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Intravenous Lidocaine May Produce Sustained Pain Relief

Small, uncontrolled study suggests a single infusion reduces pain and analgesic consumption for five weeks

MONDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- A single infusion of intravenous lidocaine may result in sustained pain relief in patients with chronic pain, according to the results of an uncontrolled trial presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

Gary McCleane, M.D., of Rampark Pain Centre in Lurgan, U.K., studied 20 adult patients with chronic pain of mixed etiology (including neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia) and treated them with an intravenous infusion of 1200 milligrams of lidocaine over 12 hours.

The researcher found that pain scores fell from a pretreatment average of 7.8 to a daily average of 4.4 for the first week, with daily averages of 4.1, 3.9, 3.5 and 4.2 for the second, third, fourth and fifth weeks. He also found that the average daily number of analgesic tablets decreased from 7.1 to 4.8 during the first week, an effect that persisted for five weeks. None of the patients complained of adverse effects during or after the infusion.

"Lidocaine is cheap, and if the results of this small study are correct, an effective method of producing pain relief associated with few adverse effects," the author concludes.

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