↓ Skip to main content

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Topical lidocaine for neuropathic pain in adults

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2014
Altmetric Badge

About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (97th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (91st percentile)

Mentioned by

2 news outlets
1 blog
74 tweeters
1 patent
1 Facebook page
2 Wikipedia pages


109 Dimensions

Readers on

239 Mendeley
Topical lidocaine for neuropathic pain in adults
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2014
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010958.pub2
Pubmed ID

Derry, Sheena, Wiffen, Philip J, Moore, R Andrew, Quinlan, Jane, Sheena Derry, Philip J Wiffen, R Andrew Moore, Jane Quinlan, Cochrane Pain, Palliative and Supportive Care Group


Lidocaine is a local anaesthetic that is sometimes used on the skin to treat neuropathic pain. To assess the analgesic efficacy of topical lidocaine for chronic neuropathic pain in adults, and to assess the associated adverse events. We searched CENTRAL, MEDLINE, and EMBASE from inception to 1 July 2014, together with the reference lists of retrieved papers and other reviews. We also searched ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) search portal to identify additional published or unpublished data. We included randomised, double-blind studies of at least two weeks' duration comparing any formulation of topical lidocaine with placebo or another active treatment in chronic neuropathic pain. Participants were adults aged 18 and over. We included only full journal publication articles. Two review authors independently extracted efficacy and adverse event data, and examined issues of study quality. We performed analysis using three tiers of evidence. First tier evidence derived from data meeting current best standards and subject to minimal risk of bias (outcome equivalent to substantial pain intensity reduction, intention-to-treat analysis without imputation for dropouts; at least 200 participants in the comparison, 8 to 12 weeks' duration, parallel design); second tier evidence from data that failed to meet one or more of these criteria and that we considered at some risk of bias but with adequate numbers in the comparison; and third tier evidence from data involving small numbers of participants that we considered very likely to be biased or used outcomes of limited clinical utility, or both. We included 12 studies (508 participants) in comparisons with placebo or an active control. Six studies enrolled participants with moderate or severe postherpetic neuralgia, and the remaining studies enrolled different, or mixed, neuropathic pain conditions, including trigeminal neuralgia and postsurgical or post-traumatic neuralgia. Four different formulations were used: 5% medicated patch, 5% cream, 5% gel, and 8% spray. Most studies used a cross-over design, and two used a parallel-group design. Two studies used enriched enrolment with randomised withdrawal. Seven studies used multiple doses, with one to four-week treatment periods, and five used single applications. We judged all of the studies at high risk of bias because of small size or incomplete outcome assessment, or both.There was no first or second tier evidence, and no pooling of data was possible for efficacy outcomes. Only one multiple-dose study reported our primary outcome of participants with ≥ 50% or ≥ 30% pain intensity reduction. Three single-dose studies reported participants who were pain-free at a particular time point, or had a 2-point (of 10) reduction in pain intensity. The two enriched enrolment, randomised withdrawal studies reported time to loss of efficacy. In all but one study, third tier (very low quality) evidence indicated that lidocaine was better than placebo for some measure of pain relief. Pooling multiple-dose studies across conditions demonstrated no clear evidence of an effect of lidocaine on the incidence of adverse events or withdrawals, but there were few events and the withdrawal phase of enriched enrolment designs is not suitable to assess the true impact of adverse events (very low quality evidence). This review found no evidence from good quality randomised controlled studies to support the use of topical lidocaine to treat neuropathic pain, although individual studies indicated that it was effective for relief of pain. Clinical experience also supports efficacy in some patients. Several large ongoing studies, of adequate duration, with clinically useful outcomes should provide more robust conclusions about both efficacy and harm.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 74 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 239 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Brazil 1 <1%
Unknown 236 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 50 21%
Student > Bachelor 33 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 25 10%
Student > Postgraduate 22 9%
Researcher 21 9%
Other 46 19%
Unknown 42 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 105 44%
Nursing and Health Professions 22 9%
Psychology 12 5%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 11 5%
Social Sciences 7 3%
Other 28 12%
Unknown 54 23%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 71. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 13 May 2021.
All research outputs
of 17,944,974 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,788 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 201,550 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 216 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,944,974 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,788 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 25.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 201,550 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 216 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.