Lidocaine is a local anesthetic, that when infused intravenously, can be very effective for the treatment of neuropathic pain for up to 4-6 weeks. This is a painless, safe and effective therapy that can be added to your existing overall pain management program. Some patients can reduce the dosages of some of their other pain medications while receiving this treatment.
The appointment duration can take up to 2 hours per infusion. This includes any preparation beforehand, the infusion, and follow up and discharge with the Physician afterwards.
Patients relax in a comfortable reclining chair while the infusion is occurring. Since most patients experience sedation or tiredness immediately after their infusion, you must have someone to drive you home afterwards.
Who can it help?
Lidocaine infusions can be effective for a wide variety of painful conditions. They are particularly helpful for patients suffering from pain at multiple sites, such as:
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Certain types of nerve pain
- Central Neuropathic Pain (eg: MS and Post-Stroke Pain)
Costs associated with a lidocaine infusion
Please note that all required medications and prescriptions will be provided by Dundas 427 Medical Pharmacy, and any potential costs associated will be discussed with you prior to your infusion appointment. The cost of these medications may be covered by most supplemental drug plans or ODB/ODSP. They will be delivered to the clinic on the day of your infusion.
A payment terminal has been set up at NeuPath Oshawa for you to make payments prior to or on the morning of your infusion. Payments can be made with Credit or Debit; Cash is not accepted. These medication fees are non-negotiable, and must be paid in full before receiving a lidocaine infusion.
OHIP will cover 6 infusion procedures per calendar year. Additional infusions thereafter may be covered through some third party insurance plans, or, by agreeing to pay out of pocket. You may have an infusion as frequently as every 4 weeks.
Steps before your infusion
The following process outlines the steps involved prior to booking your lidocaine Infusion:
- When your NeuPath physician decides you may be a candidate, you will be given a requisition for an ECG, which you can obtain at any lab.
- Once complete, your ECG will be reviewed by a cardiologist and returned to NeuPath.
- Your physician will ensure you meet all of the necessary criteria to proceed with an infusion. If you are an eligible candidate, your physician will give you a consent form and complete the assessment process.
- Our Lidocaine Administrator will contact you to book your infusion date and explain any costs.
On the day of your infusion
On the day of your lidocaine infusion we ask that you arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. If you fail to arrive by your appointment time, you may be rescheduled. It is important that you also:
- Bring a driver.
- Eat and drink something at least 2 hours before your infusion.
- Wear comfortable clothing, with sleeves that can be rolled up.
- Expect to be at our office for approximately 90 minutes.
Upon arrival you will be asked to provide a urine sample. The nurse will insert an intravenous line. You will be monitored continuously by the nurse throughout the duration of the infusion.
The infusion itself takes 45 minutes.
Possible side effects of a lidocaine infusion
During the infusion, you may feel drowsy or tired. Some other commonly reported side effects during the infusion include:
- Numbness around the mouth, lips or face
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Blurry vision
- Metallic taste
Many of these side effects are short-lived, and often go away by the end of the infusion. You will also have some pre-arranged medications available to you in the event of any side effects or discomfort.
The infusions will be performed under MD supervision. Every physician supervising has been trained in the ER or by a qualified NeuPath physician. Every nurse working in the infusion suite is also ER trained and Advanced Cardiac Life Support certified.