For people suffering from chronic pain there may be some relief by having a lidocain infusion.
A lidocaine infusion is when local anaesthetic is given by a pump, over a certain amount of time into a vein. It is prescribed to patients who have widespread chronic pain. Although
it is not specifically licensed for use in this way it is known to have beneficial results.
Some of the conditions that lidocain is used to treat include:
– Chronic regional pain syndrome
– Neuralgia (nerve pain)
– Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)
– Postherpetic pain
– Chronic diabetic neuropathy
– Vascular headaches
– Centralised pain
– Widespread pain
It works by decreasing the spread of pain signals in the nerve fibres, thereby reducing the pain.
You are continuously monitored during the infusion so the chances of problems arising are minimised. Fortunately serious side effects or complications are very rare.
The NHS says however, even at the recommended dose, side effects can occur. These include dizziness,headaches, drowsiness, tingling or numbness around your mouth, metallic taste, garbledspeech, tunnel vision, ringing in your ears or a tremor, a sense of being drunk and nausea. Ifany of these side effects do occur, they usually disappear once the infusion is slowed down orstopped.
Recognised potential complications of lidocaine infusions include low or high blood pressure,
a slow or fast pulse rate, irregular heartbeats, fainting, seizures, or allergic reactions to
lidocaine, which, in extremely rare cases, can lead to death.
If the treatment works, then it could mean you could decrease the number of painkillers you take and your pain could be more manageable.
Lidocaine infusions can last for weeks and often several months and be repeated with minimal side effects.
You are only in hospital for a short period of time but does involve being treated on the ward. You will stay on the ward for the whole session. You will be allowed home when they are confident you have not suffered any significant side effects.