Lidocaine: Uses & Side Effects

Lidocaine is a local anesthetic. It works by blocking nerve signals in your body.

Lidocaine injection is used to numb an area of your body to help reduce pain or discomfort caused by invasive medical procedures such as surgery, needle punctures, or insertion of a catheter or breathing tube.

Lidocaine injection is sometimes used to treat irregular heart rhythms that may signal a possible heart attack.

Lidocaine injection is also given in an epidural (spinal block) to reduce the discomfort of contractions during labor.

Lidocaine injection may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

A healthcare provider will give you this injection. When used to treat heart rhythm problems, lidocaine is given as an infusion into a vein. When used as a local anesthetic, lidocaine is injected through the skin directly into the body area to be numbed.

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving lidocaine injection in a hospital setting.

Side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Tell your caregiver right away if you have:

  • twitching, tremors, seizure (convulsions);
  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, weak or shallow breathing;
  • sudden feeling of warmth with muscle stiffness and pain;
  • dark urine;
  • blue appearance of the skin; or
  • severe anxiety, unusual fear or uneasy feeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • drowsiness, dizziness;
  • vomiting;
  • feeling hot or cold;
  • confusion, ringing in your ears, blurred vision, double vision; or
  • numbness in places where the medicine is accidentally applied.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.