What is an I.V. Lidocaine infusion?
An I.V. Lidocaine infusion is an infusion of Lidocaine (local anesthetic) run into the bloodstream by way of an intravenous line. It is typically ordered by your doctor for neuropathic (nerve) pain or central pain syndromes that have not responded to other treatments. If effective in treating your pain it may have to be repeated to obtain long-term benefit. If short-term benefit is obtained but can’t be prolonged with repeat infusions, a pill form (Mexilitene) may be tried after an EKG is obtained.
What are the risks of the procedure?
The risks of the procedure, though infrequent and generally dose related, include irregular heart rhythm, seizure, coma, and death. There is also a low risk of allergy to the medication. It is not unusual to get lightheadedness, dizziness, and slurred speech during the infusion. These are temporary and resolve quickly when the infusion rate is lowered or stopped.
What to expect during the procedure?
The only discomfort associated with the procedure is the start of the intravenous line. Local anesthetic is used to numb the skin before the I.V. line is placed. The anesthetic stings/burns when injected.