Background: To justify the use of the lidocaine/tetracaine medicated patch or peel as a preventive treatment for reducing pain and discomfort in adults and children. We reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the lidocaine/tetracaine medicated patch or peel compared with placebo.
Methods: Ten RCTs (574 patients) were included in this systemic review. Relevant studies were identified through searches of MEDLINE, SCOPUS and the Cochrane database library. The outcome was the adequacy of cutaneous anesthesia reflected in the patient's assessment of pain intensity during minor dermatologic procedures and adverse effects after application of the lidocaine/tetracaine medicated patch or peel versus placebo.
Results: The efficacy of the lidocaine/tetracaine patch or peel was consistently very significantly beneficial 30 or 60 minutes after the application compared to placebo (Relative risk, RR: 2.5; Number needed to treat, NNT: 2.2). We did not identify any difference in the effectiveness of adequate analgesia between the lidocaine/tetracaine patch and peel (the number needed to treat or to harm, NNT 2.4 vs. 2.0). No serious side effects or adverse events were observed with the lidocaine/tetracaine medicated patch or peel and placebo. Minor skin reactions were transient and resolved without treatment (Odd ratio, OR: 1.4 and 95% confidence interval, CI: 0.9-2.1; NNT: 14.9).
Conclusions: The lidocaine/tetracaine medicated patch or peel is a well accepted, effective and safe method for minor dermatologic procedures based on pooled data of trials in terms of adequacy of cutaneous anesthesia and adverse effects.
Keywords: Lidocaine; Meta-analysis; Tetracaine; Topical anesthetics.