What is lidocaine?

Lidocaine is a type of anesthetic that causes numbness and loss of feeling. It is used during medical procedures and as a home relief for mild skin discomfort. It is available in many forms. As an injection, lidocaine is only available by prescription and will be administered by a doctor or other healthcare provider in a sterile environment before a procedure. The injection can be administered to whatever region will be affected, and you will not be able to feel pain. Lidocaine can also be administered topically. This may be in the form of ointment, cream, lotion, foam, gel, patch or spray. Depending on purpose and strength, topical lidocaine is available in both prescription and over-the-counter strength. Medical procedures that involve the skin or tissues will require the potency of prescription lidocaine. A doctor will administer this. Over-the-counter lidocaine is used for burns, insect bites, poisonous plant reactions and minor scratches. Lidocaine is in a drug class of anti-arrhythmics and works as an anesthetic by deadening nerves in the skin so they do not transmit pain messages.

Continue Learning about Anesthetic Agent

How does a combined spinal-epidural block work?
American Society of AnesthesiologistsAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists
A combined spinal-epidural block during labor and delivery has the benefits of pain relief from both...
More Answers
How do topical anesthetics relieve itchy skin?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
Topical anesthetics are medications that help soothe itchy or irritated skin. They work by numbing t...
More Answers
How is conscious sedation administered?
American Society of AnesthesiologistsAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists
Sedation analgesia or conscious sedation -- a semi-conscious state that allows patients to be comfor...
More Answers
What animal studies have been done to test the effects of anesthetics?
SmartTots-Pediatric Anesthesia Research InitiativeSmartTots-Pediatric Anesthesia Research Initiative
"In one of the earliest studies of anesthetic neurodegeneration in rodents, researchers demonstrated...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.