Intravenous lidocaine for the treatment of background or procedural burn pain

Thumbnail Image
File version
Wasiak, Jason
Mahar, Patrick
McGuinness, Siobhan
Spinks, Anneliese
Danilla, Stefan
Cleland, Heather
Griffith University Author(s)
Primary Supervisor
Other Supervisors

188406 bytes

File type(s)



Background This is an update of the review on 'Lidocaine for pain relief in burn injured patients' first published in Issue 3, 2007. Pain is a major issue for patients suffering from many different types of wounds, in particular those with burn injuries. Prompt, aggressive use of opioid analgesics such as morphine has been suggested as critical to avert the cycle of pain and anxiety, but side effects are encountered. It is proposed that newer agents such as lidocaine could be effective in reducing pain and alleviating the escalating opioid dosage requirements in patients with burn injury. Objectives To assess the safety and effectiveness of intravenous lidocaine as a means of pain relief versus no therapy, placebo, other drugs or two or more of the above therapies in combination in patients exposed to burn injury. Search methods We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 2),MEDLINE (1966 to April 2011 week 4) and EMBASE (1980 to 2011 week 17). Selection criteria We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs), published and unpublished, which assessed the efficacy of intravenous lidocaine in varying doses as a single-agent therapy with no therapy, placebo, other analgesics such as opioids, lidocaine plus another drug, or two or more of the above therapies as a means of pain relief in patients exposed to burn injury. Data collection and analysis Two review authors independently abstracted data and assessed the risk of bias of the studies identified. Main results This update identified one new randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial which included 45 participants and compared intravenous lidocaine against placebo as a means of pain relief in those with burns. Subjective pain ratings as measured by the verbal rating scale increased during procedures for both treatment arms, however, the increase was less for the lidocaine treatment arm. There were no significant clinical or statistical differences regarding the effects of lidocaine and placebo on opioid requests and consumption, anxiety or level of satisfaction during a wound care procedure. Authors' conclusions As current clinical evidence is based on only one single RCT as well as case series and reports, intravenous lidocaine must be considered a pharmacological agent under investigation in burns care, the effectiveness of which is yet to be determined with further well-designed and conducted clinical trials.

Journal Title

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Conference Title
Book Title




Thesis Type
Degree Program
Publisher link
Patent number
Grant identifier(s)
Rights Statement
Rights Statement

© 2012 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by JohnWiley & Sons, Ltd. This review is published as a Cochrane Review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 6.. Cochrane Reviews are regularly updated as new evidence emerges and in response to comments and criticisms, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews should be consulted for the most recent version of the Review.

Item Access Status
Access the data
Related item(s)

Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Clinical Sciences not elsewhere classified

Medical and Health Sciences

Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

Persistent link to this record