[Note: Lidocaine (aka xylocaine) is commonly used as a local anesthetic or numbing agent – most often in dental work and minor surgery.]
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by chronic widespread pain. In this study, we investigated the effect of intravenous infusions of lidocaine in pain and quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia.
Twenty-three consecutive patients were included in the study, which consisted on five sequential intravenous 2% lidocaine infusions with rising dosages (2-5 mg/kg, days 1-5).
Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ), Health Assessment Questionnaire, and a visual analog scale (VAS) for pain were applied before the first lidocaine infusion, immediately after the fifth infusion, and 30 days after the fifth infusion.
A significant improvement was observed in the FIQ scores after the fifth infusion (73.52 +/- 16.56 vs 63.29 +/- 21.21, p = 0.02), which was maintained after 30 days (73.52 +/- 16.56 vs 63.85 +/- 24.59, p = 0.04).
Similar results were seen concerning the VAS: 8.19 +/- 1.76 vs 6.84 +/- 2.44, p = 0.01 and 8.19 +/- 1.76 vs 7.17 +/- 2.35, p = 0.05, respectively.
Intravenous lidocaine infusions are safe and effective in the management of fibromyalgia.
Source: Journal of Rheumatology, online Mar 5, 2009. PMID: 19263182, by Schafranski MD, Malucelli T, Machado F, Takeshi H, Kaiber F, Schmidt C, Harth F. Department of Rheumatology, Santa Casa de Misericórdia, Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil. [E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org]