Ok so I have been using the Lidoderm Patch for a while now and am very pleasantly surprised with it and how very effective it is for me
I have an entrapped nerve ending in my abdominal wall that can be quite excruitiating- when it is at its worst and when there didn't seem to be many options before I used to think about sterilizing a knife on the stove and driving it in there and trying to cut it out. I figured even if I died in the attempt the pain would at least stop. I don't say this to be grim, just to give an idea of how bad it could be and how much it could affect me- I couldn't do anything when it got bad because any movement made it worse. And I would be on opiates and then needing to up the dose and so forth. I would get trigger point injections into the nerve ending that took the pain away but it would all come back and quicker and quicker and quicker. Then an anesthiologist suggested I give the patch a try. My primary care doctor had brought it up before but didn't think it would reach deep enough to work. So I tried and patch and it worked.
It works so well for me that if I use on a regular basis I have no abdominal pain or just a very dull pain. I really like that. No pain is good and so is very dully pain. I can live with those. An adhesive patch is much easier to deal with too than oral opiates.
But my insurance doesn't quite understand the beauty of the situation. And they won't pay for the patch. The out of pocket expense on it can add up. And I am looking for studies so I can appeal my insurance decision (it covers my provigil with no hesitation (I'm narcoleptic)). But in the mean time I was wondering if anyone knew of another patch that might work? Or other type of product that was like the lidoderm patch? I figure I could try something that my insurance does cover if there is something...
I did try a bandage and the lidocaine ointment- not good enough and kind of messy.
It is great to hear from someone who has had a positive response with the Lidoderm patches as have I. The enormous relief I've had in my lower sacral area... especially when I have to drive long distances has been amazing!! This does not solve all of my pain issues but getting this one down to a manageable level has helped a lot. I also did not expect much relief because my pain is also severe and constant. I know exactly what you mean about not wanting to move.
I also know what you mean about the cost being out of sight. This is why I have been looking for alternatives too. I have seriously been thinking of trying the Bengay patches or the Thermacare system...that seems to be a belt like device one wears. I'm sure everyone has seen them advertised on TV. I figure "Who Knows?" I didn't expect much from the Lidoderm. But I think it's best for me to check with my PM before I try anything new though.
If anyone out there has discovered good alternatives please let us know. Thanks, Amy
I have just starting using them and am amazed that they really work. I have cut them in half and in thirds because they are expensive and I usually don't need the entire patch. I don't know if you can do that but if you can it is worth a try.
Yes, I had read that and if one is fortunate enough (if pain can be fortunate in anyway) that it is localized, this is a great idea for sure. In my case however my sciatica is so bad that if I could I would put them all the way down my right leg and wind up looking like part of an Egyptian mummy. But I know, 3 is the max at one time, so I just stick with the 2 on my sacral area. Thanks for the input. This might be an option for the person who started this thread? Amy
If you regularly use heat or ice to help your pain or injury, ask you doctor about using the Lidoderm patch in conjunction with either of these. I have found great relief using them with heat when applied to my chronic muscle spasm and my doctor said it was okay to do so.
Last edited by stanleyguy; 12-03-2006 at 03:04 PM.
Hi Amy, I'm not sure if it would be any less orexpensive or your insurance would be more inclined to pay, but knowledgable PM docs can write scripts for specificaly made saves used to treat neuropothy. Most contain at least lidocaine, others may also contain topical toradol , ketamine, and any number of ingredients your doc may feel are usefull. A compounding pharamcy can't qoute you a price untill you have the compounding directions on the script with the proportions of each med. It is an alternative, If your insurance does cover specially compounded meds. They may choose to cover your lido patches Vs the expense of having a specialized pharmy compound specific topicals when you know there is already a ready made product on the market that works.
IF your disabled , meet income requirements, lack of insurance or have letters of refusal to pay for the patches for an FDA approved use, you may also qualify for the manufacturer patient assistance program. It's certainly worth a call to see if you might qualify for their free med program.
Good luck, Dave
Thank you for your concern and information. Right now my insurance is paying for the Lidoderm patches so I am O.K. for now. But believe me I know how fortunate I am. What really bothers me though is when I think of how much Lidocaine costs, along with a gauze pad, and granted.....good adhesive, if it costs 1/10 of what I pay for it to make one I'd be surprised. It's probably much less than that! It really makes me see how powerful the lobbists for the drug companies are. It also makes me so sad and so angry at the same time for all the people who do get caught in the middle. I hope everyone has a low pain good day. Amy