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IV Lidocaine Infusion?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Lower Back Pain
Has anyone had IV Lidocaine Infusion therapy? I am scheduled for this procedure after having two caudal epidual injections that provided little to no relief. Seems like a last ditch effort by my pain management doctor (in my opinion) but I don't know much about this procedure or what type of relief they're expecting I'll receive from it....

any comments and info would be appreciated


  • Are you sure that you will be getting IV Lidocaine? That is typically given for heart rhythm problems. Are you sure he doesn't want to inject lidocaine around your problem areas to identify the real pain generators???? IV Lidocaine is for heart problems and can cause heart problems if given when not needed.
  • I am scheduled for IV lidocaine infusion and not injections. I guess it's being used for neuropathic pain (mostly for cancer patients, but not sure) but I don't know much more than that. Not sure how long it's supposed to last and if it's for specific pain areas or for the all over pain I've been recently experiencing along with my lower back and sciatica. They really didn't give much infor on the procedure but I do know of some others who tis has also been recommended for.
  • I would not feel comfortable with this. Is this being done at a reputable institution? You asked for comments-I think it's crazy talk, you could really have some cardiac issues from IV Lidocaine infusions. You don't seem like you know much about it-why? Is it because they aren't offering more information? Ask them what the American Heart Association has said about this treatment.
  • ernurse,

    I have to admit that I am completely offended by your post. I joined this support group for SUPPORT and feel that you are being rather condescending and rude in your reply. To suggest that I would have this procedure done anywhere but at a reputable hospital (It is being done at a very well known hospital in Boston, Ma) and that I am not being proactive in my medical needs is presumptious of you and very offensive to me.

    "You're not being comfortable with this" is fine since "you're" not having "this" done. Comments like "this is crazy talk" frankly, I can do without. When I posted my question to this forum, I did not know much about this procedure other than it was one used by anesthesiologists and pain management specialists for a variety of medical reasons including neuropathic pain. I have since learned that it is used to treat pain from fibromyalgia, postherpatic pain, RSD/CRPS, trigeminal neuralgia, migraine, and is also used in some pre- and post-op surgical procedures. (Since I have some of these dignosis', it makes more sense as to why I was scheduled for this procedure.) I have not yet been able to find any information about IV Lidocaine Infusion being used for heart patients. I now wonder if we are talking about the same procedure. I would love to read any of the information you have concerning this subject. Could you send me the links to any websites where I could find the information you are referring to? I have included a link to a short article on this subject which you might find informative. It's called:
    Systemic lidocaine for neuropathic pain relief.

    I have also posted this same question on two other chronic pain websites and was pleasantly surprised to receive quite a few responses from others who have had this procedure done (and have it done on a fairly regular basis). So I guess it seems that my talk is not so "crazy" after all...

  • Trice said:
    Has anyone had IV Lidocaine Infusion therapy? I am scheduled for this procedure after having two caudal epidual injections that provided little to no relief. Seems like a last ditch effort by my pain management doctor (in my opinion) but I don't know much about this procedure or what type of relief they're expecting I'll receive from it....

    any comments and info would be appreciated

    My intent was not to offend you, I am a straight shooter and very blunt, just my way of talking. You asked for any comments and you got mine. I am very familiar with the American Heart Association guidelines in Advanced Cardiac Life Support for adults and Pediatric Advanced Life Support recommendations for using IV Lidocaine boluses and infusions for unstable and lethal heart rhythms. If given to patients in rhythms not indicated for its use, I have personally witnessed patients go into life-threatening heart rhythms. Google ACLS.

    I am sorry that you are offended, but if you ask for comments and info, don't complain when you get it. I cannot imagine EVER allowing anyone to inject lidocaine into my veins on purpose unless it was for an approved cardiac issue. I was trying to warn you to ask more questions since your post sent up red flags to me. You said you didn't know much about this procedure I wanted to warn you about the potential dire consequences. This really is serious business. You wondered if we are talking about the same procedure-I am talking about any injection intravenously of lidocaine.

    BTW-I have arachnoiditis(nerves, veins, scar tissue all clumped together) and in my last selective nerve root injection, the doctor accidentally hit a vein and some of the lidocaine was absorbed by it. I had instant palpatations and chest pain from that small amount of local anesthetic. Just my personal experience from an unintended injection.

    I do not mean to scare you off from posting and if you've found the cure to chronic pain, wonderful. I just really want to warn you that this could have serious, life-threatening consequences. My post was written with honesty and good intent. I do not post much anymore, but your post grabbed my attention as one that NEEDED a response from someone who has seen bad things happen.

  • Hi Trice,
    I'm surprised too that Lidocaine would be given IV and would question that pretty strongly. Lidocaine given IV is normally used to correct cardiac arrhythmia and ventricular fibrillation. Lidocaine can cause seizures, hypotension (low blood pressure), bradycardia (slow heart rate) and even cardiac arrest.

    When does your doctor want to do this procedure? Hopefully you can get a little more information from him.
  • Trice, sorry that you were offended but i know where er nurse is coming from. I am a paramedic by profession and what she is referring to a mode of delivery. there seems to be a communication /understanding problem amongst us all on this particular thread. er nurse is correct in regards to injecting a lidocaine concentration directly into the vein potentially causing cardiac arrythmias. we give lidocaine iv to patients whose hearts are not beating correctly ( without going into the specifics of ekg interpret explaination) to calm the heart muscle down. if it is done incorrectly it can cause the heart to experience problems . What we are saying is that as Advanced Cardiac Life support trained personnel we do not know of a safe way to deliver this medication intraveneously for neuropathic pain. if this is something new we would love to know how to do some research on this. could you provide some more information on this matter to make sure we all are not confusing it with something else? just as an example. the lido given iv is very different than the patch or the viscous form and they are used for very different purposes and are not interchanged. i am only telling you this to hopefully clear up any understanding.
  • hi,

    There is research on using lidocaine iv for neuropathic pain. I was surprised when i googled it.

    Some interesting info-

    PS- there is a clinical trial going on using iv lidocaine for fibro patients at Stanford
  • will definitely look it up . thanks for the tip :)
  • Thank you all for your comments and concerns regarding my question about IV lidocaine infusion therapy. I had the procedure performed today at the Brigham and Women's Pain Manangement Center in Boston, Ma. I was told that they have been performing this procedure on their patients for over 20 years and originally used this for diabetec neuropathic pain. They soon realized that it would be helpful for other types of neuropathic pain and began treating more patients with this therapy.

    I arrived, had my blood pressure and heart rate monitored and my IV inserted. A nurse stayed with my during the entire procedure and my heart rate and blood pressure was monituresd throught the entire process. The only side effect I felt wa that I became a bit tired and "woozy". The Doctor described this as a "martini" effect. My pain level was about a 7 upon my arrival at the clinic and about a 3 when I left. I was experiencing left leg sciatica with tingling and numbness, back pain, sinus migrane with facial pain, and some right leg sciaica (although not as severe as the left). Upon leaving, the left leg pain had decreased significantly. the right side pain was just about gone. The migraine and facial had also decreased. I'll follow up soon to let you know how long the effects last.

    I'm hopeful that this infusion will give me some lasting relief and "more bang for my buck" where it is indicated for more than just my back issues. I have another infusion scheduled for July.

    I do appreciate the concern from all, but to be told that I was wrong instead of entertaining the thought that IV lidocaine could indeed be used for more than one ailment still upsets me.

  • I'm glad the lidocaine brought your pain level down. I would try something like that... It must be a fairly new procedure. After being an RN for over 20 years I never heard of it before. I can understand the initial surprise since it's new. Thanks for letting us know. Keep us posted. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
    edited 08/26/2016 - 10:04 AM
    Thanks Charry,

    Day 2 and things are still going well. Pain level is still about a 3, no migraine, little to no trigemingal neuralgia pain, still suffering form sinus pressure and pain (but may have a sinus infection). Back pain and sciatica is definitely better, still some pain but not as severe. I am rather fatigued today, could be layover from the procedure...not sure.

    I've listed some articles I've found on this procedure below which may be helpful to some...I'm certainly not advocating this procedure for all, especially since I don't even know if it's going to provide me with any lasting relief but it is interesting and I guess controversial as I quickly found out...

    I'll keep you posted on my progress...
  • Our local pain clinic does lidocaine infusions, so I went through a series of four. Unfortunately I didn't get much relief, so I gave up on that option.

    For those of you who have never heard of it, you are outfitted with heart monitors and lidocaine is slowly infused into your body over a period of a couple of hours. The theory is that the lidocaine will "settle" in the inflamed areas and reduce the pain. I like to be different, so it didn't work as it should have with me. I did end up toxic after one treatment, so was readmitted and put on fluids for an hour or two.

    This is a common treatment at pain clinics in Canada, and some chronic pain patients I know have had amazing results.

    Good luck, Trice; I hope you are one of the lucky ones who gets relief!!

  • Hi Trice, interesting reading there, thanks for the links! That's awesome it's working for you, I hope it lasts a while!
  • Thanks Tracy,

    Did you get any relief from the treatments and how long in between did you wait before you had the next one? I'm just curious as I too am one of those people who "like to be different".

    It's day 5 and although my pain is definitely better than it was, it is creeping back in. It seems as though the treatment has helped my migraines and trigeminal neuralgia pain more than my backpain and radiculopathy. (I did however have to travel to Connecticut this weekend which is a 2 1/2 hour journey for me so I really aggravated my sciatica with the driving...)

    Anyway, so far it has still been better and not as bad as before. Pain level about a 5 today. Have not had to use my percocets as much and have not applied my fentany patches since the procedure, so all in all I'd say I'm still getting some relief from it. I'd take a week or two with some relief over no relief at all...

    Thanks again for your kinds word and your thoughts and comments, I appreciate the input

  • Hi Trice,

    How has the infusion held up? I just got my second consult today and the neurosurgeon told me to get more pain meds and file for disability.. He wouldn't read my records and brushed me off because the almighty x-rays and CT and MRIs don't show nerve damage.

    I am working with my current treating neurosurgeon to use Prialt in my pain pump as I hate narcotics. I was looking at other treatments for postlaminectomy syndrome when I ran across information on Lidocaine being used. I must admit, I am interested. I have not heard of it before, but after much Googling, I see it is a real and viable therapy. I saw that most patients have to come in once a month. Is/will that be the case with you?

    In the facet and nerve block injections, the relief never lasted more than a day or two. Is the IV dosage that much higher/stronger? Has any other pain relief actions worked for you? What about a spinal cord stimulator?

    I understand if you can't answer all my nosy questions. Just looking for pain relief when everyone tells me there is nothing more they can do except drugs, drugs and more drugs. I really hate narcotics but the pain is worse. It seems like some doctors hear "back pain" and immediately thing "drug seeker" instead of considering how to actually HELP the patient. Stop treating the symptom and work on the cause.


    Postlaminectomy Syndrome (failed back surgery syndrome), spinal fusion L4-L5, rhizotomy, intrathecal morphine pump, facet syndrome, epidural fibrosis, DDD, exposed to more radiation than a nuclear bomb, facet injections, nerve blocks, PT, moderate stenosis, lumbar radiculopathy from L4 to S1 on left leg, chronic pain lower back, you name it... allergic to almost every anti-inflammatory medication made (i.e. motrin, celebrex, etc.).
  • Hi Radar,

    I don't think you're nosy at all...I just hope I can answer some of your questions. Progress hasn't been as good as I hoped for but all in all I have gotten some relief from the infusion. I would have to say that the infusion has helped the most with my ailments that are "less prominent" at the moment but it has helped the least with my lower back pain and radiculopathy. It's been almost two weeks since the infusion and I'm starting to feel some facial numbness, tingling and orbital pain from my trigeminal neuralgia. I have not had a full blown migraine yet but do feel like one might be coming on (I generally have migraines 3-4x's week). My back pain and sciatica increased steadily and I did have to apply a fentalnyl patch on Saturday. The patch (and infusion?) has kept my pain level at about a 5-6 which is bearable for me since my level is usually higher than that. I also hate to take narcotics which is why it is so hard for me to manage my pain. I don't use the patches as recommended and just started to use them (reluctantly, I might add). I also don't like to use the percocets precribed for me and I try to grin and bear it which makes life for me and those around me difficult.

    I have had a series of epidural steroid injections, caudal steroid injections, and have tried PT and aqua therapy as well. A Spine Nerve Stimulator has been recommended not by any of my treating physicians but by worker's compensation. I do not want to have one implanted for a few reasons...first, I feel that I am not stable yet. I am still having difficulties and increasing and new pain, particularly on the right side, which has not been explored. I think that there may be more going on with the disc or the disc below and I don't want to do the stimulator until thngs have settled down. Second, I don't like the fact that worker's comp is trying to manage my healthcare. I feel that I should be making those decisions with my doctors and that they should not be able to unilaterally decide what procedures are done to my body without my or my doctors say. Third, I'm fairly young and haven't suffered from from these issues for very long. If a SNS lasts 5-10 years what happens then when I'm 50-55 years old and possibly still suffering from these issues? What will I do then?

    I am scheduled for another infusion next month and after that I'm not sure. It's different with me because of the issue with worker's compensation. If the hospital is billing them for this procedure then they have to show that I am getting relief from this in order to continue with this treatment and they will at some point shut me off like they have with every other treatment I have received. If the hospital has billed it out to my private insurance, then I'm sure I'll be able to go every month and get the infusion done as long as the private insurance doesn't think that it's for the back related injury.

    As for the IV dosage, you'd have to ask teh doctor/nurse administering the treatment but from what I read and reearced it looked like it was a fairly small amount administed throughout the IV (I think maybe 2.5-5mg but don't hold me to that).

    I understand totally what you are saying when you write "Stop treating the symptom and work on the cause" I was actually told by one doctor to stop going to all of these appointments and getting these expensive tests done and learn to live with the fact that you'll always be in pain. He basically told me that I was just filling my days going to appointments and seeing doctors because I had nothing else to do and I was focusing on my pain too much...Like I want to sit in a doctor's office all day long and talk to an a** like him.

    Anyway, I should be hearing from the pain clinic this week about my next appointment...hopefully the next infusion will last a bit longer that the first.


  • Trice,

    It is so nice to hear from someone who has gone through this. My 13 year old daughter is receiving her first IV Lidocaine Infusion treatment at Stanford's Pain Management Center this week. Her treatment is not for chronic back pain but from post-cancer pain. I would love to hear how you second treatment went. Have you had it yet? If so, how much did it reduce your pain? Are you scheduled for a third?

    Thank you again for sharing your story.
  • I have had iv lidocaine infusions done for 16 years. They are wonderful and I swear by them. I am now looking for a place that does them for a week straight and then you don't have to get them every month. I have RSD and if anyone knows where they do the continous infusions please let me know. It reduces your pain by more than half.

  • OMG- i am being sent for lignocaine infusions admind by IV- through uk NHS- fairly reputable- for fibro. Its crap that its only for heart problems. if ur not a doc then dont spout such crap!
  • Wow..... Then if your in need of medical help don't call the paramedics or nurses for assistance since you are obviously more qualified than our years of training has shown. New procedures are not always known by all medical personnel not even docs . Btw there have been MANY docs who's butts have been saved from making lethal errors by guess who... Paramedics and nurses ! As well as the reverse . So if your not a medical professional then please do your research before spouting .btw, thanks to those who posted links on the procedure for us to read and compare .
  • I have nerve pain coming from my neck down to left leg. Does anyone knoe if I can get a pain pump or my options for pain relief? It is agonizing.
  • Last December (2011) I was offered Iv Lignocaine infusion over 1 week. I was sceptical but am now booked for a second run in 2 weeks time. I had 6 weeks of releief from the infusion: No small fibre neuropathry or TMJ neuralgia. Just joint pain and hperacusis. What bliss.I am impatient for the 2nd run but in the mean time I am trying IV Orencia for my rheumatoid arthritis.
    Background: I have 4 types of arthritis with a large proportion of complications associated with these conditions. I am currently waiting for surgery to reconstruct the tendonous attchment os my left hip joint and decompression of the bursae from the weeping torn tendons.
    I have also had recurrent synovial cyst in my lower spine (with associated laminectomies and spinal fusion) and a knee replacement. I have to get my hip right before the next knee replacement. Recurring pulmonary emboli (2010 and 2011). Some days I wonder about keeping on going. This is a slow painful death.
    Trust the IV Lignocaine. It does work for neuropathy and neuralgi when oxycontin, endone and panadien forte just don't work.
    I am currently waiting for a DNA drug profile to see what is and isn't working.
    You are not alone with severe pain.

  • I am on a list for an infusion just like you. I am in Scotland and they are using this technique at cronic pain centres. I have witnessed patients receiving it. And they seem to find it helps. I am on a cocktail of drugs and feel its doing nothing. So fingers crossed I get benefits from this.
    Linda roulston
  • Trice,
    So glad to know how the IV lidocaine procedure went for you and hoping it lasted for a few weeks. I go for my first procedure July 15th and have been doing my research. My doctor at the pain clinic in Nashville is sending me due to fibromyalgia, migraines and chronic neuropathy pain. I'm hoping for at least 1 week of some relief from pain...if I get more than that, I'll be ecstatic!
  • EWexfordEEWexford Cincinnati, OhioPosts: 1
    Hi All,

    It sounds like some of us are still fighting the battle with chronic back pain issues, etc. I'm happy to have found this website and appreciate the discussions.

    In my case... I have been living some depth of hell since 2005. I had to jump through so many hoops and pain intervention treatments until finally having my TLIF surgery on L5-S1 with bone graft. My neurosurgeon had to fight the insurance company because at the time I was 30 years old, so insurance was saying that I was too young to have the surgery. I even went as far as acupuncture to prove that nothing was reducing my crippling pain. In 2013... I had my TLIF with bone graft on L5-S1 with success and I finally got my life back.

    Now, age 34, I'm experiencing horrendous back issues once again, but this time it's my L4 that's causing problems. The difference these days is that I'm receiving basic, if that, medical care. I am currently on Neurotin (for nerve pain/tingling/numbness) and have been on this medication since my 2007 spinal fusion. I'm also on Flexeril and Voltaren (for my joint arthritis).

    I feel very frustrated and upset. Especially the constant fights with insurance to have procedures covered as I cannot work. I have had cortisone injections, L4 Facet joint injections, L4 radio frequency ablasion, and my Pain Intervention Specialist wanted to perform L4 and L5 Nerve Root Blocks, but I explained to his office that I developed new symptoms. Now my doctor wants to perform a IV Lidocaine Infusion. Meanwhile, I live in constant pain daily... don't feel like I'm getting anywhere with these injections... and I keep wondering, "What's next?" Currently, I feel like I've been left out in the cold by my doctors due to my age (34). Also, I am unable to fathom why my "Pain Management" doctor hasn't requested imaging that's more current rather than relying on year old imaging.

    What's next? What comes after all the prior treatments??

    Conditions:  Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease, L4 Facet Arthritis, Cervical Radiculopathy, Lumbar Radiculopathy, Lumbar Spondylolisthesis, Lumbar Spondylosis, Sprains/Strains of Sacroiliac, Sciatica, Scoliosis, and only God knows what else.

    I have done physical therapy, medical massage, aforementioned treatments, but I'm curious if anyone knows what procedure is typically performed if I don't respond well with IV Lidocaine Infusion?

    Thank you,

  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hello Erin
    This is an old discussion the member that created it is no longer a member of the site and many of the responses are from members that have not been on the forum for a long long time. I will close this discussion.
    I suggest you create a new discussion, you could use copy and paste.

    Please click on the link for useful information

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
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