What is a Pain Patch?

A pain relief patch is a medicated patch with an adhesive that is placed on the skin’s surface to temporarily lessen the intensity of the pain for a specific duration. Under a doctor’s prescription, a pain relief patch is recommended to be used and may help with both acute pain, such as a sprain, and chronic pain, such as arthritis. A pain relief patch is for somebody who has difficulty orally consuming medication for a particular condition or when the pain level is high.

How Does the Pain Patch Work?

The drug in the patch gets absorbed into the bloodstream, helping to relieve discomfort. It might initially take some time for the medication to build on the skin and later penetrate.

Types of Pain Relief Patches

Pain relief patches contain several different medications, each applied to the appropriate level of discomfort.

  • Diclofenac epolamine is one of the drugs used in pain patches, and this will effectively treat minor sprains and strains. This particular type of patch will take about 1 to 2 days to work.
  • Lidocaine comes under the category, of local anesthesia, which will help treat chronic pain due to nervous disorders. 
  • Fentanyl is a very powerful opioid to treat pain. A patch with fentanyl is usually prescribed for treating severe pain or temporary pain, like in the post-surgery period.

Myths and Facts About Pain Relief Patches

  • Pain relief patches will not heal: Pain relief patches can only act as a pain killer and a temporary fix. It will not help in fixing the cause of the pain.
  • When in pain, a patch to fix: Using a patch whenever one is in pain might not be the right choice as it may lead to excessive medication exposure.
  • Not a substitute: The ideal way to utilize pain treatment patches is with a prescription from a doctor. A pain relief patch will provide a temporary fix, and that should not be a substitute for a physician.

Pain Relief Patch Side Effects

Allergic reaction

When applied superficially, pain relief patches might lead to skin allergies like:

  • Rashes: The adhesive or the drug in the patch might trigger a rash on the user’s skin.
  • Itchiness: The skin might not be able to tolerate or accept the components of the patch and might create an itch by itself or as a result of the rash.


Some may feel nauseated due to the drug that is present in the patch when it penetrates and reaches the bloodstream. It is the way that the body reacts to foreign material. 


The drug may be quite heavy for the user’s body to handle and dizziness is one of the possible reactions.

Pain relief patch side effects can vary from one user to another depending upon their body conditions.

How to Use a Pain Relief Patch?

  • It is important to cleanse the area where the patch is going on and plain water for cleansing. 
  • Applying oil or other lotions prior is not recommended as it will disturb the adhesive to skin contact.
  • Peel the patch and make sure, not to touch the adhesive part of the patch. 
  • Stick it on the skin and do not rub the patch instead press it upon the skin.

It is highly recommended to visit a physician and get an opinion before starting any medication. Side effects may or may not appear, but prior consultation is required.