What is Lidocaine Spray?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff
Products for treating sunburns often contain lidocaine.
Products for treating sunburns often contain lidocaine.

Lidocaine spray is a type of topical anesthetic most often used to numb the inside of the mouth and throat. It is usually dispensed in single dose applications, and is commonly used prior to medical procedures that may require inserting a tube into the throat. In addition to numbing the mouth and throat, lidocaine also inhibits the gag reflex, a reflex that can make tube insertion more difficult. Lidocaine spray is also used for various types of first aid treatment, including sunburn, insect bites, and minor cuts and abrasions.

Lidocaine spray has been shown to be particularly effective in controlling itching caused by the poison ivy plant.
Lidocaine spray has been shown to be particularly effective in controlling itching caused by the poison ivy plant.

In addition to pain relieving properties, lidocaine spray is also used to help control itching. It has been shown to be particularly effective in controlling itching due to allergic reactions, such as itching from exposure to poison oak and poison ivy. In addition, the spray is sometimes used as a veterinary treatment. A type of lidocaine called allercaine is used to treat “hot spots” on dogs, which are patches of dermatitis prone to constant itching.

Topical lidocaine can be used to treat premature ejaculation in men by reducing sensation in the penis.
Topical lidocaine can be used to treat premature ejaculation in men by reducing sensation in the penis.

Lidocaine is generally not available without a doctor’s prescription. It is considered too powerful and misuse can cause serious side effects. Many people who have received a prescription for lidocaine may want to keep any leftovers of the medication for use in their first aid kit. This is probably not a good idea, because lidocaine spray is considered a very powerful anesthetic. As with any type of medication, users should follow the recommended dosage prescribed by a physician, and should never share the medication with others.

Pain in the chest is one of the more serious side effects possible with lidocaine spray.
Pain in the chest is one of the more serious side effects possible with lidocaine spray.

Side effects of lidocaine spray are usually mild, but in some cases can be severe. Some of the more serious side effects could include difficulty breathing, swelling in the face or mouth, and pain in the chest. These symptoms indicate the need for immediate medical attention. Other less severe side effects include rash and skin irritation. People who experience even mild side effects after using lidocaine should discontinue its use until they can consult with their physician.

Lidocaine may be used before major dental procedures.
Lidocaine may be used before major dental procedures.

Many types of sprays and ointments have been developed that tend to mimic the effects of lidocaine spray, and most of these are available without a doctor’s prescription. Some of these alternatives may be especially helpful for those who are allergic to lidocaine. Most of the treatments contain a chemical called benzocaine, and are usually available as sprays or ointments. Benzocaine is generally considered safer than lidocaine, and though it usually works equally well in controlling itching, it does not numb the skin or bring as much pain relief as does lidocaine.

Discussion Comments

anon314413

I thought it was typically used to numb the penis in order to have a longer session of love-making and to avoid premature ejaculation.

Perdido

I have a friend who uses lidocaine nasal spray for migraines. It makes him less sensitive to light and gets rid of his nausea. The only problem is that the relief only lasts about an hour when he has a really bad migraine.

orangey03

My best friend uses a lidocaine topical spray before waxing her legs. This sounds like a great idea to me, because I tried waxing once without an anesthetic, and it was excruciatingly painful!

There are sprays out there that are actually made just for using before waxing. I'm guessing that they aren't as powerful as the stuff that doctors use before intubating someone.

healthy4life

@OeKc05 – The throat numbing spray that I use contains phenol. It doesn't have any lidocaine in it.

I would be afraid to use it if it did. That stuff is powerful, and I would be scared that I might overdose on it and the feeling might never return to my throat!

I hate being numb, so I only use it if the pain is absolutely unbearable. I really hate getting it on my tongue, because it starts to feel really heavy, and I'm afraid I might bite it.

OeKc05

Does the throat spray that you can buy over the counter for numbing your sore throat contain lidocaine? I'm guessing it doesn't, since it usually has to be prescribed. If not, what is the active ingredient in throat spray?

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    • Products for treating sunburns often contain lidocaine.
      By: Rostislav Sedlacek
      Products for treating sunburns often contain lidocaine.
    • Lidocaine spray has been shown to be particularly effective in controlling itching caused by the poison ivy plant.
      By: Riverwalker
      Lidocaine spray has been shown to be particularly effective in controlling itching caused by the poison ivy plant.
    • Topical lidocaine can be used to treat premature ejaculation in men by reducing sensation in the penis.
      By: Ambrose
      Topical lidocaine can be used to treat premature ejaculation in men by reducing sensation in the penis.
    • Pain in the chest is one of the more serious side effects possible with lidocaine spray.
      By: sumnersgraphicsinc
      Pain in the chest is one of the more serious side effects possible with lidocaine spray.
    • Lidocaine may be used before major dental procedures.
      By: Vladimir Melnik
      Lidocaine may be used before major dental procedures.
    • Coming into contact with poison ivy may cause a red, itchy rash to appear at the contact site.
      By: marilyn barbone
      Coming into contact with poison ivy may cause a red, itchy rash to appear at the contact site.
    • Some pain relief sprays designed for athletes include benzocaine, which is considered to be a safer alternative to lidocaine.
      By: Nikki Zalewski
      Some pain relief sprays designed for athletes include benzocaine, which is considered to be a safer alternative to lidocaine.
    • Topical anesthetic spray may be applied before some dermatological procedures, including laser resurfacing.
      By: spotmatikphoto
      Topical anesthetic spray may be applied before some dermatological procedures, including laser resurfacing.
    • Lidocaine spray may be used to numb the inside of the throat.
      By: Grafvision
      Lidocaine spray may be used to numb the inside of the throat.