It is a prescription capsaicin patch that is applied by your doctor to treat post-shingles pain, otherwise known as postherpetic neuralgia.
What is the purpose of it?
The patch delivers medication directly to the skin, right to the nerves that cause pain after shingles. The medication in the patch reduces pain by desensitizing the nerve endings.
The procedure takes about an hour, but plan to be in the office for two to three hours. This allows for your pre-op and recovery time as well. Your driver must remain in the building during your procedure.
Will application of the Patch hurt?
The procedure involves applying the patch directly to the site where the shingles outbreak was. This area tends to be very sensitive, so a topical numbing cream is applied prior to the patch application. Some pain is common during the treatment due to the concentrated amount of medication on the patch; therefore, additional pain medication may be administered during the procedure.
How is the Patch Applied?
The patient lies down on the stretcher and the site is exposed and cleansed. After the topical numbing medication has had time to take effect, it is wiped off. The Qutenza patch or patches are applied over the affected area. You may experience a burning sensation after application and the area may become red. The patient may be monitored with EKG, blood pressure cuff, and blood oxygen monitoring device.
What should I expect after the patch applicaton?
You may experience increased pain, burning and redness at the site. If additional pain medication is administered, you may feel drowsy.
What should I do after the patch application?
You should have a driver to take you home. We advise patients to take it easy for a day or two after the procedure and you should be able to return to work the day after and resume normal activities. The area may be sensitive to heat, so you should avoid direct sunlight, hot showers or baths, and exercise.
How long does the effect of the medication last?
If successful, relief can last up to 12 weeks. Treatments cannot be repeated more often that every 90 days.
Will the patch help me?
It is very difficult to predict if the patch will indeed help or not. Generally speaking, usually takes 1 to 14 days for full pain relief to take effect.
What are the risks and side effects?
Generally speaking, this procedure is safe. However, with any procedure there are risks, side effects, and possibility of complications. The most common side effect is redness – which is temporary. The other side effects include pain, itching, bumps on the skin, dryness, etc.
Who should Not use this patch?
If you are allergic to any of the medications to be applied or are diabetic, have any open wounds in the area to which the patch is to be applied or if the affected area is on the head or face you should not used this product. You should not use this patch if you are pregnant or believe you may be pregnant. Be sure to let your doctor know if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.