Lidocaine use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Lidocaine: Lidoderm, Lidocaine Viscous, Emla, Terocin, LidoPro, Xylocaine Jelly, Lidocream, Xylocaine Topical, Xylocaine 10% Oral, AnaMantle HC, Show all 97 »Xylocaine Viscous, LidoRx, Uro-Jet, Lidocort, Ela-Max, Rectacreme HC, RectiCare, Aloe Vera Burn Relief Spray with Lidocaine, AneCream, LMX 4, Xylocaine-MPF, LMX 4 with Tegaderm, Bactine, Anestacaine, LMX 5, Topicaine, Senatec, Xylocaine with Epinephrine, Ela-Max 5, Zingo, LidoProfen, Lidoject 1, Xylocaine Dental Cartridges, Dermaflex, First Aid Antiseptic, RectaGel HC, LidaMantle HC, Solarcaine Burn Relief, Emla Anesthetic Disc, Peranex HC, Xyralid, Mercuroclear, Synera, Oraqix, LidoSite, Lidomar, Derma Numb, Anestafoam, LTA II Kit, Glydo, Regenecare HA Spray, Pliaglis, S-Caine Peel, Terramycin IM, LTA Pediatric Kit, LTA Preattached 360 Kit, AneCream with Tegaderm, LidaMantle, Lidosense 5, Anestacon, Medi-Quik Spray, Laryng-O-Jet Spray, LMX Plus, Protech First Aid Stik, Uro-Jet AC, UAD Caine, Xylocaine HCl with Epinephrine, FIRST BXN Mouthwash, Xylocaine-MPF-Epinephrine, Xylocaine with Epinephrine Dental Cartridges, Lidazone HC, Lets Kit, Decadron with Xylocaine, Unguentine Plus, FIRST Mouthwash BLM, Regenecare HA, A + D Cracked Skin Relief, Dr Scholl's Cracked Heel Relief, Rocephin IM Convenience Kit, Duocaine, AnaMantle HC Forte, Senatec HC, L-Caine, Xylocaine HCl For Spinal, Dilocaine, Nervocaine, Regenecare, Truxacaine, Xylocaine Duo-Trach Kit, Lidoject 2, Xyralid LP, LidaMantle HC Relief, BP Ana-Lex HC, Xyralid RC, Xylocaine HCl, Akten, DentiPatch
Lidocaine Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Lidocaine concentrations in milk during continuous IV infusion, epidural administration and in high doses as a local anesthetic are low and the lidocaine is poorly absorbed by the infant. Lidocaine is not expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. No special precautions are required. Labor pain medication may delay the onset of lactation.
Maternal Levels. A nursing mother who was 10 months postpartum was given intravenous lidocaine 75 mg, then 50 mg 5 minutes later, concurrent with starting a continuous lidocaine infusion at a rate of 2 mg/minute. After 7 hours the infusion was stopped a milk sample was provided. The breastmilk contained 800 mcg/L of lidocaine; metabolites were not measured.
A woman received 20 mg of lidocaine with 5 mg of epinephrine (2 mL of a 2% lidocaine with 0.5% epinephrine) injected for a dental procedure 3 days postpartum. Milk levels 2 hours after the injection were 66 mcg/L of lidocaine and 35 mcg/L of its MEGX metabolite. At 6.5 hours after the dose, the levels were 44 mcg/L and 41 mcg/L, respectively.
Twenty-two women received epidural lidocaine 2% and bupivacaine 0.5% for pain control during cesarean delivery. Lidocaine dosage averaged 183 mg (range 60 to 500 mg). Average milk lidocaine concentrations were 860 mcg/L at 2 hours after delivery, 460 mcg/L at 4 hours after delivery and 220 mcg/L at 12 hours after delivery.
A woman undergoing tumescent liposuction received 4.2 g of lidocaine into her fat. Seventeen hours after the procedure, a milk lidocaine level was 550 mcg/L. It was previously shown that maximum serum lidocaine concentrations occur at about this time.
Six women were given 3.6 mL of lidocaine 2% without epinephrine and a seventh received lidocaine 2% without epinephrine 4.5 mL and 7.2 mL on 2 separate occasions for dental procedures. Milk lidocaine concentrations averaged 120.5 mcg/L at 3 hours after the dose and 58.3 mcg/L 6 hours after the dose. Milk MEGX levels were 97.5 and 52.7 mcg/L at 3 and 6 hours after the dose, respectively. Using the average daily intake reported in this study, an exclusively breastfed infant would receive 0.9% of the maternal weight-adjusted dosage of lidocaine and another 0.8% in the form of the metabolite MEGX.
Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
Lidocaine in doses ranging from 60 to 500 mg administered to the mother by intrapleural or epidural routes during delivery had no effect on their 14 infants who were either breastfed or received their mother's breastmilk by bottle.
Possible Effects on Lactation
A randomized study compared three groups of women undergoing elective cesarean section who received subcutaneous infusion of 20 mL of A randomized study compared three groups of women undergoing elective cesarean section who received subcutaneous infusion of 20 mL of lidocaine 1% plus epinephrine 1:100:000 at the incision site. One group received the lidocaine before incision, one group received the lidocaine after the incision, and the third received 10 mL before the incision and 10 mL after. Women in the pre-and post-incision administration group initiated breastfeeding earlier than those in the pre-incision administration (3.4 vs 4.1 hours). There was no difference between the post-incision administration group and the other groups in time to breastfeeding initiation.
A national survey of women and their infants from late pregnancy through 12 months postpartum compared the time of lactogenesis II in mothers who did and did not receive pain medication during labor. Categories of medication were spinal or epidural only, spinal or epidural plus another medication, and other pain medication only. Women who received medications from any of the categories had about twice the risk of having delayed lactogenesis II (>72 hours) compared to women who received no labor pain medication.
Alternate Drugs to Consider
1. Zeisler JA, Gaarder TD, De Mesquita SA. Lidocaine excretion in breast milk. Drug Intell Clin Pharm. 1986;20:691-3. PMID: 3757781
2. Ortega D, Viviand X et al. Excretion of lidocaine and bupivacaine in breast milk following epidural anesthesia for cesarean delivery. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1999;43:394-7. PMID: 10225071
3. Dryden RM, Lo MW. Breast milk lidocaine levels in tumescent liposuction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2000;105:2267-8. Letter. PMID: 10839430
4. Lebedevs TH, Wojnar-Horton RE et al. Excretion of lignocaine and its metabolite monoethylglycinexylidide in breast milk following its use in a dental procedure. A case report. J Clin Peridontol. 1993;20:606-8. PMID: 8408724
5. Giuliani M, Grossi GB et al. Could local anesthesia while breast-feeding be harmful to infants? J Pediatric Gastroenterol Nutr. 2001;32:142-4. PMID: 11321382
6. Fouladi RF, Navali N, Abbassi A. Pre-incisional, post-incisional and combined pre- and post-incisional local wound infiltrations with lidocaine in elective caesarean section delivery: A randomised clinical trial. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2013;33:54-9. PMID: 23259880
7. Lind JN, Perrine CG, Li R. Relationship between use of labor pain medications and delayed onset of lactation. J Hum Lact. 2014;30:167-73. PMID: 24451212
CAS Registry Number
- Local Anesthetics
LactMed Record Number
Information from the National Library of Medicine's LactMed Database.
Last Revision Date
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