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Lidocaine for Pain

Lidocaine for Pain

Lidocaine for Pain

Intravenous Lidocaine Offers Alternative for ICU Patients' Pain

Intravenous lidocaine (IVLI) has emerged as a potential alternative for managing pain among patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) with varying degrees of organ dysfunction.

Study Overview

  • Researchers: Yoonsun Mo, Pharm.D., and colleagues from Long Island University, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Publication Date: February 7, 2017
  • Journal: Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

Research Methodology

A retrospective chart review was conducted to assess the safety and effectiveness of IVLI in treating pain among ICU patients with varying degrees of organ dysfunction. The study included data from 21 ICU patients across two hospitals.

Key Findings

  • The mean time to a ≥20 percent reduction in pain scores was 3.3 hours from the initiation of IVLI.
  • Median morphine dose equivalents were significantly higher during the six, 12, and 24 hours pre-IVLI compared to the same time periods post-IVLI (18.3 versus 10 mg [P = 0.002], 41.8 versus 18.3 mg [P = 0.002], and 93.5 versus 30.5 mg [P = 0.037], respectively).
  • Three patients experienced neurological adverse effects of lidocaine, which were reversed upon discontinuation of IVLI.


The study suggests that IVLI, as an adjunctive agent in the treatment of acute pain, may offer a potential option for ICU patients who are refractory to opioids or in whom opioid-induced respiratory depression is a concern. This finding highlights the potential of IVLI as a safe and effective analgesic strategy in the ICU setting.


Dr. Kris Dinucci

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