Intravenous Lidocaine as an Adjuvant for Pain Associated with Sickle Cell Disease

Natalie L Nguyen, Anne M Kome, Denise K Lowe, Patrick Coyne, Kelly G Hawks
Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy 2015, 29 (4): 359-64
The objectives of this study were to evaluate the efficacy and safety of adjuvant intravenous (IV) lidocaine in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). This was a retrospective review. Adults with SCD receiving at least one IV lidocaine infusion from 2004 to 2014 were included. Patient demographics, lidocaine treatment parameters, pain scores, pain medications, and adverse effects were recorded. Eleven patients were identified, yielding 15 IV lidocaine trials. Clinical improvement in pain scores from pre-lidocaine challenge to 24 hours post-lidocaine challenge, defined by ≥ 20% reduction in pain scores, was achieved in 53.3% (8 of 15) of IV lidocaine challenges. Of the 8 clinically successful trials, the mean reduction in morphine dose equivalents (MDE) from 24 hours pre-lidocaine challenge to 24 hours post-lidocaine challenge was 32.2%. Additionally, clinically successful trials had a mean initial and a maximum dose of 1 mg/kg/h (range: 0.5-2.7 mg/kg/h) and 1.3 mg/kg/h (range: 0.5-1.9 mg/kg/h), respectively. On average, these patients underwent 3 dose titrations (range: 1-8) and received lidocaine infusions for 4.4 days (range: 2-8 days). Two patients experienced disorientation and dizziness. The authors conclude that adjuvant IV lidocaine provided pain relief and a mean reduction in MDE during sickle cell pain crisis. These results provide preliminary insight into the use of IV lidocaine for treating pain in patients with SCD, although prospective studies are needed to determine efficacy, dosing, and tolerability of IV lidocaine in this patient population.

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