A pilot study of Endo Pharmaceuticals' topical analgesic patch, lidocaine patch 5% (Lidoderm), showed a significant reduction in pain intensity, as well as a high satisfaction level among patients using the patch. Twenty patients treated with Lidoderm achieved a 41.5% reduction in mean pain intensity as measured by the Brief Pain Inventory. Another 20 patients received a single corticosteroid injection into the carpal tunnel and achieved a 43.8% reduction in pain intensity. Results also showed that 80% of patients treated with Lidoderm reported being "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the treatment; investigators noted improvements in 88% of their patients. Among patients in the injection group, 59% reported being "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their treatment, and investigators noted an overall 74% improvement in these patients. Study author Srinivas Nalamachu, MD, of the University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, Mo, commented, "We are excited to find a noninvasive, topical patch appeared to alleviate these patients' carpal-tunnel-syndrome-related pain." These results still need to be confirmed in a larger, double-blind, placebo-controlled study.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.