Neuropathic pain is considered one of the most refractory and disabling chronic pains that a person can experience.1 Based on randomized controlled trials, the current recommended treatments include topical local anesthetics, gabapentin, tricyclic antidepressants, and opioids.2 To our knowledge, no long-term follow-up studies have been published assessing neuropathic pain outcomes after 1 year of therapy. In the 1990s, a number of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies demonstrated the efficacy and safety of the 5% lidocaine patch (Lidoderm; Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc, Chadds Ford, Pa), a targeted peripheral analgesic, in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN).3,4 Subjects in these trials were offered compassionate use of the lidocaine patch and have continued to use it to treat their PHN. A follow-up survey of these subjects was conducted to assess the effectiveness and patient satisfaction with the patch over long-term treatment.
Galer BS, Gammaitoni AR. More Than 7 Years of Consistent Neuropathic Pain Relief in Geriatric Patients. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(5):628. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.5.628