Lidocaine: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Systematic (IUPAC) name
CAS number 137-58-6
73-78-9 (hydrochloride)
ATC code N01BB02 C01BB01 D04AB01 S02DA01 C05AD01
PubChem 3676
DrugBank APRD00479
ChemSpider 3548
Chemical data
Formula C14H22N2O 
Mol. mass 234.34 g/mol
SMILES eMolecules & PubChem
Synonyms N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)-N2,N2-diethylglycinamide
Physical data
Melt. point 68 °C (154 °F)
Pharmacokinetic data
Bioavailability 35% (oral)
3% (topical)
Metabolism Hepatic, 90% CYP1A2-mediated
Half life 1.5–2 hours
Excretion renal
Therapeutic considerations
Pregnancy cat. A(AU) B(US)
Legal status Prescription Only (S4) (AU) ? (US)
Routes IV, subcutaneous, topical
 Yes check.svgY(what is this?)  (verify)

Lidocaine (INN) (pronounced /ˈlaɪdɵkeɪn/) or Xylocaine ; lignocaine (former BAN) (/ˈlɪɡnɵkeɪn/) 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 or as a local anesthetic for minor surgery.



Lidocaine, the first amino amide-type local anesthetic, was first synthesized under the name xylocaine by Swedish chemist Nils Löfgren in 1943.[1] His colleague Bengt Lundqvist performed the first injection anesthesia experiments on himself.[1] It was first marketed in 1949. Etymology: from one of its many chemical names - [alpha-Diethylamino-2,6-dimethylacetani- ] - lide + ~ocaine.


Lidocaine may be prepared in two steps by the reaction of 2,6-xylidine with chloroacetyl chloride, followed by the reaction with diethylamine:[2]

Synthesis of lidocaine.png


Lidocaine is approximately 90% metabolized (de-ethylated) in the liver by CYP1A2 (and to a minor extent CYP3A4) to the pharmacologically-active metabolites monoethylglycinexylidide and glycinexylidide.

The elimination half-life of lidocaine is approximately 1.5–2 hours in most patients. This may be prolonged in patients with hepatic impairment (average 343 minutes) or congestive heart failure (average 136 minutes).[3]



Lidocaine alters signal conduction in neurons by blocking the fast voltage gated sodium (Na+) channels in the neuronal cell membrane, which are responsible for signal propagation[4]. With sufficient blockade, the membrane of the postsynaptic neuron will not depolarize and so fail to transmit an action potential, leading to its anaesthetic 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


Topical lidocaine has been shown to relieve postherpetic neuralgia in some patients, though there is not enough study evidence to recommend it as a first-line treatment.[5] It also has uses as a temporary fix for tinnitus. Although not completely curing the illness, it has been shown to reduce the effects by around two thirds.[6]

The efficacy profile of lidocaine as a local anesthetic is characterized by a rapid onset of action and intermediate duration of efficacy. Therefore, lidocaine is suitable for infiltration, block and surface anesthesia. Longer-acting substances such as bupivacaine are sometimes given preference for spinal and peridural anesthesias; lidocaine, on the other hand, has the advantage of a rapid onset of action. Adrenaline vasoconstricts arteries and hence delays the resorption of Lidocaine, almost doubling the duration of anaesthesia. For surface anesthesia several formulations are available that can be used e.g. for endoscopies, before intubations etc.

Lidocaine is also the most important class 1B antiarrhythmic drug: it is used intravenously for the treatment of ventricular arrhythmias (for acute myocardial infarction, digitalis poisoning, cardioversion or cardiac catherization). However, a routine prophylactic administration is no longer recommended for acute cardiac infarction; the overall benefit of this measure is not convincing.

Lidocaine has also been efficient in refractory cases of status epilepticus.


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 only rarely occur.[7]

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 (also known as circumoral paraesthesia), tinnitus, tremor, dizziness, blurred vision, seizures) followed by depression, and with increasingly heavier exposure: drowsiness, loss of consciousness, respiratory depression and apnoea). Cardiovascular effects include hypotension, bradycardia, arrhythmias, and/or cardiac arrest – some of which may be due to hypoxemia secondary to respiratory depression.[8]

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.[8]

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. Some people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome are insensitive to lidocaine.[9]

Dosage forms

Lidocaine, usually in the form of lidocaine hydrochloride, is available in various forms including:

  • Injected local anesthetic (sometimes combined with epinephrine to reduce bleeding)
  • Dermal patch (sometimes combined with prilocaine)
  • Intravenous injection (sometimes combined with epinephrine to reduce bleeding)
  • 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) [10]
  • 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))
  • Topical aerosol Spray
  • Inhaled via a nebulizer

Additive in cocaine

Lidocaine is often added to cocaine as a diluent.[11] Cocaine numbs the gums when applied, and since lidocaine causes stronger numbness[12], users get the impression of high-quality cocaine when in actuality, the user is receiving a diluted product.[13]

Illegal uses

Lidocaine is not currently listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency as an illegal substance for uses in sports.

Compendial status

Notes & References

  1. ^ a b Nils Löfgren (1948). Xylocaine: a new synthetic drug. 
  2. ^ T. J. Reilly (1999). "The Preparation of Lidocaine". J. Chem. Ed. 76 (11): 1557. 
  3. ^ Thomson PD, Melmon KL, Richardson JA, et al. (1973). "Lidocaine pharmacokinetics in advanced heart failure, liver disease, and renal failure in humans". Ann. Intern. Med. 78 (4): 499–508. PMID 4694036. 
  4. ^ Catterall WA (2002). "Molecular mechanisms of gating and drug block of sodium channels". Novartis Found Symp 241: 206–32. doi:10.1002/0470846682.ch14. PMID 11771647. 
  5. ^ Khaliq W, Alam S, Puri N (2007). "Topical lidocaine for the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2): CD004846. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004846.pub2. PMID 17443559. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Template:Cite journal D Jackson, AH Chen, and CR Bennett
  8. ^ a b Rossi S, editor. Australian Medicines Handbook 2006. Adelaide: Australian Medicines Handbook; 2006. ISBN 0-9757919-2-3
  9. ^ Grahame, Rodney (2005). "Local anaesthetic failure in joint hypermobility syndrome". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 98 (2): 84–85. doi:10.1258/jrsm.98.2.84. PMID 15684369. 
  10. ^ Solarcaine topical gel, July 27, 2009
  11. ^ Naissa Prévide Bernardo, Maria Elisa Pereira Bastos Siqueira, Maria José Nunes de Paiva, Patrícia Penido Maia (2003). "Caffeine and other adulterants in seizures of street cocaine in Brazil". International Journal of Drug Policy 14 (4): 331–334. doi:10.1016/S0955-3959(03)00083-5. 
  12. ^ Howell, Kimberly. "Take a big-picture approach when dealing with corneal sensation". Retrieved 2009-04-23. "Lidocaine is more potent, with rapid diffusion and penetration." 
  13. ^ 599 F.2d 635
  14. ^ The United States Pharmacopeial Convention. "Revision Bulletin: Lidocaine and Prilocaine Cream–Revision to Related Compounds Test". Retrieved 10 July 2009. 

See also

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address