Want to find out about Lidocaine?
Many people today commonly use lidocaine but don’t know much about it. So what is lidocaine? Lidocaine is a common local or topical anesthetic and antiarrhythmic drug that’s been available in the market since 1948. As a topical anesthetic, Lidocaine can be applied on the skin to help ease the itching, burning, skin inflammation pain, and produce numbness. In cases like you’re having a tooth extracted, or a minor surgery, the dentist or doctor may use lidocaine to give numbness to your tissues before a procedure.
If you are keen to know about what is lidocaine, you could just purchase it over the counter without the need of a doctor prescription and it comes in a variety of forms: gel, cream, spray, patch, and injectable..
What Is Lidocaine: How It Works?
Lidocaine works by stopping the pain signal sent by the nerve endings on the skin, thus providing a feeling of numbness after 20-30 seconds of application; depending on the drug’s strength, the effect takes 30 minutes or more. Lidocaine is not applicable for internal use, so it is intended to be applied carefully in mucous membranes. For example, when using lidocaine for dental procedures, applying it using a cotton swab with just the right amount on a tooth or in gum area is the best way.
What Is Lidocaine: Its Uncommon Uses
• Helps Relieve The Squeeze of a Mammogram
Lidocaine is found useful for women ages 40+ who delay or skip getting annual mammogram. By just applying 5% Lidocaine cream to their breast and on surrounding chest skin, they may find some relief from the pain of compression. A study conducted at St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute in Boise, Idaho tested 418 women who had delayed mammograms due to anticipated pain by giving them a couple of premedications. The 418 women were separated into groups that took acetaminophen, ibuprofen, a topical 5% Lidocaine gel, or an oral or topical placebo. The group of women who took the Lidocaine treatment said that they have significantly less pain than they had anticipated, and agreed that because of the experience, it led them to consider following a regular annual mammogram. The Lidocaine cream was directly applied to the skin for 30 – 60 minutes before each mammogram, and was cleaned up and removed right before imaging. Just remember that if you use any cream or gel on your breast skin prior to a mammogram, it should be thoroughly removed before imaging, since not doing so may cause your breast to slide, and give unclear or inaccurate results.
• Relieves Needle Stings
Chemotherapy patients get stuck with needles several times a week, such as needles for blood draws, needles for injections of Procrit and Neupogen, and needles for chemo infusions. Some needle stings are bearable like the sting of the blood needle, but there are also some that are not like chemo needles. Chemo needles are very uncomfortable , particularly since it has to stay in place for a long time. When having chemo infusions, it is best to apply a pea-sized dose of 5% Lidocaine cream on their port bump 30-45 minutes before the procedure and then cover it with a bandage in order to keep it away from air and in contact with clothing. Just before the infusion, make sure to remove the bandage and clean off the gel from port site.
• Helps Ease Bowel Movements
Chemotherapy patients can experience different kinds of side effects, which includes constipation. The chemo drugs and some anti-nausea medications taken by patients can slow peristalsis, a series of wave-like muscle contractions that moves solid and fluids to different stations in the digestive tract. The longer your food stays in the digestive tract, the drier it gets, which can result to dry and stiff stool. Patients who suffer from mucositis have slow bowel movements and tender rectum, causing it pain and hemorrhoids. Applying a Lidocaine cream to the tip of a suppository (Preparation H or Calmol 4) 30 minutes before a bowel movement can help provide lubrication and ease the pain. If needed, you may also apply a lidocaine cream on the skin around the anus to ease the pain.
Since now that you have an idea about Lidocaine, next time somebody asks you “what is lidocaine?”, you already know the answer.