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Can expired Lidocaine be used for treatment of shingles?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1981
Answered : 824 Questions
I had shingles in 2010 and was prescribed Lidocaine for temporary relief of pain. Cleaning out bathroom closet and found an unused box with 3 refills. I have had reoccurance three times but for a lesser amount of time and usually a hot bath will remove pain for about an hour. The lapsed time for this medication was 6/12/11. Is it possible that this patch still works or should I toss and get a new prescription?
Posted Thu, 14 Aug 2014 in Skin Hair and Nails
Answered by Dr. Karen Steinberg 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Get new prescription

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thank you for using Healthcare Magic. Since this medicine expired 3 years ago, I recommend you not try using it and that you get another prescription. It may not work. Additionally some medications break down over time and can cause serious problems if they are used then. The patch material itself could deteriorate over time and not provide the correct dosage. It may give you an inadequate amount to help the pain or you could get an overdose.

Don't take any chances. If you can use non-medicinal ways, such as the hot bath, to treat the pain, that in general is preferable to using medicines, which always carry some risk. You may or may not be able to get the refills allowed on this particular prescription. Those are sometimes allowed only for a particular amount of time. Check with the pharmacy where you filled it if you want to get a new prescription. Otherwise talk to your doctor.

Hope this answers your query. If you have further questions, I would be happy to answer them.
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