lidocaine (Topical application route)Pronunciation
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Lida Mantle
- LMX 4
- LMX 5
- Solarcaine Cool Aloe
- Solarcaine First Aid Lidocaine Spray
- Solarcaine Lidocaine First Aid Spray
Available Dosage Forms:
- Patch, Extended Release
- Aerosol Liquid
Therapeutic Class: Anesthetic, Local
Chemical Class: Amino Amide
Uses For lidocaine
Lidocaine is used on different parts of the body to cause numbness or loss of feeling for patients having certain medical procedures. It is also used to relieve pain and itching caused by conditions such as sunburn or other minor burns, insect bites or stings, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, minor cuts, or scratches.
Lidocaine belongs to a group of medicines known as topical local anesthetics. It deadens the nerve endings in the skin. lidocaine does not cause unconsciousness as general anesthetics do when used for surgery.
lidocaine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using lidocaine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For lidocaine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to lidocaine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of lidocaine in children. However, because of lidocaine's toxicity, it should be used with caution, after other medicines have been considered or found ineffective. Recommended doses should not be exceeded, and the patient should be carefully monitored during therapy.
No information is available on the relationship of age to the effects of lidocaine in geriatric patients. However, because of lidocaine's toxicity, it should be used with caution, after other medicines have been considered or found ineffective. Recommended doses should not be exceeded, and the patient should be carefully monitored during therapy.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of lidocaine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Heart block or
- Shock, severe—Use with caution.
- Infection at or near the place of application or
- Large sores, broken skin, or severe injury at the area of application—Use with caution. The chance of side effects may be increased.
Proper Use of lidocaine
Use lidocaine exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not use it for any other condition without first checking with your doctor. lidocaine may cause unwanted effects if it is used too much, because more of it is absorbed into the body through the skin.
A nurse or other trained health care professional will give you lidocaine before having a medical procedure.
Wash your hands with soap and water before and after using lidocaine.
Unless otherwise directed by your doctor, do not apply lidocaine to open wounds, burns, or broken or inflamed skin.
lidocaine should only be used for problems being treated by your doctor. Check with your doctor before using it for other problems, especially if you think that an infection may be present. lidocaine should not be used to treat certain kinds of skin infections or serious problems, such as severe burns.
Be careful not to get any of lidocaine in your eyes, because it can cause severe eye irritation. If any of the medicine does get in the eyes, wash the eyes with water for at least 15 minutes and check with your doctor right away.
The dose of lidocaine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of lidocaine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For topical dosage form (ointment):
- For pain and itching caused by minor skin conditions:
- Adults—Apply to the affected area three or four times a day. The largest amount of ointment that should be used in a single application is 5 grams. If you use the 5% ointment, this is about 6 inches of ointment from the tube.
- Children—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor.
- For pain and itching caused by minor skin conditions:
If you miss a dose of lidocaine, apply it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using lidocaine
It is very important that your doctor check you closely for any problems or unwanted effects that may be caused by lidocaine.
If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
After applying lidocaine to the skin of your child, watch the child carefully to make sure that he or she does not get any of the medicine in the eyes or mouth. Lidocaine can cause serious side effects, especially in children, if it gets into the mouth and is swallowed.
Stop using lidocaine and check with your doctor right away if you have a skin rash, burning, stinging, swelling, or irritation of your skin.
If you are using lidocaine in the mouth or throat, do not eat or drink anything for one hour after using it. When lidocaine is applied to these areas, it may cause swallowing and choking problems. Do not chew gum or food while your mouth or throat feels numb after you use lidocaine. You may accidentally bite your tongue or the inside of your cheeks.
Do not use cosmetics or other skin care products on the treated skin areas.
lidocaine Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:Incidence not known
- Blurred vision
- chest pain or discomfort
- cold, clammy, or pale skin
- difficult or troubled breathing
- difficulty with swallowing
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position suddenly
- false or unusual sense of well-being
- fast heartbeat
- hives or welts
- irregular, fast or slow, or shallow breathing
- lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
- mood or mental changes
- no blood pressure or pulse
- pale or blue lips, fingernails, or skin
- puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
- redness of the skin
- shakiness in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
- shortness of breath
- skin rash
- slow heart rate
- slow or irregular heartbeat
- stopping of heart
- tightness in the chest
- trembling or shaking of the hands or feet
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:Incidence not known
- Cold or numbness
- continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
- double vision
- hearing loss
- heat sensation
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
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