How Can A Patch Help Relieve Pain?

Pain patches are a kind of alternative treatment to injections and oral pain pills.  Patches can help to prevent certain side effects like internal bleeding and gastrointestinal issues that may result at times from taking pain pills.  Pain patches offer pain relief on a more consistent basis compared to other types of medication but may result in unintentional overdoses and other complications.

Different Types Of Pain Patches

Fentanyl Patches

Fentanyl is a type of narcotic pain relief commonly used by doctors for treating chronic pain.  Fentanyl works via your central nervous system and provides long-term pain relief.  It is absorbed through your skin slowly and is a very strong painkiller that can potentially be just as effective for severe pain as Morphine.

Since fentanyl is a narcotic, it can be potentially addictive.  However, if you are suffering from chronic pain, you might prefer using the medication due to its effectiveness despite the physical dependency it may potentially cause.  A doctor’s prescription is required for the medication, and your continued use should be monitored by a healthcare provider.  Follow a measured reduction in order to avoid developing severe withdrawal symptoms.

Fentanyl patches are available in various strengths, ranging from 12 micrograms per hour up to 100 micrograms per hour.

Transdermal fentanyl patches may only be used on skin.  They always come in prepackaged form.  Only remove the patch from its sealed package when you are ready to use it.  place the pain patch onto a dry, clean part of your skin on your back, upper arm, or chest.  Usually, Fentanyl patches are changed every 3 days (72 hours).  Sometimes multiple Fentanyl patches can be worn at the same time, but should only be done as directed by your physician.

Side effects of Fentanyl include increased or reduced urine production and hallucinations.  Other potential side effects include redness at the patch site, chest pain, fainting, and mood changes.

Lidocaine Patches

A lidocaine patch can be effective for a patient who is in pain but wants to avoid taking drugs that can be potentially addictive.  They are known to provide effective pain relief and targets pain from the outside in.   Lidocaine patches may be used for all different type of complaints, including shingle pain, rib contusions, and back pain and helps to avoid having to use narcotic medications.

The way that a lidocaine patch works is that it numbs your skin in the place where the patch is placed. A lidocaine patch is a local anesthetic that is commonly used by doctors for treating stinging, burning, or tingling pain.  This is the kind of pain that you might experience if you were to develop shingles, which is a type of inflammatory nerve condition.  Lidocaine patches might have interactions with other drugs, particularly those that are used for treating heart conditions.  Women who are pregnant should not use lidocaine patches.

The sticky patch should be applied to the most painful part of your skin and then left in place for 12 out of each 24 hour period.  When the patch is applied you might feel swelling or burning.  If that occurs, remove the patch.  There are few side effects associated with this medication, but if the patch is placed on an open wound they can occur.  Blurred vision, vomiting, or lightheadedness are all signs that this medication has been absorbed by your bloodstream.

Butrans Patches

Butrans patches, unlike pain pills, slowly release pain medication via your skin.  You don’t have to worry about your pain increasing as your pain medication begins to wear off.  There are potential risks and side effects with these patches like there are with any type of medication.

For conditions such as fibromyalgia, which involves constant pain, they might be an effective type of medication.  They deliver pain medication doses to you throughout the course of the day without being overpowering to the point that they could your thinking the way that other types of medications do, which is especially important when you are suffering from a condition such as fibromyalgia that can cause mental fog.  However, since Butrans isn’t as powerful as other types of opioids, it might not provide as much relief, particularly if you suffer from severe pain.

A Butrans patch is placed directly on your skin, which allows your body to fully absorb the medication via the skin membrane.   Buprenorphine hydrochloride, which is an opioid partial agonist, is the primary ingredient.  Unlike full agonist opioid medications, a partial agonist such as buprenorphine activates only some opioid receptors inside the brain.  Therefore, a full opioid effect is not caused by these patches, which makes them less dangerous to use.

The concept behind these patches is that a less powerful opioid is used but one that is still absorbed over time by the body, to provide a similar effect in terms of pain relief but limiting the chances of an overdose.  The slow absorption allows this effect to settle in over time so that you receive pain relief over a longer period of time.

In terms of side effects, the Butrans patches have the same risks associated with them as other opioid medications, including the potential of lethal overdose, difficulty breathing, and slowed heart rate.

It is essential to use these kinds of medications exactly how they are prescribed.  Multiple patches should never be used at the same time. Consult with a doctor and never try to make adjustments on your own.

Like other opioids, it is possible that a physical dependency can be developed by your body for this medication and quitting suddenly can result in withdrawal symptoms.  Before you discontinue using the patch, always consult with your doctor first.

 Topical Anesthetics

There are also topical anesthetic over-the-counter pain patches that are available for providing pain relief for numerous conditions.  Topical anesthetics may be used in patch form for treating poison ivy outbreaks, minor cuts, sunburn, insect bites, and burns.  These patches work through deadening nerves within your skin where the patch is.  OTC pain patches should only be used on small part of the skin and not applied to open wounds.

Potential side effects most commonly associated with topical anesthetics include redness and swelling after application.  Usually, removing the patch will clear up these types of adverse reactions.  Sweating, drowsiness, anxiety, and headaches are other potential side effects but are less common.