AskDefine | Define lidocaine

Dictionary Definition

lidocaine n : a local anesthetic (trade names Lidocaine and Xylocaine) used topically on the skin and mucous membranes [syn: Xylocaine]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A local anesthetic that is also used as a antiarrhythmic drug


Extensive Definition

Lidocaine (INN) () or lignocaine (former BAN) (/ˈlɪgnoʊkeɪn/) is a common local anesthetic and antiarrhythmic drug. Lidocaine is used topically to relieve itching, burning and pain from skin inflammations, injected as a dental anesthetic, and in minor surgery. The most commonly encountered lidocaine preparations are marketed by Abraxis Pharmaceutical Products under the brand names Xylocaine and Xylocard, and as 'Lanacane' topical ointment in the UK, though lidocaine is also found in many other proprietary preparations.


Lidocaine, the first amino amide-type local anesthetic, was first synthesized under the name xylocaine by Nils Löfgren in 1943. His colleague Bengt Lundqvist made the first injection anesthesia experiments on himself.. With sufficient blockade, the membrane of the presynaptic neuron will not depolarize and so fail to transmit an action potential, leading to its anesthetic effects. Careful titration allows for a high degree of selectivity in the blockage of sensory neurons, whereas higher concentrations will also affect other modalities of neuron signaling.

Clinical use


Indications for the use of lidocaine include:
Topical lidocaine has been shown to relieve postherpetic neuralgia in some patients, although there is not enough study evidence to recommend it as a first-line treatment. (Khaliq et al., 2007)
Intravenous/Intraosseous Used to blunt effects of laryngoscopy during rapid sequence intubation procedures, especially in cases of head injury.


Contraindications for the use of lidocaine include:

Adverse drug reactions

Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are rare when lidocaine is used as a local anesthetic and is administered correctly. Most ADRs associated with lidocaine for anesthesia relate to administration technique (resulting in systemic exposure) or pharmacological effects of anesthesia, but allergic reactions can rarely occur..
Systemic exposure to excessive quantities of lidocaine mainly result in central nervous system (CNS) and cardiovascular effects – CNS effects usually occur at lower blood plasma concentrations and additional cardiovascular effects present at higher concentrations, though cardiovascular collapse may also occur with low concentrations. CNS effects may include CNS excitation (nervousness, tingling around the mouth, tinnitus, tremor, dizziness, blurred vision, seizures) followed by depression, and with increasingly heavier exposure: drowsiness, loss of consciousness, respiratory depression and apnea). Cardiovascular effects include hypotension, bradycardia, arrhythmias, and/or cardiac arrest – some of which may be due to hypoxemia secondary to respiratory depression. (Rossi, 2006)
ADRs associated with the use of intravenous lidocaine are similar to toxic effects from systemic exposure above. These are dose-related and more frequent at high infusion rates (≥3 mg/minute). Common ADRs include: headache, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, visual disturbances, tinnitus, tremor, and/or paraesthesia. Infrequent ADRs associated with the use of lidocaine include: hypotension, bradycardia, arrhythmias, cardiac arrest, muscle twitching, seizures, coma, and/or respiratory depression. (Rossi, 2006)

Insensitivity to lidocaine

Relative insensitivity to lidocaine runs in families. In hypokalemic sensory overstimulation, relative insensitivity to lidocaine has been described in people who also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In dental anesthesia, a relative insensitivity to lidocaine can occur for anatomical reasons due to unexpected positions of nerves.

Dosage forms

Lidocaine, usually in the form of lidocaine hydrochloride, is available in various forms including:
  • Injected local anesthetic (sometimes combined with epinephrine)
  • Dermal patch (sometimes combined with prilocaine)
  • Intravenous injection (sometimes combined with epinephrine)
  • Intravenous infusion
  • Nasal instillation/spray (combined with phenylephrine)
  • Oral gel (often referred to as "viscous lidocaine" or abbreviated "lidocaine visc" or "lidocaine hcl visc" in pharmacology; used as teething gel)
  • Oral liquid
  • Topical gel (as with Aloe Vera gels that include Lidocaine)
  • Topical liquid
  • Topical patch (Lidocaine 5% patch is marketed as "Lidoderm" in the US (since 1999) and "Versatis" in the UK (since 2007 by Grünenthal))

Additive in cocaine

Lidocaine is often added to cocaine as a diluent. Cocaine numbs the gums when applied, and since lidocaine causes stronger gingival numbness, customers get the impression of high-quality cocaine when in actuality, the user is receiving a diluted product.


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  • Rossi S, editor. Australian Medicines Handbook 2006. Adelaide: Australian Medicines Handbook; 2006. ISBN 0-9757919-2-3

Cinematic References

lidocaine in Arabic: ليدوكائين
lidocaine in Urdu: Lignocaine
lidocaine in Czech: Lidokain
lidocaine in Danish: Lidokain
lidocaine in German: Lidocain
lidocaine in Turkish: Lidocaine
lidocaine in Spanish: Lidocaína
lidocaine in French: Lidocaïne
lidocaine in Croatian: Lidokain
lidocaine in Hungarian: Lidokain
lidocaine in Italian: Lidocaina
lidocaine in Dutch: Lidocaïne
lidocaine in Japanese: リドカイン
lidocaine in Polish: Lidokaina
lidocaine in Portuguese: Lidocaína
lidocaine in Romanian: Lidocaină
lidocaine in Serbian: Лидокаин
lidocaine in Finnish: Lidokaiini
lidocaine in Swedish: Lidokain
lidocaine in Chinese: 利多卡因
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