Lidocaine is a use-dependent sodium channel blocker that produces analgesia when administered intravenously to patients with neuropathic pain. This article reviews the role and limitations of intravenous lidocaine infusions for neuropathic pain. Lidocaine infusions rarely provide relief that persists significantly beyond the duration of the infusion. Diagnostically, systemic lidocaine may help establish the presence of neuropathic pain and the responsivity to oral sodium channel blockade. However, the data supporting diagnostic infusions remain sparse. Therapeutically, infusions should generally be restricted to patients with neuropathic pain who are unable to take oral medication.
View details for PubMedID 17214917