Abstract 17

American Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, 37:843-847, 1980.

Lidocaine Anesthesia: Comparison of Iontophoresis, Injection, and Swabbing

J. Russo, Phar,.D., A.G. Lipman, Pharm.D.,
T.J. Comstock, Pharm.D., B.C. Page, M.S., and R.L. Stephen, M.D.
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Dialysis Training Center
University of Utah College of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah

The duration and depth of anesthesia produced by lidocaine with three methods of administration were studied. To test duration of anesthesia, either lidocaine or placebo was administered by iontophoresis, subcutaneous infiltration, or swabbing to each of the three sites 3 cm apart on the flexor surface of each forearm of 27 subjects. TO test for feeling, the tip of a 21-guage hypodermic needle was pressed on each application site every five minutes until feeling returned. The depth of anesthesia achieved with iontophoresis or infiltration of lidocaine was tested on the flexor surface of each forearm of 27 subjects, with a random assignment of application methods to each arm. Lidocaine iontophoresis produced local anesthesia of significantly longer duration (P<0.001) than topical application of lidocaine or placebo by any route of administration, but of significantly shorter duration (P<0.001) than lidocaine infiltration. The results showed that lidocaine iontophoresis is an effective method of producing local anesthesia for about five minutes without requiring the use of a hypodermic needle and syringe.

?Our findings indicate that local anesthesia with lidocaine iontophoresis can be accomplished by this procedure. The depth of anesthesia achieved was the same as that achieved using lidocaine infiltration. The average duration of anesthesia was sufficient to allow completion of brief procedures (5 minutes) requiring local anesthesia for 23 (85%) of our subjects.

?This technique may be useful when local anesthesia must be achieved in patients with an aversion to the use of hypodermic needles.

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