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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can Lidocaine or Capsacin containing cream be used to relieve stabbing pain due to shingles?

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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 10928 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 6 Sep 2018 in Pain Management
Question: I had seen my doctor on Monday with pain on left side , rash on chest , neck , shoulder , she thought it might be statin , took me off , had ordered blood work , I called yesterday for results , one test showed inflammation all others were good , I asked at the time could this be shingles , she thought no , she is off until Tuesday with and gave no other instructions , the pain is terrible , and my daughter had shingles and says what I described to her is what she endured , stabbing pain . I am taking Advil which helps some , my question is can I use a cream like lidocaine or capsacin ?
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Thank you , Lidocaine helping some , I will follow advice if doesn't improve for stronger meds.
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 24 minutes later
Brief Answer:
yes, it can be used

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

Shingles can cause significant pain to occur, some persons require a combination of pain medications.

The topical pain killers can be used- Lidocaine or Capsacin or Voltaren gel.

If the pain relief from the Advil is minimal then consider changing to another anti inflammatory such as Naproxen or Voltaren or consider adding another pain killer to the Advil e.g. Paracetamol or Codeine.

If changing meds or adding med or using the topical aids is not helpful then you may need a prescription for stronger pain medication from your doctor.

In addition, medication for nerve related pain since shingles causes it discomfort this way, may be helpful as well eg Amitriptyline, Tegretol, Gabapentin etc

I hope this helps. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Michelle Gibson James
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Brief Answer:
hope you have some relief soon

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Shingles pain can be really bad in some persons, hope that if it is shingles, than you have some relief soon.

Take care,
Dr. Michelle Gibson James
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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