Intravenous lidocaine for the treatment of background or procedural burn pain

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As current clinical evidence is based on only one single randomised controlled trial 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.

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. This review assesses 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.

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