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What Factors Affect a Sufficient Lidocaine Dose?

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  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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A properly delivered lidocaine dose can do a number of beneficial things to the recipient. This local anesthetic works to dull sensation to particular areas of the body. There are a number of factors that determine the proper lidocaine dose, among them being location of application, body size of recipient, and concentration of the lidocaine solution.

Lidocaine is classified as a local anesthetic, and medical professionals can administer it through injection or topically. Local anesthetics are unique in that they can target specific areas of the body without affecting other regions, as would be the case with a general anesthetic. An injection penetrates the skin and affects the surrounding nerves, while a topical lidocaine dose only affects sensory mechanisms superficially.

This type of anesthetic does not cause a change in consciousness. Although primarily used for pain, its numbing of nervous system components reduces feeling and not just to pain. That means doctors may also use it to cease itching or burning sensations.

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The region of the body targeted by a dose of lidocaine is of great importance when determining the proper lidocaine dose. Lidocaine tends to slow down the nervous system, and if this affects proximal areas by accident, it may cause harm. An example of this is the removal of a mole located near the heart. Mole removal may be painful, and for this reason, doctors may choose to use lidocaine; however, if too great a dose is used, the nerves that regulate the heart may be slowed to dangerous levels, which compromise healthy circulation.

The body size of the person receiving a lidocaine dose and the size of the region being treated are also factors to consider. The greater the region and larger the person, the more likely he or she is to tolerate a highly concentrated dose. A general rule is that size and allowed dose are directly related; however, the specifics of this relationship need to be accurately determined before medical professionals choose a level.

The concentration of the lidocaine is also a factor related to dosage. Not all lidocaine is equal, as this anesthetic may be available in solutions of different concentrations. A 10 percent lidocaine dose is twice as powerful as a 5 percent dose, for example. Therefore, the same volume of each would not be have the same effects. The best way to determine a proper lidocaine dose is to speak with a nurse, doctor, or health care professional who specializes in the field and can give accurate and reliable advice regarding the matter.

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