Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Mar 7, 2020.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Anesthetic, Local
Chemical Class: Amino Amide
Uses for lidocaine
Lidocaine injection is used to numb the skin before certain painful procedures such as drawing blood or inserting an intravenous line.
Lidocaine belongs to the family of medicines called local anesthetics. Lidocaine prevents pain by blocking the signals at the nerve endings in the skin. Lidocaine does not cause loss of consciousness as general anesthetics do when used for surgery.
Lidocaine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.
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 have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of lidocaine injection in children younger than 3 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of lidocaine injection in the elderly.
Studies in women suggest that this medication poses minimal risk to the infant when used during breastfeeding.
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. When you are receiving lidocaine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using lidocaine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using lidocaine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Bupivacaine Liposome
- St John's Wort
Using lidocaine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
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:
- Bleeding problems or
- Blood clotting problems—Use with caution. May increase the risk of bleeding through the skin where the needle is placed.
- Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency or
- Heart problems or
- Lung or breathing problems or
- Methemoglobinemia (blood disorder), hereditary or idiopathic (unknown cause)—Use with caution. May increase risk of having methemoglobinemia.
- Liver disease, severe or
- Pseudocholinesterase deficiency (a genetic disease)—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper use of lidocaine
A nurse or other trained health professional will give you lidocaine in a medical facility. Lidocaine is given by placing a special round device on your skin. The device pushes the medicine into the skin, and does not use a needle to do this. You or your child will hear a popping sound when the medicine is given.
Lidocaine is for use on the skin only. It will not be used on skin areas that have cuts or scrapes. Do not get it into your eyes, nose, or mouth. If it does get on these areas, rinse it off right away.
Precautions while using lidocaine
It is very important that your doctor check you or your child's progress closely to make sure lidocaine is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for any problems or unwanted effects that may be caused by lidocaine.
Lidocaine may cause a rare, but serious blood problem called methemoglobinemia. The risk may be increased in children younger than 6 months of age, elderly patients, or patients with certain inborn defects. It is more likely to occur in patients receiving too much of the medicine, but can also occur with small amounts. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child has the following symptoms after receiving lidocaine: pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nails, confusion, headache, lightheadedness, fast heartbeat, or unusual tiredness or weakness.
Do not let your child get any of the medicine in the mouth. Lidocaine can cause serious side effects, especially in children, if any of it gets into the mouth and is swallowed.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
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:
- Flushing or redness of the skin
- itching skin
- small red or purple spots on the skin
- unusually warm skin
- Bruising, bleeding, burning, swelling, or pain at the application site
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:
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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about lidocaine
- Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 10 Reviews
- Drug class: group I antiarrhythmics
- FDA Alerts (7)
- Lidocaine injection
- Lidocaine IV Solution
- Lidocaine Injection Solution (Anesthetic)
- Lidocaine Injection (Advanced Reading)