Name: Accucaine



The safety and effectiveness of lidocaine depend on proper dosage, correct technique, adequate precautions, and readiness for emergencies. Standard textbooks should be consulted for specific techniques and precautions for various regional anesthetic procedures.

Resuscitative equipment, oxygen, and other resuscitative drugs should be available for immediate use. (See WARNINGS and ADVERSE REACTIONS). The lowest dosage that results in effective anesthesia should be used to avoid high plasma levels and serious adverse effects. Syringe aspirations should also be performed before and during each supplemental injection when using indwelling catheter techniques. During the administration of epidural anesthesia, it is recommended that a test dose be administered initially and that the patient be monitored for central nervous system toxicity and cardiovascular toxicity, as well as for signs of unintended intrathecal administration before proceeding. When clinical conditions permit, consideration should be given to employing local anesthetic solutions that contain epinephrine for the test dose because circulatory changes compatible with epinephrine may also serve as a warning sign of unintended intravascular injection. An intravascular injection is still possible even if aspirations for blood are negative. Repeated doses of lidocaine may cause significant increases in blood levels with each repeated dose because of slow accumulation of the drug or its metabolites. Tolerance to elevated blood levels varies with the status of the patient. Debilitated, elderly patients, acutely ill patients and children should be given reduced doses commensurate with their age and physical condition. Lidocaine should also be used with caution in patients with severe shock or heart block. Lumbar and caudal epidural anesthesia should be used with extreme caution in persons with the following conditions: existing neurological disease, spinal deformities, septicemia and severe hypertension.

Local anesthetic solutions containing a vasoconstrictor should be used cautiously and in carefully circumscribed quantities in areas of the body supplied by end arteries or having otherwise compromised blood supply. Patients with peripheral vascular disease and those with hypertensive vascular disease may exhibit exaggerated vasoconstrictor response. Ischemic injury or necrosis may result. Preparations containing a vasoconstrictor should be used with caution in patients during or following the administration of potent general anesthetic agents, since cardiac arrhythmias may occur under such conditions.

Careful and constant monitoring of cardiovascular and respiratory (adequacy of ventilation) vital signs and the patient’s state of consciousness should be accomplished after each local anesthetic injection. It should be kept in mind at such times that restlessness, anxiety, tinnitus, dizziness, blurred vision, tremors, depression or drowsiness may be early warning signs of central nervous system toxicity.

Since amide-type local anesthetics are metabolized by the liver, lidocaine should be used with caution in patients with hepatic disease. Patients with severe hepatic disease, because of their inability to metabolize local anesthetics normally, are at greater risk of developing toxic plasma concentrations. Lidocaine should also be used with caution in patients with impaired cardiovascular function since they may be less able to compensate for functional changes associated with the prolongation of A-V conduction produced by these drugs. Many drugs used during the conduct of anesthesia are considered potential triggering agents for familial malignant hyperthermia. Since it is not known whether amide-type local anesthetics may trigger this reaction and since the need for supplemental general anesthesia cannot be predicted in advance, it is suggested that a standard protocol for the management of malignant hyperthermia should be available. Early unexplained signs of tachycardia, tachypnea, labile blood pressure and metabolic acidosis may precede temperature elevation. Successful outcome is dependent on early diagnosis, prompt discontinuance of the suspect triggering agent(s) and institution of treatment, including oxygen therapy, indicated supportive measures and dantrolene (consult dantrolene sodium intravenous package insert before using).

Proper tourniquet technique, as described in publications and standard textbooks, is essential in the performance of intravenous regional anesthesia. Solutions containing epinephrine or other vasoconstrictors should not be used for this technique.

Lidocaine should be used with caution in persons with known drug sensitivities. Patients allergic to para-aminobenzoic acid derivatives (procaine, tetracaine, benzocaine, etc.) have not shown cross sensitivity to lidocaine.

Use in the Head and Neck Area: Small doses of local anesthetics injected into the head and neck area, including retrobulbar, dental and stellate ganglion blocks, may produce adverse reactions similar to systemic toxicity seen with unintentional intravascular injections of larger doses. Confusion, convulsions, respiratory depression and/or respiratory arrest and cardiovascular stimulation or depression have been reported. These reactions may be due to intra-arterial injections of the local anesthetic with retrograde flow to the cerebral circulation. Patients receiving these blocks should have their circulation and respiration monitored and be constantly observed. Resuscitative equipment and personnel for treating adverse reactions should be immediately available. Dosage recommendations should not be exceeded. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

Information for Patients:

When appropriate, patients should be informed in advance that they may experience temporary loss of sensation and motor activity, usually in the lower half of the body following proper administration of epidural anesthesia.

Clinically Significant Drug Interactions:

The administration of local anesthetic solutions containing epinephrine or norepinephrine to patients receiving monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants may produce severe prolonged hypertension.

Phenothiazines and butyrophenones may reduce or reverse the pressor effect of epinephrine.

Concurrent use of these agents should generally be avoided. In situations when concurrent therapy is necessary, careful patient monitoring is essential.

Concurrent administration of vasopressor drugs (for the treatment of hypotension related to obstetric blocks) and ergot-type oxytoxic drugs may cause severe persistent hypertension or cerebrovascular accidents.

Drug Laboratory Test Interactions:

The intramuscular injection of lidocaine may result in an increase in creatine phosphokinase levels. Thus, the use of this enzyme determination without isoenzyme separation as a diagnostic test for the presence of acute myocardial infarction may be compromised by the intramuscular injection of lidocaine.

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility:

Studies of lidocaine in animals to evaluate the carcinogenic and mutagenic potential or the effect on fertility have not been conducted.


Teratogenic Effects. Pregnancy Category B. Reproduction studies have been performed in rats at doses up to 6.6 times the human dose and have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus caused by lidocaine. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response. General consideration should be given to this fact before administering lidocaine to women of childbearing potential, especially during early pregnancy when maximum organogenesis takes place.

Labor and Delivery:

Local anesthetics rapidly cross the placenta and when used for epidural, paracervical, pudendal or caudal block anesthesia, can cause varying degrees of maternal, fetal and neonatal toxicity (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGYPharmacokinetics). The potential for toxicity depends upon the procedure performed, the type and amount of drug used, and the technique of drug administration. Adverse reactions in the parturient, fetus and neonate involve alterations of the central nervous system peripheral vascular tone and cardiac function.

Maternal hypotension has resulted from regional anesthesia. Local anesthetics produce vasodilation by blocking sympathetic nerves. Elevating the patient’s legs and positioning her on her left side will help prevent decreases in blood pressure. The fetal heart rate also should be monitored continuously, and electronic fetal monitoring is highly advisable.

Epidural, spinal, paracervical, or pudendal anesthesia may alter the forces of parturition through changes in uterine contractility or maternal expulsive efforts. In one study, paracervical block anesthesia was associated with a decrease in the mean duration of first stage labor and facilitation of cervical dilation. However, spinal and epidural anesthesia have also been reported to prolong the second stage of labor by removing the parturient’s reflex urge to bear down or by interfering with motor function. The use of obstetrical anesthesia may increase the need for forceps assistance.

The use of some local anesthetic drug products during labor and delivery may be followed by diminished muscle strength and tone for the first day or two of life. The long-term significance of these observations is unknown. Fetal bradycardia may occur in 20 to 30 percent of patients receiving paracervical nerve block anesthesia with the amide-type local anesthetics and may be associated with fetal acidosis. Fetal heart rate should always be monitored during paracervical anesthesia. The physician should weigh the possible advantages against risks when considering paracervical block in prematurity, toxemia of pregnancy and fetal distress. Careful adherence to recommended dosage is of the utmost importance in obstetrical paracervical block. Failure to achieve adequate analgesia with recommended doses should arouse suspicion of intravascular or fetal intracranial injection. Cases compatible with unintended fetal intracranial injection of local anesthetic solution have been reported following intended paracervical or pudendal block or both. Babies so affected present with unexplained neonatal depression at birth, which correlates with high local anesthetic serum levels, and often manifest seizures within six hours. Prompt use of supportive measures combined with forced urinary excretion of the local anesthetic has been used successfully to manage this complication.

Case reports of maternal convulsions and cardiovascular collapse following use of some local anesthetics for paracervical block in early pregnancy (as anesthesia for elective abortion) suggest that systemic absorption under these circumstances may be rapid. The recommended maximum dose of each drug should not be exceeded. Injection should be made slowly and with frequent aspiration. Allow a 5-minute interval between sides.

Nursing Mothers:

It is not known whether this drug is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when lidocaine is administered to a nursing woman.

Pediatric Use:

Dosages in pediatric patients should be reduced, commensurate with age, body weight and physical condition. See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.


Acute emergencies from local anesthetics are generally related to high plasma levels encountered during therapeutic use of local anesthetics or to unintended subarachnoid injection of local anesthetic solution (see ADVERSE REACTIONS, WARNINGS and PRECAUTIONS).

Management of Local Anesthetic Emergencies: The first consideration is prevention, best accomplished by careful monitoring of cardiovascular and respiratory vital signs and the patient’s state of consciousness after each local anesthetic injection. At the first sign of change, oxygen should be administered.

The first step in the management of convulsions, as well as underventilation or apnea due to unintended subarachnoid injection of drug solution, consists of immediate attention to the maintenance of a patent airway and assisted or controlled ventilation with oxygen and a delivery system capable of permitting immediate positive airway pressure by mask. Immediately after the institution of these ventilatory measures, the adequacy of the circulation should be evaluated, keeping in mind that drugs used to treat convulsions sometimes depress the circulation when administered intravenously. Should convulsions persist despite adequate respiratory support, and if the status of the circulation permits, small increments of an ultra-short acting barbiturate (such as thiopental or thiamylal) or a benzodiazepine (such as diazepam) may be administered intravenously. The clinician should be familiar, prior to use of local anesthetics, with these anticonvulsant drugs. Supportive treatment of circulatory depression may require administration of intravenous fluids and, when appropriate, a vasopressor as directed by the clinical situation (e.g., ephedrine).

If not treated immediately, both convulsions and cardiovascular depression can result in hypoxia, acidosis, bradycardia, arrhythmias and cardiac arrest. Underventilation or apnea due to unintentional subarachnoid injection of local anesthetic solution may produce these same signs and also lead to cardiac arrest if ventilatory support is not instituted. If cardiac arrest should occur standard cardiopulmonary resuscitative measures should be instituted.

Endotracheal intubation, employing drugs and techniques familiar to the clinician, may be indicated, after initial administration of oxygen by mask, if difficulty is encountered in the maintenance of a patent airway or if prolonged ventilatory support (assisted or controlled) is indicated.

Dialysis is of negligible value in the treatment of acute overdosage with lidocaine.

The oral LD50 of lidocaine HCl in non-fasted female rats is 459 (346−773) mg/kg (as the salt) and 214 (159−324) mg/kg (as the salt) in fasted female rats.

Dosage and administration

Table 1 (Recommended Dosages) summarizes the recommended volumes and concentrations of Lidocaine Hydrochloride Injection, USP for various types of anesthetic procedures. The dosages suggested in this table are for normal healthy adults and refer to the use of epinephrine-free solutions. When larger volumes are required only solutions containing epinephrine should be used, except in those cases where vasopressor drugs may be contraindicated.

There have been adverse event reports of chondrolysis in patients receiving intra-articular infusions of local anesthetics following arthroscopic and other surgical procedures.  Lidocaine is not approved for this use (see WARNINGS and DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION).

These recommended doses serve only as a guide to the amount of anesthetic required for most routine procedures. The actual volumes and concentrations to be used depend on a number of factors such as type and extent of surgical procedure, depth of anesthesia and degree of muscular relaxation required, duration of anesthesia required, and the physical condition of the patient. In all cases the lowest concentration and smallest dose that will produce the desired result should be given. Dosages should be reduced for children and for elderly and debilitated patients and patients with cardiac and/or liver disease.

The onset of anesthesia, the duration of anesthesia and the degree of muscular relaxation are proportional to the volume and concentration (i.e., total dose) of local anesthetic used. Thus, an increase in volume and concentration of Lidocaine Hydrochloride Injection will decrease the onset of anesthesia, prolong the duration of anesthesia, provide a greater degree of muscular relaxation and increase the segmental spread of anesthesia. However, increasing the volume and concentration of Lidocaine Hydrochloride Injection may result in a more profound fall in blood pressure when used in epidural anesthesia. Although the incidence of side effects with lidocaine is quite low, caution should be exercised when employing large volumes and concentrations, since the incidence of side effects is directly proportional to the total dose of local anesthetic agent injected.

For intravenous regional anesthesia, only the 50 mL single-dose vial containing 0.5% Lidocaine Hydrochloride Injection, USP should be used.

Epidural Anesthesia

For epidural anesthesia, only the following available specific products of Lidocaine Hydrochloride Injection by Hospira are recommended:

1%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 mL single-dose teartop vials

1.5%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 mL single-dose ampuls

2%. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 mL single-dose ampuls

Although these solutions are intended specifically for epidural anesthesia, they may also be used for infiltration and peripheral nerve block provided they are employed as single dose units. These solutions contain no bacteriostatic agent. In epidural anesthesia, the dosage varies with the number of dermatomes to be anesthetized (generally 2−3 mL of the indicated concentration per dermatome).

Caudal and Lumbar Epidural Block: As a precaution against the adverse experiences sometimes observed following unintentional penetration of the subarachnoid space, a test dose such as 2−3 mL of 1.5% lidocaine hydrochloride should be administered at least 5 minutes prior to injecting the total volume required for a lumbar or caudal epidural block. The test dose should be repeated if the patient is moved in a manner that may have displaced the catheter. Epinephrine, if contained in the test dose (10−15 mcg have been suggested), may serve as a warning of unintentional intravascular injection. If injected into a blood vessel, this amount of epinephrine is likely to produce a transient "epinephrine response" within 45 seconds, consisting of an increase in heart rate and systolic blood pressure, circumoral pallor, palpitations and nervousness in the unsedated patient. The sedated patient may exhibit only a pulse rate increase of 20 or more beats per minute for 15 or more seconds. Patients on beta-blockers may not manifest changes in heart rate, but blood pressure monitoring can detect an evanescent rise in systolic blood pressure. Adequate time should be allowed for onset of anesthesia after administration of each test dose. The rapid injection of a large volume of Lidocaine Hydrochloride Injection through the catheter should be avoided, and, when feasible, fractional doses should be administered.

In the event of the known injection of a large volume of local anesthetic solutions into the subarachnoid space, after suitable resuscitation and if the catheter is in place, consider attempting the recovery of drug by draining a moderate amount of cerebrospinal fluid (such as 10 mL) through the epidural catheter.

Maximum Recommended Dosages

NOTE: The products accompanying this insert do not contain epinephrine.

Adults: For normal healthy adults, the individual maximum recommended dose of lidocaine HCl with epinephrine should not exceed 7 mg/kg (3.5 mg/lb) of body weight and in general it is recommended that the maximum total dose not exceed 500 mg. When used without epinephrine, the maximum individual dose should not exceed 4.5 mg/kg (2 mg/lb) of body weight and in general it is recommended that the maximum total dose does not exceed 300 mg. For continuous epidural or caudal anesthesia, the maximum recommended dosage should not be administered at intervals of less than 90 minutes. When continuous lumbar or caudal epidural anesthesia is used for non-obstetrical procedures, more drug may be administered if required to produce adequate anesthesia.

The maximum recommended dose per 90 minute period of lidocaine hydrochloride for paracervical block in obstetrical patients and non-obstetrical patients is 200 mg total. One-half of the total dose is usually administered to each side. Inject slowly five minutes between sides. (See also discussion of paracervical block in PRECAUTIONS).

For intravenous regional anesthesia, the dose administered should not exceed 4 mg/kg in adults.

Children: It is difficult to recommend a maximum dose of any drug for children, since this varies as a function of age and weight. For children over 3 years of age who have a normal lean body mass and normal body development, the maximum dose is determined by the child’s age and weight. For example, in a child of 5 years weighing 50 lbs., the dose of lidocaine HCl should not exceed 75 100 mg (1.5 2 mg/lb). The use of even more dilute solutions (i.e., 0.25 0.5%) and total dosages not to exceed 3 mg/kg (1.4 mg/lb) are recommended for induction of intravenous regional anesthesia in children.

In order to guard against systemic toxicity, the lowest effective concentration and lowest effective dose should be used at all times. In some cases it will be necessary to dilute available concentrations with 0.9% sodium chloride injection in order to obtain the required final concentration.

Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever the solution and container permit. Solutions that are discolored and/or contain particulate matter should not be used.

Table 1

Recommended Dosages of Lidocaine Hydrochloride Injection, USP for Various Anesthetic

Procedures in Normal Healthy Adults

Lidocaine Hydrochloride Injection, USP (without Epinephrine)


Conc. (%)

Vol. (mL)

Total Dose (mg)



0.5 or 1.0



Intravenous Regional




Peripheral Nerve Blocks, e.g.

















Pudendal (each side)





Obstetrical Analgesia

(each side)




Sympathetic Nerve Blocks, e.g.

Cervical (stellate ganglion)








Central Neural Blocks



















Obstetrical Analgesia




Surgical Anesthesia




*Dose determined by number of dermatomes to be anesthetized (2 to 3 mL/dermatome).


Sterilization, Storage and Technical Procedures: Disinfecting agents containing heavy metals, which cause release of respective ions (mercury, zinc, copper, etc.) should not be used for skin or mucous membrane disinfection as they have been related to incidence of swelling and edema. When chemical disinfection of multi-dose vials is desired, either isopropyl alcohol (91%) or 70% ethyl alcohol is recommended. Many commercially available brands of rubbing alcohol, as well as solutions of ethyl alcohol not of USP grade, contain denaturants which are injurious to rubber and, therefore, are not to be used. It is recommended that chemical disinfection be accomplished by wiping the vial stopper thoroughly with cotton or gauze that has been moistened with the recommended alcohol just prior to use.

Usual Adult Dose for Ventricular Tachycardia

Initial dose: 50 to 100 mg IV bolus once over 2 to 3 minutes; may repeat after 5 minutes if necessary not to exceed up to 300 mg in a 1-hour period
Following bolus administration: 1 to 4 mg/min continuous IV infusion

-Patients should be under constant ECG monitoring during administration of this drug.
-Sufficient time should be allowed to enable a slow circulation to carry this drug to the site of action.
-The rate of the IV infusion should be reassessed as soon as the patient's basic cardiac rhythm appears stable or at the earliest signs of toxicity.

Uses: For the acute management of ventricular arrhythmias occurring during cardiac manipulations, such as cardiac surgery; and for life-threatening arrhythmias which are ventricular in origin, such as those that occur during acute myocardial infarction

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends:
-Initial dose: 1 to 1.5 mg/kg IV bolus once; may repeat if necessary at a dose of 0.5 to 0.75 mg/kg IV every 5 to 10 minutes up to a maximum cumulative dose of 3 mg/kg
-Following bolus administration: 1 to 4 mg/min continuous IV infusion (30 to 50 mcg/kg/min)

Endotracheal: May be administered endotracheally (bolus dose only) if IV access unavailable at a dose of 2 to 2.5 times the IV dose diluted in 5 to 10 mL NS or distilled water

Uses: For the treatment of ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (pVT) unresponsive to CPR, defibrillation, and vasopressor therapy as an alternative to amiodarone

Liver Dose Adjustments

Patients with reduced hepatic function or diminished hepatic blood flow should receive half the usual loading dose and lower maintenance doses IV:
-Loading dose: 25 to 50 mg IV bolus once

Pediatric: Data not available

Other Comments

Administration advice:
-The manufacturer product information should be consulted.
-Caudal and Lumbar Epidural Block: A test dose (e.g., 2 to 3 mL) of solution should be administered at least 5 minutes prior to injecting the total volume required as a precaution against unintentional penetration of the subarachnoid space.
-Do not administer unless solution is clear and seal is intact.

Storage requirements:
-Store at controlled room temperature.
-Protect from light.

Reconstitution/preparation techniques:
-The manufacturer product information should be consulted.

-Cardiovascular: Continuous ECG monitoring should occur during IV administration.


When administered as a local or regional anesthetic, lidocaine is effective almost immediately. Duration of effect is approximately 60 to 90 minutes. When used for local or regional anesthesia, a temporary loss of sensation and a restriction in the ability to move the affected body area may occur.

Lidocaine Pregnancy Warnings

Use is recommended only if clearly needed and the benefit outweighs the risk. AU TGA pregnancy category: A US FDA pregnancy category: B Comments: -Consider benefit versus risk before administering to women of childbearing potential or during early pregnancy when maximum organogenesis takes place. -Maternal and fetal toxicity may occur when used during labor and delivery. -Fetal heart rate should be monitored continuously and electronic fetal monitoring is advisable.

Animal studies have failed to reveal evidence of fetal harm. Fetal bradycardia has been known to follow paracervical block and may be associated with fetal acidosis and hypoxia. There are no controlled data in human pregnancy. Local anesthetics rapidly cross the placenta and can cause varying degrees of maternal, fetal, and neonatal toxicity. Toxicities can include maternal hypotension and alterations of the central nervous system, peripheral vascular tone, and cardiac function in the fetus or neonate. Accumulation of metabolites should be considered with all routes of administration and recommended doses should not be exceeded. This drug may also delay labor and delivery and lead to diminished muscle strength in the newborn for the first few days of life. Consider monitoring blood glucose levels in the newborn following use of obstetric regional anesthesia. AU TGA pregnancy category A: Drugs which have been taken by a large number of pregnant women and women of childbearing age without any proven increase in the frequency of malformations or other direct or indirect harmful effects on the fetus having been observed. US FDA pregnancy category B: Animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women.

Administrative Information

LactMed Record Number


Last Revision Date



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