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lidocaine 5% ointment

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Lidocaine hydrochloride is used for infiltration anesthesia and for nerve block techniques including peripheral, sympathetic, epidural (including caudal), and spinal block anesthesia. Lidocaine has been administered intraperitoneally for anesthesia of the peritoneum and pelvic viscera.

For use of lidocaine hydrochloride as an antiarrhythmic agent,

Dosage and Administration


Lidocaine hydrochloride may be administered by infiltration or by epidural (including caudal) block, peripheral or sympathetic nerve block, and subarachnoid block. The manufacturers state that only the preservative-free, epinephrine-free 0.5% lidocaine injection should be used for IV regional anesthesia. Local anesthetics, including lidocaine hydrochloride, have been administered by continuous intra-articular infusion (e.g., for control of postoperative pain); however, such use has been associated with chondrolysis. Lidocaine hydrochloride solutions containing preservatives should not be used for spinal or epidural (including caudal) block. Partially used bottles of solutions that do not contain preservatives should be discarded.

Aspiration for blood should be performed prior to injection of lidocaine hydrochloride to avoid inadvertent intravascular administration; however, a negative aspiration does not ensure protection against inadvertent intravascular injection.

Local anesthetics should only be administered by clinicians who are experienced in the diagnosis and management of dose-related toxicities and other acute emergencies associated with these agents. Resuscitative equipment, oxygen, drugs, and personnel required for treatment of adverse reactions should be immediately available when lidocaine is administered. Proper positioning of the patient is extremely important in spinal anesthesia. For specific procedures and techniques of administration, specialized references should be consulted.


Dosage of lidocaine hydrochloride varies with the anesthetic procedure, the degree of anesthesia required, and individual patient response. The usual dosages should generally be reduced in children, geriatric patients, debilitated or acutely ill patients, and patients with cardiac and/or hepatic disease. The smallest dose and lowest concentration required to produce the desired effect should be used. Use of dilute solutions (i.e., 0.25-0.5%) and total dosages not to exceed 3 mg/kg are recommended for induction of IV regional anesthesia in children.

Single doses of lidocaine hydrochloride (for anesthesia other than spinal) should not exceed 4.5 mg/kg (or 300 mg) in healthy adults or 4.5 mg/kg in children younger than 10 years of age. When administered with epinephrine, lidocaine hydrochloride doses should not exceed 7 mg/kg (or 500 mg) in healthy adults or 7 mg/kg in children younger than 10 years of age. For spinal anesthesia, up to 100 mg of the drug may be given. For continuous epidural or caudal anesthesia, the maximum dose should not be repeated at intervals of less than 1.5 hours. When continuous lumbar or caudal epidural anesthesia is used for nonobstetric procedures, additional drug may be administered if necessary to attain adequate anesthesia. For paracervical block for nonobstetric and obstetric analgesia (including abortion), the maximum recommended dosage (200 mg) should not be repeated at intervals of less than 1.5 hours. For IV regional anesthesia in adults using a 0.5% solution without epinephrine, the dose administered should not exceed 4 mg/kg.

Solutions of 1-2% lidocaine hydrochloride with or without epinephrine and containing no preservatives are used for epidural or caudal anesthesia. To prevent intravascular or subarachnoid injection of a large epidural dose of lidocaine, a test dose (e.g., 2-3 mL of a 1.5% solution) of anesthetic solution should be injected at least 5 minutes prior to administering the total dose. When clinical conditions permit, use of a test dose solution that contains epinephrine (e.g., 10-15 mcg) should be considered to detect inadvertent intravascular injection. The test dose should be repeated if the patient is moved such that the epidural catheter may have been displaced. Rapid injection of a large, single dose through a catheter should be avoided; instead, the drug should be administered, when feasible, in fractional doses. In epidural anesthesia, 2-3 mL of the indicated solution is usually required for each dermatome to be anesthetized. In caudal block for production of obstetric analgesia or in epidural thoracic block, 20-30 mL of a 1% solution (200-300 mg) of the drug may be used. For surgical anesthesia with caudal block, 15-20 mL of a 1.5% solution (225-300 mg) is given. For epidural lumbar analgesia, the dose is 25-30 mL (250-300 mg) of a 1% solution, and for epidural lumbar anesthesia, the recommended dose is 15-20 mL of a 1.5% solution (225-300 mg) or 10-15 mL of a 2% solution (200-300 mg).

A solution of 5% lidocaine hydrochloride with 7.5% dextrose is used for spinal anesthesia in adults and adolescents 16 years of age or older. For obstetric low spinal or saddle-block anesthesia in a normal vaginal delivery, the dose is approximately 1 mL (50 mg). For cesarean section or deliveries which require intrauterine manipulations, 1.5 mL of the 5% solution (75 mg) may be given. For surgical anesthesia, 1.5-2 mL of the 5% solution (75-100 mg) may be administered.

The following doses of lidocaine hydrochloride have been suggested for various nerve blocks: brachial nerve block, 15-20 mL of a 1.5% solution (225-300 mg); dental nerve block, 1-5 mL of a 2% solution (20-100 mg); intercostal nerve block, 3 mL of a 1% solution (30 mg); paravertebral nerve block, 3-5 mL of a 1% solution (30-50 mg); pudendal nerve block (each side), 10 mL of a 1% solution (100 mg); and paracervical nerve block (each side) for obstetric analgesia, 10 mL of a 1% solution (100 mg). For sympathetic nerve blocks, the following doses may be used: cervical (stellate ganglion) nerve block, 5 mL of a 1% solution (50 mg), and lumbar nerve block, 5-10 mL of a 1% solution (50-100 mg). For percutaneous infiltration anesthesia, the dose of lidocaine hydrochloride is 1-60 mL of a 0.5 or 1% solution (5-300 mg). For IV regional anesthesia, 10-60 mL of a 0.5% solution (50-300 mg) may be employed.

For retrobulbar injection, 3-5 mL of a 4% sterile solution (120-200 mg) or 1.7-3 mg/kg is suggested; a portion of the dose is injected retrobulbarly and the remainder may be used to block the facial nerve.

For transtracheal injection, 2-3 mL of a 4% solution (80-120 mg) is administered rapidly. When both transtracheal injection and topical application (oropharyngeal spray) of a 4% solution are needed to achieve complete analgesia, the combined total dose of lidocaine hydrochloride administered by injection and by oropharyngeal spray should not exceed 5 mL of a 4% solution (200 mg) or 3 mg/kg.

Lidocaine hydrochloride with or without epinephrine is used for various dental procedures by infiltration injection or nerve block. In oral infiltration and/or mandibular block, initial doses of 1-5 mL of 2% lidocaine hydrochloride (20-100 mg) with epinephrine 1:100,000 are usually effective. If greater hemostasis is required, epinephrine 1:50,000 may be used. In children younger than 10 years of age, 0.9-1 mL of 2% lidocaine hydrochloride (18-20 mg) is adequate for a procedure involving 1 tooth (local infiltration), 2-3 teeth (maxillary infiltration), or teeth in an entire quadrant (mandibular block).


Lidocaine hydrochloride shares the toxic potentials of local anesthetics, and the usual precautions of local anesthetic therapy should be observed.

Some commercially available formulations of lidocaine hydrochloride contain sodium metabisulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic-type reactions, including anaphylaxis and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes, in certain susceptible individuals. The overall prevalence of sulfite sensitivity in the general population is unknown but probably low; such sensitivity appears to occur more frequently in asthmatic than in nonasthmatic individuals.

Serious adverse effects (e.g., seizures, coma, irregular heart beat, respiratory depression) have been reported following topical application of local anesthetics to the skin. These events have occurred following application of extemporaneously prepared topical preparations containing high concentrations of anesthetics for cosmetic procedures and following use for indications approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Life-threatening adverse effects (e.g., irregular heart beat, seizures, breathing difficulties, coma, death) may occur when topical anesthetics are applied to a large area of skin, when the area of application is covered with an occlusive dressing, if a large amount of topical anesthetic is applied, if the anesthetic is applied to irritated or broken skin, or if the skin temperature increases (from exercise or use of a heating pad). When applied in such a manner, the amount of anesthetic that is absorbed systemically is unpredictable and the plasma concentrations achieved may be high enough to cause life-threatening adverse effects.

Topical application of lidocaine 4% gel has been investigated to reduce discomfort during mammography. In this study, up to 30 g of lidocaine 4% gel was applied to a wide area of the chest (from the clavicles to the inferior costal margins and laterally to the midaxillary lines) and covered with an occlusive dressing; the gel was left on the skin for an average of 48 minutes and was removed 30-65 minutes before the first mammographic film. No serious adverse effects were reported in this study; however, the study was not large enough to evaluate whether uncommon but serious reactions could occur with such use. Patients should speak with their clinician if they are considering using a topical anesthetic before obtaining a mammogram.

When a topical anesthetic is needed for a procedure, use of a preparation approved by the FDA has been recommended. A preparation containing the lowest concentration of anesthetic likely to be effective should be used; a small amount of topical anesthetic should be applied to the affected area for the shortest period necessary for the desired effect. The patient should apply the topical preparation as directed by a clinician, and should not apply the topical preparation to broken or irritated skin.


When used for block or infiltration anesthesia without epinephrine, the onset of anesthesia of lidocaine hydrochloride is more rapid and the duration of action is longer than that of an equal dose of procaine hydrochloride. When used for lumbar epidural block, the duration of action of a 2% solution of lidocaine hydrochloride is about 100 minutes. In caudal block, the duration of a 1 or 2% solution of the drug is about 75-135 minutes. When used for spinal anesthesia, 1 mL of 5% lidocaine hydrochloride solution provides motor anesthesia for about 100 minutes and sensory anesthesia for an additional 40 minutes. Administration of 1.5-2 mL of 5% lidocaine hydrochloride solution provides spinal anesthesia for 2 hours. Lidocaine produces some vasodilation and epinephrine 1:200,000 to 1:100,000 may be added to slow vascular absorption and prolong duration of action of the anesthetic.

For information on absorption, distribution, and elimination of lidocaine hydrochloride, .

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