The need-to-know information for Lidocaine


Pearls and Fun Nuggets

1. Lidocaine isn’t used for all procedures 💉 Longer-acting substances such as bupivacaine are sometimes given preference for spinal and epidural anaesthesias; lidocaine, though, has the advantage of a rapid onset of action.

2. Lidocaine is also used an anti-arrhythmic ❤ It is used intravenously for the treatment of ventricular arrhythmias (for acute myocardial infarctiondigoxin poisoning, cardioversion, or cardiac catheterization) if amiodarone is not available or contraindicated.

3. Did you know you can inhale lidocaine? 🚬  Inhaled lidocaine via nebulizer can be used as a cough suppressor acting peripherally to reduce the cough reflex.

4. It works fast, but doesn’t last long ⏰ When used as an injectable it typically begins working within four minutes and lasts for half an hour to three hours.[4][5]

5. Lidocaine is often added to cocaine as a diluent 😯 Cocaine and lidocaine both numb the gums when applied. This gives the user the impression of high-quality cocaine, when in actuality the user is receiving a diluted product.[52]

Patient Perspectives

“I had severe back pain for years along my bra line area Degenerative disc disease. I would wake up in the night in such bad pain it would be hard for me to take a breath. After seeing many doctors and taking many different pain pills I was referred to a pain specialist who gave me lidocaine injections into the sore spots of my back. I felt instant relief. And was relatively pain-free for six months and had to go again. This felt like a miracle, after trying so many different things, to be able to tolerate the pain I continue to have. I wish I would have been told about lidocaine injections a lot sooner!”


“After being diagnosed with costochondritis, I was given a narcotic painkiller, NSAIDs, voltaren gel, and lidocaine patches to help with the pain (which was hideous). None of these medications provided relief, so I was referred to my rheumatologist to receive steroid injections. However, my rheumatologist suggested trying injections of xylocaine into the cartilage of the affected ribs. By the time I got home, ALL of the pain was gone. It has been 3 days now, and I am still pain free. These injections were a miracle solution for me, and I would absolutely recommend trying this before doing steroid injections to anyone who has costochondritis. I did not feel the injections or the medication going in, and have had no side effects whatsoever.”


“I have had two injections in both my shoulders. The right one I damaged just putting my coat on. I was in serious pain for 10 months. After having the injection 1 year ago I have been pain free. It was very painful when I had it and for about a week after but then it’s been fine. My left has been a frozen shoulder for well over 10 years and I have just had an injection for it. It did not hurt as much. No side effects.”

Brandon Simpson, PA-C
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