Topical Lidocaine for Pain and Itchiness

Lidocaine is an anesthetic and antiarrhythmic. It can help treat irregular heartbeats, and also relieve the skin. Here we will be looking at lidocaine topical, though there are other forms like the injection. The injection option for lidocaine can have different side effects than the topical solution. If you are interested in the injection option, contact your doctor for more information.

What is lidocaine topical?

Lidocaine topical can be used as a cream, gel, spray, lotion, liquid, skin patch, ointment, foam, powder, or other forms that are applied to the skin. Do not ingest the topical medicine, and keep it out of the mouth, eyes, and nose. Rinse with water if you accidentally get any medicine in any place other than your skin.

Lidocaine can be found under the following brand names: Bactine, Glydo, Lidoderm, Xylocaine, and more. For a full list visit Drugs.com.

How does it work?

Lidocaine works as a numbing medication that can block nerve signals in the body. It can also help relieve irritated skin. Certain skin conditions may be painful or cause itchiness, such as from minor cuts or burns, insect bites, poison ivy, poison oak, sunburns, eczema, or hemorrhoids. Lidocaine helps by reducing symptoms associated with the conditions listed previously.

What should you know before taking the medication?

Allergies

Do not use lidocaine if you have experienced any allergic reactions to numbing creams or medicines. Let your doctor know about your experience with numbing medication, and keep them informed about your condition, especially if you have had an allergic reaction in the past. It is also important to tell your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to other medicines you have taken in the past. If you have had any severe reactions to certain foods, dyes, animals, or preservatives, make sure to let your doctor know.

Other Medications

Additionally, tell your doctor if you have had liver disease. Make sure to also relay information concerning other medicine you are taking, such as if you are taking any heart rhythm medicines.

Breast Feeding

Ask your doctor the risk associated with taking lidocaine topical and breast feeding. Do not apply the medication anywhere on the skin where it makes contact with the baby’s mouth. Keep it out of your child’s reach and do not feed it to your child.

Alcohol

There are no known reactions from drinking alcohol and using lidocaine. However, try to consume small amounts of alcohol while using lidocaine.

Side Effects

If you experience any severe side effects, get emergency medical help as soon as possible. It is possible to experience signs of an allergic reaction while using lidocaine. Signs of an allergic reaction include having trouble breathing, the skin has broken out in hives, or the face, lips, tongue, or throat has become swollen.

The following is a list of possible side effects of lidocaine:

  • stinging where the medication is applied
  • blistering
  • dry skin
  • irritation
  • burning
  • dizziness
  • tiredness
  • swelling
  • redness
  • rash
  • confusion
  • blurred vision
  • numbness
  • joint pain
  • tightness of the chest

Contact your doctor about other possible side effects. If you have had a minor reaction from the medication and it does not go away after a few days, check in with your doctor. If your condition worsens, contact your doctor immediately.

Other Important Information

Dosage

The dosage can vary depending on the form of lidocaine you are using. For example, if you are using ointment, your doctor can recommend you apply the medicine on the area of the skin about three to four times a day. On the other hand, if you are using a skin patch to help treat pain associated with shingles, your doctor can recommend using only one to three patches per twelve hours.

Forget to Take On Time

If you miss a dose or forget to change a patch, simply apply the medicine as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time to take your next dose, wait and skip the forgotten dose. It is important to take the medicine as directed and not overcompensate for the missed dose. Certain medicines that come in creams or gels should last even when they are removed after a certain amount of time.

Storage

Make sure to keep the medicine stored in a place where animals and children can not get to it. Additionally, keep it away from moisture and heat in room temperature. A patch that is kept in the heat can impact how the medicine is absorbed into the body. This can lead to an increase in the risk of serious side effects or overdose.

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