What is Lidocaine?

For those who already experienced undergoing surgery, you might be familiar with the use of anesthetics. Anesthetic is known for its numbing effects; it creates an absence in the pain sensation felt in a specific part of the body. This medication is often used in surgical procedures to prevent the body from feeling any pain temporarily. With the help of anesthetics, it would be easier for us to undergo surgeries and overcome the fear of discomfort during an operation.

Interestingly, there are many types of anesthetics, wherein each of them has a specific effect on the body. Despite the uniqueness of anesthetics, they still serve a similar purpose, which is to create an absence of pain. Among the several anesthetics in the market, there is one known for its availability and effectiveness; it is no other than “lidocaine.”

Lidocaine is an anesthetic under the amino amide type. It is among the most common anesthetics in the market, with more than two million prescriptions in the United States alone. With this significant amount of prescriptions, it is no doubt this medication earned a solid reputation as an effective anesthetic.

More into its properties, lidocaine is a powerful medication that could begin to work within several minutes, which could last for two to three hours. This anesthetic could be applied directly to the skin or through the veins with the help of a syringe. Either way, lidocaine would give a potent numbing effect into the area where it is applied, and for a more powerful impact, it is usually used with a small amount of adrenaline.

Side Effects of Lidocaine

However, along with its beneficial effects come to a lot of adverse effects on the body. The side effects range from a simple headache to more severe conditions, such as seizures and so on. Although side effects are not always present after using lidocaine, it can still cause an unpleasant user experience. Adverse Drug Reactions, also known as ADR, occurs in a person’s body when a specific drug is not used correctly. It is not always typical for a person to experience ADR, but most people who experience it is most probably caused by improper dosage and usage. Here is a list of side effects caused by lidocaine:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Skin irritation
  • Swelling
  • Low blood pressure
  • Allergy

As mentioned earlier, the side effects of lidocaine are not limited to headaches. Some adverse effects caused by lidocaine impose a threat to the user’s life and overall health. If not appropriately used, lidocaine could bring serious health problems to the users. Other severe conditions caused by lidocaine include:

  • Seizures
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Severe allergy

These are only some of the lidocaine’s side effects; other effects might be present after use. It is essential to consult a physician for more information about this medication’s adverse effects on the body.

Origins of the Lidocaine

Now that we already know the uses and side effects of lidocaine let us now look into its history. We can trace back the origins of lidocaine to the mid-20th century, wherein it was discovered by the Swedish chemist Nils Lofgren. He developed the medication in 1943, which was initially called “xylocaine.” It was regarded as the first anesthetic under the amino amide-type. Experiments were made to test the drug’s effectiveness; the colleague of Lofgren, named Bengt Lundqvist, was responsible for conducting the first injection trial, where he tried to inject the anesthesia on himself. The development was a success, which led to its introduction to the public market in 1949.

Since its creation, lidocaine rapidly gained recognition for its incredible effects on the body. Because of its commonality, lidocaine is also available in generic form. Its popularity skyrocketed in different parts of the globe, which made it included in the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. Today, lidocaine is still considered one of the most significant types of anesthetic medication. It is used by millions worldwide, giving the users an easier and more comfortable sensation when undergoing surgery.