Lidocaine - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Lidocaine: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is lidocaine?

Lidocaine is an anesthetic medication used for inducing loss of sensation in different parts of the body, skin, and surrounding tissues. The medicine is available as a topical jelly, patch, liquid, or ointment. After application, it numbs a body part, alleviates pain, or reduces itching.

Also known as lignocaine, it is a safe local anesthetic of the amino amide-type. It is an essential medicine, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

What are the uses of lidocaine?

Lidocaine is available only with a doctor’s prescription. It helps relieve pain by blocking the signals at the nerve endings in the affected area.

Lidocaine relieves pain from sunburn, minor cuts, insect stings or cuts, and urethritis. One of its uses as a topical solution is to potentially treat sore throat or mouth.

Shingles are a painful rash caused by the chickenpox (herpes zoster) virus. Nerve pain may persist even after the rash disappears as post-herpetic neuralgia. Lidocaine skin patches provide relief from post-herpetic neuralgia.

Some doctors use lidocaine to reduce gagging while taking dental impressions or an X-ray.

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What are the side effects of lidocaine?

Some of the common side effects of using lidocaine are listed below:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Rash or hives
  • Wheezing
  • Seizure
  • Nausea
  • Tremors

The anesthetic does not usually cause any fatal side effects. In case the severity of the side effects starts to bother you, speak to a doctor immediately. If your doctor prescribes the ointment for the mouth, ensure that you do not eat or swallow for one to two hours, as you might accidentally bite your tongue.

What is Lidocaine

Uses of Lidocaine

Side effects of Lidocaine


Frequently Asked Questions about Lidocaine

1. How long does lidocaine last?

Lidocaine’s numbing effect can last between thirty minutes to three hours. In rare situations, the effect of Lidocaine can last up to two days. Speak to your doctor immediately if the medicine does not wear off after a few hours. An overdose may cause seizures, uneven heartbeats, and sometimes even respiratory failure.

2. What does lidocaine do?

Lidocaine is an anesthetic. It is used for pain relief after some procedures. It goes under the brand names AneCream, Lidosense 4, Mentho-Caine, RectaSmooth, etc. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe the medicine for the mouth, nose, or throat. They usually prescribe this medication to adults.

3. Why are lidocaine patches so expensive?

Lidocaine patches are medicated adhesive patches prescribed exclusively to relieve post-herpetic neuralgia. Since they are also effective for conditions like back pain, doctors began to prescribe them for such off-label use. However, most health insurance providers do not cover this medication’s cost in such cases. Hence, it may be expensive for several people.

4. How long does lidocaine take to work?

Lidocaine works quickly after application. You may experience a numbing effect after thirty to forty minutes of application. The medicine numbs the skin on which it is applied and the skin around it. Take precautions to apply it the right way after reading the label carefully, or ask your doctor.

5. Is lidocaine safe?

Yes. Lidocaine is safe for use if you follow all the safety measures while using the medicine. You should not apply more than 1.2 ml of lidocaine. Apply it with a cotton swab. Give a gap of three hours between the doses, and do not use more than four hours in 12 hours.

6. Does lidocaine make you sleepy?

One of the rare side effects of topical lidocaine is drowsiness or a feeling of overt sleepiness. Call your doctor for medical advice if these side effects are extreme or concerning. Take precautions to not overdose to prevent any severe side effects.

7. Can lidocaine be used anally?

Yes. Lidocaine as an anesthetic is also used to treat piles or hemorrhoids. The medicine treats inflammatory conditions in the rectum or anus. Your doctor will recommend the frequency and dosage of lidocaine after examining your condition. It can be applied inside or around the rectum or anus to effectively ease discomfort.

8. Does Lidocaine expire?

Yes. Lidocaine expires in 4 years from the date of manufacturing. Always check the manufacturing date before purchasing the medicine. Store the medicine in a dry and cool (not above 25 degrees Celsius) place. Keep it out of children’s reach. Preserve the outer carton to store the medication.

9. Is Lidocaine a controlled substance?

Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that is only available with a prescription. It numbs nerve signals by blocking the nerve endings in the skin only around where it is applied. It is not a general anesthetic and has no addictive properties. It also does not fall under the five controlled classes of drugs: depressants, stimulants, narcotics, hallucinogens, and anabolic steroids.

10. Is Lidocaine an NSAID?

Lidocaine contains methyl salicylate, which is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. You should let your doctor know if you are allergic to NSAIDs. NSAIDs increase the risk of heart stroke or may cause stomach and intestinal bleeding. Therefore, do not use the medicine after a heart bypass surgery.

Reach out to one of our experts at Yashoda Hospitals for a medical opinion regarding the uses, side effects, dosage, and precautions for lidocaine.

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Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.