Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that relieves pain by blocking nerve signals from sending messages to the brain. It's commonly used to relieve pain caused by sunburn, cuts and scrapes, rashes, insect bites, cold sores, hemorrhoids, and injuries to the eye or throat.
It's available in a variety of forms, including liquids, creams, ointments, sprays, and patches. Most come in over-the-counter form.
You should use lidocaine exactly as directed by your doctor. Your dose will depend on your medical condition, response to treatment, and other factors. In children, it is usually based on age and weight. You should not use more than 4 doses of this medication in a 24-hour period.
Always tell your doctor about all of the medicines you are taking, whether prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal. Taking certain other medications with lidocaine may increase your risk of side effects or make the medication less effective.
When you take lidocaine, your red blood cells may not be able to carry enough oxygen to your body's tissues. This can cause you to appear pale, have low energy, or have shortness of breath.
Other serious side effects of lidocaine include confusion, seizures, coma, and cardiac arrest. You should get medical help right away if you experience any of these symptoms after using lidocaine.
Lidocaine is usually applied to a small area of the skin, such as a lip or foot. It starts to numb the area within 5 minutes after it is applied. This numbness will usually wear off after a few hours. Avoid applying the medication to areas that are sensitive to sunlight or where it can get soaked by water. It is also best to not use it near or on open wounds.