it works right? (G) :)

    (my edit) Okay, have 2 of those puppies where you described. I didn't notice a "warm" feeling before, now I do. Results still pending. :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Kris-NY said:

    * Snip *

    Their explanation is that when they enter it in the computer it gives them the names of the last few doctors I have gotten meds from and they pick one. She says "this happens all the time". Gee I wonder what else happens all the time!!

    I've actually had some of my prior doctors on my bottles and not the actual prescribing doctor! So I can say that Walgreen's pharmacy seems to do the same thing! Scary when you think about it....

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Yuck! It stinks that you had to run around about it, but I'm So glad it worked out right!! :)

    I kind of get something like that... my mom and I have the same name, work/worked for the same agency, have the same insurance (!! see where this is going??!) And.... we also have the same PCP... if he wasn't such a peach, I'd swear I'd have to find another, but he is, so we deal with it ;)

    And if that is bad... think about how our banking used to go.... LOL! I got wise and got another bank at least ;)

    On to Patching!
  • Earlier in the thread we were talking about the cost, how pricey my beloved patches are. I pay $25/box of 30 patches. My co pay is going up to $40 in January.
    Ok here is my point, I use walgreens, convenient, 24 hours, blah blah, I just found out my insurance will give me 90 day MAIL AWAY script, which is NINE boxes for $67! JACKPOT! (after January it will be like $85 for the 9.) All this time, all these co pays .... love the hindsight! Walgreens gives me one box at a time.
    I had known about the mail away (save a few bucks, but didn't seem worth it, silly me), I didn't know about the 90 DAY supply part. Maybe you have this sort of option too....?

    Ps, I have NOT heard about the long term issue. I hope not, I've been using them for a while now.

    Brenda, hope the low down patch is working better for you!
  • My regular health insurance makes me use their mail service for any maintenance prescription. You get a three month supply at 3x the regular co-pay price(probably $30/mo) so there is no savings there. I'm sure it is much cheaper for them which is fine with me.

    For the next year the no-fault car insurance will pay for these so I have to buy them and be reimbursed.

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