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For Patients

Lidocaine infusion therapy for chronic pain

Lidocaine is a common local anaesthetic that can be delivered by intravenous (IV) infusion to relieve chronic pain. It has also proven to be useful in the treatment of certain types of headaches.

Lidocaine is a sodium channel blocker and can block the pain receptors in the brain and spinal cord, making it a particularly effective treatment for neuropathic pain (pain caused by nerve damage or a malfunctioning nervous system).

Conditions lidocaine infusion is used to treat include:

-  Chronic regional pain syndrome (CRPS I and II)

-   Neuralgia (nerve pain)

-   Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)

-   Postherpetic pain

-   Chronic diabetic neuropathy

-   Fibromyalgia

-   Vascular headaches

-   Centralised pain

-   Widespread pain

What Should I Expect?

When you arrive for your appointment one of our pain specialists will explain the procedure to you in detail. Lidocaine infusion is nonsurgical and minimally invasive. During the treatment, you will sit in a comfortable chair or bed and an IV will be placed in a vein in your arm. For the next hour, the lidocaine anaesthetic will flow into your bloodstream. The lidocaine procedure affects the whole body, which allows your body’s pain response systems to relax and become less sensitive. 

There is a very low risk of complications with lidocaine infusions, and your vital signs will be monitored throughout the process. Some patients experience relief immediately, but it can sometimes longer. 

After the Procedure

Lidocaine infusions can last for weeks and often several months and be repeated with minimal side effects. After the infusion is complete, you will be monitored for a short while. After this, the discharge process will begin and you will be asked about your current pain level. Though you can return home soon after the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home.

Our doctors create a customised lidocaine infusion therapy plan based on your individual needs and its effects on your pain or depression. 

After the initial treatment, you work with your doctor to determine if regular maintenance treatments spaced at longer intervals than your first lidocaine infusion may be beneficial to helping you maintain your positive results. Our doctors may also recommend lidocaine infusion therapy in combination with cognitive behavioural therapy and other treatments as a holistic approach to helping you manage pain and depression for the long term. 

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