Background: A topical lidocaine patch is effective in the treatment of posttraumatic peripheral neuropathy (PTPN), but it is not suited for breakthrough pain because of difficulty with an additional application. Here, we examined the effect of 8% lidocaine pump spray (Xylocaine pump spray, XPS) on peripheral neuropathic pain caused by surgery or injury.
Methods: Thirty-one patients with PTPN were randomized to receive either XPS or saline placebo pump spray applied to painful skin areas. The optimal dose of up to 30 sprays (0.1 mL/single spray, 30 times) was individually determined as the dose which completely covered the painful site. After a 7-day period, the patients were crossed over to receive the optimal dose of the alternative spray. Pain was assessed with a visual analog scale.
Results: XPS, but not placebo pump spray, significantly decreased the visual analog scale for continuing pain and tactile allodynia. The effect persisted for a median of 5 h (range, 2-60 h) after application. Mild side effects were reported in three patients with XPS consisting of local irritation (n = 3) and local flare (n = 1). All adverse events disappeared without medication within a few hours.
Conclusions: The present study suggests that XPS provides a significant improvement in PTPN due to its prompt analgesia, lack of systemic side effects and convenience.