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Case studies illustrating the management of trigeminal neuropathic pain using topical 5% lidocaine plasters

Khawaja, Nadine, Yilmaz, Zehra and Renton, Tara 2013. Case studies illustrating the management of trigeminal neuropathic pain using topical 5% lidocaine plasters. British Journal of Pain 7 (2) , pp. 107-113. 10.1177/2049463713483459

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Abstract Chronic trigeminal pain, with its severe related functional problems, is difficult to treat. Treatment is often empirically based on medications used for other chronic pain conditions. Systemic sodium channel and calcium channel blocking agents may cause a multitude of complications that are often poorly tolerated by the patient. Aim: The aim of this case report was to assess the efficacy of topical 5% lidocaine plasters in reducing pain and reducing adjuvant medication in patients with orofacial neuropathic pain. Method: Fourteen patients with chronic orofacial pain conditions referred to the oral surgery department were instructed to wear 5% lidocaine plasters for 12 hours each day over the painful area. The conditions included post-surgical neuropathy (n = 10), multiple sclerosis-related pain (n = 1), persistent idiopathic facial pain (n = 1), Ramsay Hunt syndrome (post-herpetic neuralgia, n = 1) and trigeminal neuralgia (n = 1). Data were collected on patient demographics, pain levels and medication. Results: Pain levels improved in 12 out of 14 patients. Nine patients had a reduction in adjuvant medication, two of whom completely stopped adjuvant treatment. Conclusion: This case series demonstrates that of the use of 5% lidocaine plasters may play a useful role in the management of chronic trigeminal pain. A suggested novel approach for the management of orofacial pain, for clinicians, is presented. Summary points 1. Management of chronic orofacial pain continues to be a major challenge to the clinician. 2. Patients are often placed on a multitude of medications in an attempt to alleviate pain without success. 3. Topical 5% lidocaine plasters, currently used for the management of post-herpetic neuralgia, offer the option of locally targeting trigeminal pain without the multiple side-effects of systemic medication. 4. This case series demonstrates that lidocaine plasters decrease verbal pain scores in extraoral, trigeminal and neuropathic pain, and reduce the use of other neuromodulatory agents in some, but not all, patients. 5. The plasters should be considered as a useful adjuvant in the management of pain in these patients.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 2049-4637
Last Modified: 08 May 2019 02:20

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