Are Lidoderm patches narcotic? 

Are Lidoderm patches narcotic?

No, Lidoderm (Lidocaine) patches are not narcotic and they are not considered controlled substances according to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Lidoderm patches contain Lidocaine, which is a local anaesthetic. 

This medication does not cause addiction and it is not used as a drug of abuse. Local anaesthetics like Lidocaine can be used in minor surgeries and can be applied topically to numb the area and relieve pain. 

None of the local anaesthetics is considered a controlled substance because they don’t work like them, bind to different receptors, and cause different side effects. 

However, local anaesthetics can be paired with narcotics for better pain relief and to enhance the numbing effects of the local anaesthetic. Make sure you properly follow your healthcare provider’s directions if you’re using narcotics concomitantly with Lidocaine. 

Basic differences between Lidocaine and narcotics

Lidocaine and narcotics are both used for pain management, but they have some key differences.

Mechanism of action

As stated earlier, Lidocaine is a local anaesthetic that works by blocking nerve signals in a specific area, numbing the area and providing pain relief (1,2).

Narcotics, on the other hand, work by binding to opioid receptors in the central nervous system, reducing the perception of pain and altering the brain’s response to pain signals (3).

Side effect profile

Lidocaine patches are generally well-tolerated when used appropriately, with minimal systemic side effects. However, local reactions such as skin irritation or allergic reactions may occur (2).

Narcotics have a range of potential side effects, including drowsiness, constipation, nausea, vomiting, respiratory depression, and the potential for sedation or euphoria. They can also cause physical dependence and addiction with long-term use (4).

Tolerability and Addiction Potential

Lidocaine is generally well-tolerated, especially when used in appropriate doses for local anaesthesia. It has a low potential for abuse or addiction.

Narcotics, on the other hand, carry a higher risk of addiction and dependence, particularly when used for extended periods or in high doses. They require careful monitoring and should be used under medical supervision. 

Some common examples of Narcotics include:

  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Fentanyl

It’s important to note that the use of narcotics should be carefully managed by healthcare professionals, and they should be used as prescribed to minimize the risk of side effects and addiction.

What are the side effects caused by Lidocaine patches?

Lidocaine patches are generally well-tolerated, but there are some potential side effects to be aware of. (2)

Common side effects of Lidocaine patches may include:

  • Skin irritation or redness at the application site.
  • Itching or rash in the area where the patch is applied.
  • Burning or stinging sensation on the skin.
  • Numbness or tingling in the treated area.
  • Headache or dizziness, although these side effects are rare.
  • It’s important to follow the instructions for proper patch application and duration of use. 

In some cases, individuals may experience an allergic reaction to Lidocaine, which can manifest as severe itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing. If any of these symptoms occur, medical attention should be sought immediately.

It’s worth noting that Lidocaine patches are generally considered safe when used as directed, but it’s always important to discuss any potential side effects or concerns with your healthcare provider. 

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PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 3676, Lidocaine; [cited 2023 July 6]. Available from:


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