Chronic Pain Medicine

Lidocaine to treat chronic pain

This post originally appeared on Medical News Bulletin.

Lidocaine was first used to treat chronic pain in the early 1940’s, and has since been used to treat multiple forms of chronic pain including diabetic neuropathy and other pain syndromes.1 Lidocaine can be given as an injection, IV infusions, or a patch.

How does lidocaine work?

Lidocaine works to reduce pain by blocking sodium channels, which are involved in pain signals in neuropathic pain.1 Lidocaine also works through other mechanisms. For example, lidocaine has anti-inflammatory effects.1 These properties make lidocaine a useful treatment for chronic neuropathic pain.1

Can lidocaine make you feel tired?

Lidocaine can have some side effects, including making you feel tired. Some other side effects that are often associated with lidocaine treatment include low blood pressure, skin irritation, nausea, dizziness, and headache.2

More serious side effects that can sometimes occur include severe allergic reactions, seizures, and abnormal heart rhythm or heart attack.2 Lidocaine can also interact with other medications, so it’s important to speak with your doctor about all of your health conditions and medications (including supplements), to make sure this treatment is right for you.

How long does the pain relief last?

The effects of lidocaine can last up to three hours, after this, the effects of lidocaine begin to wear off. Pain relief that has been associated with lidocaine treatment for chronic pain has been reported to last for two day, to as long as 25 days.3

When lidocaine doesn’t work

If lidocaine doesn’t work for you, speak with your doctor about alternative pain medications and treatments. Chronic pain is a complex medical condition and can be different for everyone. Often, there is no single effective treatment for chronic pain, and your doctor may prescribe more than one medication to help manage your pain.

References:

  1. Kandil, E., Melikman, E., & Adinoff, B. (2017). Lidocaine Infusion: A Promising Therapeutic Approach for Chronic Pain. Journal of anesthesia & clinical research8(1), 697. https://doi.org/10.4172/2155-6148.1000697
  2. Lidocaine https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_lidocaine_lidopen/drugs-condition.htm
  3. Petersen P, Kastrup J, Zeeberg I, Boysen G. Chronic pain treatment with intravenous lidocaine. Neurol Res. 1986 Sep;8(3):189-90. doi: 10.1080/01616412.1986.11739753. PMID: 2877413.
  4. Image by Thanks for your Like • donations welcome from Pixabay

This post originally appeared on Medical News Bulletin.

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