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What Are the Uses of Nebulized Lidocaine?

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  • Written By: S. Berger
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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One way to dispense liquid medication is through the use of a nebulizer, which vaporizes the liquid and allows it to be inhaled easily. An air compressor allows the drug to change physical state so that it may be inhaled through a mask worn around the face. Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, is one medication that can be inhaled to provide relief to the respiratory system, including the mouth, throat, and nose. Nebulized lidocaine has been successfully used by doctors for a variety of applications and treatments.

Acute asthma is one medical condition that may be treated with nebulized lidocaine instead of conventional measured-dose inhalers or oral tablets used for preventative purposes, both of which can have unpleasant side effects. Patients with asthma that inhale the lidocaine through a mask feel a relief of symptoms that occurs rapidly. The use of medications called corticosteroids, which are swallowed to treat the same symptoms, can often be decreased if the patient uses a nebulizer on a regular basis for asthma attacks.

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One of the main uses for nebulized lidocaine that has been approved by medical professional bodies in many countries is for local anesthesia. This type of local anesthesia is meant for the throat prior to certain medical procedures such as brachoscopies. During a bronchoscopy, a tube is inserted down the throat via either the nose or throat, which is uncomfortable for many patients. Lidocaine's numbing action allows tubes to be placed much farther into the patient's throat with little to no discomfort, allowing doctors to better view the inside of a person's lungs.

Physicians have found other unique uses for nebulized lidocaine as well. Respiratory reflexes such as coughing and bronchospasm can be successfully reduced through the use of this drug. Doses of lidocaine may be much lower than when other routes are used, meaning that side effects are minimized. In turn, this anesthetic becomes tolerated much better by patients, with very few complaining of unpleasant side effects in the recorded studies.

Nasogastric tube insertion is another procedure that can be performed in conjunction with anesthesia from nebulized lidocaine. This procedure involves a tube stuck through the nose into the stomach to drain its contents in emergency situations, such as poisoning. Emergency medicine personnel that have given the patient this form of the medication beforehand report that patients can tolerate the uncomfortable procedure for much longer, allowing more potentially dangerous contents from the stomach to be removed.

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anon951395
Post 4

I have been on most of the conventional treatment for asthma to include oral steroids, albuterol, pulmicort, brovana inhalation treatments and nasal sprays and turdoza. It has been five weeks since I started with a bad flare up and finding not much improvement. Started the lidocaine inhalation treatments four times a day yesterday and the above without the steroids (which has so many side effects) and hopefully will be able to taper down and go off of other meds. I am having less bronchial spasms today, breathing easier. I have been on this in the past a few times while in hospital and continued in the home with great improvements. I had asked for lidocaine last week and wished my

doctor would have started me back then. I felt like I have wasted healing time as I am unable to work during this time. I did not find the expense great. I did find a specialized pharmacy (one that works with infusion products and other injectables) that provided me with 10 bottles of 2 percent solution 20mg/ml with 20 ml in each bottle. I can get 10 doses out of one bottle. The cost was $28. My insurance did not cover this. The side effect is not having much feeling with swallowing for a hour or so after treatment. I make sure I don't drink or eat after the treatment for at least an hour.

I have used this also with bronchoscope procedures for pulmonologist in making it easier for the patients with insertion of the scope. They usually have patients wait three or four hours.

I am a nurse and find the lidocaine to be so very helpful for lung issues. I know not every medication works the same for all but it has given me a better breathing day! I just want to say that it doesn't have many side effects and doesn't hurt to try to make your breathing easier.

burcinc
Post 3

I think nebulized lidocaine is great for brachoscopies and nasogastric tube insertion. My sister who is a nurse said that it has made these procedures much easier when it's done on kids because they generally have more discomfort and less patience than adults.

I know that the Emergency Room my sister works at uses it a lot for these purposes and they're really happy with it.

I don't know how possible it is for nebulized lidocaine to be used on a regular basis for things like asthma and lung disorders though because it's so expensive! My aunt couldn't use it for her asthma because her insurance wouldn't cover it and there is no way she can afford it on her own.

serenesurface
Post 2

@simrin-- What dose are you using?

I'm glad it worked for you but it hasn't worked for me at all. I've tried nebulized lidocaine twice for my asthma. The first time was 4% and the second time 2%. Both times, I reacted very badly to it. My entire throat and mouth became numb to the point where I couldn't gag or breathe properly. Thank God that I had this done at my doctor's office otherwise, I don't know what would have happened.

The second time I went simply to see if a lower dose would be better but I had the same reaction once again. I did have high hopes for this treatment since my doctor said that many asthma patients have benefited. I don't know why it's not working for me but I'm not willing to try it again.

SteamLouis
Post 1

I've been suffering from lung disease and chronic cough for several years. I did not find relief with anything I tried except for nebulized lidocaine. I use it three or four times a day at a low dose and it's done wonders for me so far. I haven't been coughing (very rarely) and I feel a lot better while breathing.

I know lidocaine is a pretty old drug and I'm so glad that they've come up with nebulization to use this drug in a new way. I've finally found some relief for the condition I have.

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