Xylocaine gel’s generic name is lidocaine hydrochloride. It is used to prevent pain and discomfort during medical tests and procedures. It belongs to a group of medicines called “local anesthetics”. It stabilizes the neuronal membrane by hindering the ionic fluxes which are necessary for the initiation and transmission of impulses, thereby giving a local anesthetic action. The safety and effectiveness of xylocaine gel depends on accurate dosage, proper technique during use and enough precautions. Improper use of xylocaine gel can even prove fatal. Xylocaine gel is quite like the double-edged sword: while it is immensely helpful in pain management, it can prove quite debilitating if used without relevance, adequate precautions or in an incorrect manner. As with all chemicals, utmost care needs to be exercised in the use of xylocaine gel for it to truly benefit its user. Read on to know about uses, side effects and tips for xylocaine gel use.
Xylocaine Gel Uses
- Xylocaine gel is commonly used as a topical anesthetic to numb the skin before a laser hair removal treatment.
- It is used for numbing the eye during certain ocular procedures.
- Xylocaine gel is used to lessen pain and anxiety resulting from urinary tract procedures or the placement of endotracheal (airway) tubes.
- It is also used for reducing pain or discomfort caused by skin irritations such as insect bites, poison ivy, sunburn, poison oak, minor cuts, hemorrhoids, burns and scratches.
- It is also used as medication to prevent and control pain during a few medical procedures such as inserting a tube into the nose, throat, mouth or urinary tract (endotracheal intubation and urinary catheterization, for e.g.).
Xylocaine Gel Side Effects
The first step is to tell your doctor if any of the following conditions relate to you before agreeing to medically advised use of xylocaine gel:
- Planning a baby
- Already pregnant
- Allergies to foods, medicines or other substances
- Blood infection
- Severe injury on the area where xylocaine gel may be applied
- Heart, liver or kidney problems.
Some of the side-effects likely to be caused by xylocaine gel are:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling of the face, tongue, lips or throat
- Drowsiness or dizziness
- Skin rashes or mild irritation, papules, vesicles, discoloration, and depigmentation
- Chest pain
- Confusion, excitement, nervousness and restlessness
- Vomiting and nausea
- Redness or swelling on the area of its application
- Uneven heartbeats
- Seizures (or convulsions)
- Mood or mental changes
- Ringing in the ears or hearing power changes
- Allergic reactions characterized by cutaneous lesions, edema, urticaria or anaphylactoid reactions
- Visual disturbances or blurred vision
Tips For Xylocaine Gel Use
- Xylocaine gel is normally applied with great care by a professional on to the area being treated or to the medical equipment as part of a medical procedure. Xylocaine takes about 3 to 5 minutes to give the numbing effect to the targeted part of the body.
- If used for urinary procedures (e.g. cystoscopy), then follow the instructions on the package for sterilizing and using the applicator cone if it is provided, and if it has to be done at home. Discard unused exposed jelly after use.
- If you are thinking of using this medication at home (such as for inserting a catheter yourself), then make sure to read and learn all preparation and usage instructions from the manufacturer.
- Within 24 hours do not use more than 4 doses of xylocaine gel. Without your doctor’s approval, do not increase your dose or use this medication as per your wish. You will increase the risk of some very serious side-effects by doing so.
- If used in the mouth or throat, avoid eating or chewing gum for at least an hour after use. When the mouth, tongue, or throat is numb, there is a greater risk of choking or biting your cheek and tongue.