Generic Drug Name: Lidocaine
Other Common Names: Xylocaine
Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that inhibits nerve conduction. Lidocaine is frequently used for pain management, particularly in postsurgical animals. It is also used for the acute treatment of ventricular arrhythmias.
Although Lidocaine is used to treat supraventricular arrhythmias, it should be used very cautiously, as it may increase cardiac conduction. Fortunately, Lidocaine has greater effects on abnormal heart tissue than normal, healthy tissue.
Cats should be monitored very closely while on Lidocaine, as cats are more susceptible to adverse reactions. Intravenous administration to cats has resulted in death. Lidocaine administered to cats can cause decreased cardiac output, cardiovascular depression, and decreased oxygen delivery to tissues
High doses of Lidocaine in any animal causes vomiting and central nervous system effects, such as tremors, twitches, and seizures. Animals with decreased blood flow to the liver (such as those under anesthesia) may have reduced clearance.
Lidocaine should not be used in animals with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to the drug. If overdose occurs, a poison control center or a veterinarian should be called immediately.
Lidocaine should be stored in a tightly sealed container and away from light and humidity. It should be stored at room temperature.
Lidocaine is available in 5, 10, 15, and 20 mg/mL injection. A typical antiarrhythmic starting dose for dogs is 2-4mg/kg intravenously (to a maximum dose of 8mg/kg over a 10 minute period). Cats need a much smaller dose for antiarrhythmic treatment, starting with 0.1mg to 0.4mg/kg initially, and then increased to 0.25 to 0.75mg/kg, intravenously and slowly, if there is no response.
Doses may vary in different species, when the drug is given by a different route or concurrently with other medications, and with regards to a patient's age, breed, and health status. A veterinarian's dosing instructions and/or those printed on the medication label should be followed closely.