How long does Lidocaine last?

How Long Does Lidocaine Last – Do you often have nightmares involving the dentist’s chair and the sound of drills? You are certainly not alone; the thought of somebody getting a drill close to sensitive areas like your teeth is scary. With modern medication, pain does not have to be a part of the scary process. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that ensures you do not feel a thing. Read more to find out about it and how long does Lidocaine last? 

What is Lidocaine?

Lidocaine is an anesthetic used for numbing a particular area. It leads to losing the feeling or sensation in the area it is applied. It can numb the area and reduce pain from a medical procedure. It also has applications in treating burns of minor degrees, scrapes, and insect bites. Know more about How Long Does Lidocaine Last?

This medication is used by way of physically applying it on the skin. It may be used on the mouth, nose, and throat areas. It would help if You used it at most directed by the physician. You should consult a pediatrician before using it, and you need to take extra care with kids.

It is available in different forms, such as gel, spray, cream, lotion, ointment, liquid, and skin patches. The mouth must not take it. 

How long does Lidocaine last?

This depends on several factors. Usually, Lidocaine begins numbing a particular area in 90 seconds and lasts for around 90 minutes and longer. But it can vary depending on the following factors: 

  • Individual-to-individual: every individual reacts differently to the drug. Pre-existing medical conditions can affect the breakdown of the drug, which can make it last for a shorter period or prolong its effects. Some people are less sensitive to anesthetics and may require a high dosage than others. 
  • Dosage amount: the dosage given can directly affect the period of numbness. The amount depends on the procedure’s nature and the number of nerves involved. For instance, a common procedure where Lidocaine is used is by dentists for treating various teeth issues. A simple tooth filling might require less time, whereas a procedure like a root canal might require a higher dosage. 
  • Infections: if Lidocaine is used on an area that is already infected, it might alter its effects, making it less effective. The infection makes the tissue acidic, which reduces a drug’s effectiveness. In such cases, a high dosage does the job. 

Also Read: Are Dental Implants Safe? Everything You Need to Know

How does Lidocaine work?

Lidocaine is primarily a numbing agent. It narrows your blood vessels so that less blood flows toward the area it is applied on, thus creating a feeling of numbness. They also include various chemicals to maintain the constriction ensuring the numbness lasts longer. Sodium hydroxide, an ingredient of the drug, helps it work, and sodium chloride helps the drug penetrate your blood. 

Precautions Before Taking Lidocaine – 

If you have any of the following conditions, you must inform your doctor beforehand. 

  • Issues related to the heart
  • Skin infections, damaged or cut skin 
  • Allergic reactions to Lidocaine 
  • Pregnancy 
  • If you are breastfeeding. 

Also Read: How Long Does Lignocaine Last?

Things to bear in mind while taking Lidocaine – 

As Lidocaine numbs the area it is applied on; you must be careful not to accidentally injure yourself. Avoid eating or chewing gum if the medication is used in areas spanning your mouth or throat. Due to the numbness, you risk choking or biting your tongue when chewing or swallowing. You might not feel the burning sensation from hot food and drinks, and it might scorch your tongue. 

Lidocaine should not be applied to areas in the skin which have an infection or are damaged and open due to a cut. It might increase the amount of medication penetrating the skin and increase the risk of side effects. 

Availability of Lidocaine – 

Lidocaine is only available through a prescription; it is a local anesthetic and works by blocking the nerve endings only in the area to which it is applied. Because it is not a general anesthetic, it does not have addictive properties. 

It contains methyl salicylate making it an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug). NSAIDs can, in some cases, increase the risks of cardiac arrests or stroke. They are also reported to cause stomach and intestinal bleeding. Thus, it must be avoided if you have recently undergone a heart bypass surgery.

Side effects of Lidocaine – 

Lidocaine does not usually have intense side effects, but the following might show up in some individuals:

  • Allergic reactions in the skin like rashes, itching, and swelling in the lips, face, or tongue. 
  • Issues in breathing
  • Changes in vision 
  • Dizziness, confusion, or restlessness
  • Drowsiness 
  • Fever accompanied by headaches 
  • Irregular heartbeat 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Tremors

FAQs –

What does Lidocaine do?

Lidocaine is an anesthetic used to numb an area after a medical procedure or to provide relief from pain by numbing the area. 

What are a few common brands of Lidocaine?

Common lidocaine medications available in the market are under names such as Proctocalm, Ligonheal, and Xylocaine. 

Is Lidocaine safe?

Yes, Lidocaine is a safe medicine used commonly by medical professionals

What is the dosage of Lidocaine to be used?

Lidocaine dosage should not exceed 1.2 ml at a time. Apply a cotton swab on the required area and reuse it as needed. Ensure a gap of two to three hours between each dosage. 

Can Lidocaine make me sleepy?

Drowsiness is one of the common side effects of Lidocaine. You must consult your doctor if these symptoms are extreme or long-lasting. 

Final Takeaway –

Lidocaine is a local anesthetic used to numb a specific area before a medical procedure. It is available in gel, spray, and liquid forms and can be directly applied to the skin. Those who are wondering, “How long does Lidocaine last?” are not alone in their concern. You should know that the effects of Lidocaine endure for at least 90 minutes. 

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