Last revised by Christopher Bong on 14 Aug 2023

Lidocaine, also known as lignocaine or its tradename Xylocaine, is a very commonly used amino amide local anesthetic in interventional radiology. It also has a wide range of medical applications. In practice, it is found in concentrations of 1%, 2% or as a combination with epinephrine.

  • local anesthetic

    • rapid onset of action with intermediate duration of action

    • infiltration, surface anesthesia or nerve blocks

    • transdermal patch (used in shingles)

  • antiarrhythmic drug

    • class 1b

    • IV route of administration for ventricular arrhythmias

  • prolong inactivation of fast voltage-gated sodium channels in neurons which are responsible for action potential propagation thus limiting or ceasing action potential generation

  • in the heart, it raises the depolarization threshold rendering the cardiomyocytes to less likely conduct or initiate early action potential generation in the treatment of arrhythmias

  • works within 4 minutes and lasts up to 3 hours

  • metabolized by the liver (CYP3A4 enzyme)

  • half life 90-120 minutes, can be prolonged in patients with hepatic impairment or heart failure

  • excreted in urine

First made and marketed under the name of Xylocaine by Nils Lofgren, a Swedish chemist in 1943. It has been available commercially since 1949.

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