BACKGROUND: Localized neuropathic pain (LNP) is a subgroup of neuropathic pain characterized by consistent and circumscribed area(s) of maximum pain, associated with negative or positive sensory signs and/or spontaneous symptoms characteristic of NP. Lidocaine medicated plasters (LMP) have shown to be effective in pain relief in selective LNP syndromes. METHODS: We collected data of 130 patients in our database with LNP syndromes who used LMP. RESULTS: Forty-one patients out of 130 patients(32%) were treated with antiepileptics, antidepressants and opioids without improvement and/or with intolerable adverse effects and are not assuming systemic therapy anymore. Globally, during the 12 months follow-up, 15% of patients reached a complete pain relief without any systemic therapy, mainly in trigeminal and post-herpetic neuralgia (p=0.009), 38% of patients reduced analgesic drug consumption with the highest reduction in radiculopathy, post-herpetic neuralgia and trigeminal neuralgia. Topical and transient adverse effects, such as itching or local erythema, were seen in 19/130 (14.6%) patients; 7 of these patients (5.4%) needed to discontinue the treatment due to the occurrence of adverse effects. The dropout rate on global population (excluding cured and lost to follow up) was 45%, and the main cause of dropouts was the inefficacy of treatment in the first 3 months of therapy with LMP. CONCLUSIONS: LMP treatment is safe and worth consideration also as add-on therapy in order to reduce analgesic drug consumption in selected LNP.
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