A pilot study of Endo Pharmaceuticals'topical analgesic patch, lidocaine patch5% (Lidoderm), showed a significantreduction in pain intensity, as well as ahigh satisfaction level among patientsusing the patch. Twenty patients treatedwith Lidoderm achieved a 41.5% reductionin mean pain intensity as measuredby the Brief Pain Inventory. Another 20patients received a single corticosteroidinjection into the carpal tunnel andachieved a 43.8% reduction in pain intensity.Results also showed that 80% ofpatients treated with Lidoderm reportedbeing "satisfied" or "very satisfied" withthe treatment; investigators notedimprovements in 88% of their patients.Among patients in the injection group,59% reported being "satisfied" or "verysatisfied" with their treatment, and investigatorsnoted an overall 74% improvementin these patients. Study authorSrinivas Nalamachu, MD, of the Universityof Medicine and Biosciences inKansas City, Mo, commented, "We areexcited to find a noninvasive, topicalpatch appeared to alleviate these patients'carpal-tunnel-syndrome-relatedpain." These results still need to be confirmedin a larger, double-blind, placebo-controlledstudy.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.