Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone (Rectal, Topical)

Normally used to treat minor injuries to the skin, Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone is applied topically and relieves pain, inflammation and itching.

Overview

Although Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone can be used separately, they may be more effective when used as a combination medicine. Whilst Lidocaine acts as a local anesthetic and relieves pain, Hydrocortisone relieves swelling, inflammation and itching. When both medications are used together, they can minimize the discomfort caused by minor injuries.

Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone can be applied topically to treat injuries to the skin, such as minor burns, sunburn, cuts, scratches, insect bites, poison oak, poison ivy, poison sumac and insect stings. In addition to this, Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone can be used rectally to relieve the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids.

Although Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone is a widely used medication, it should be applied with caution. Patients should only use Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone if their physician has already diagnosed their condition and prescribed or approved the use of Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone.

Furthermore, patients should take care not to inadvertently inflict any other injuries on the affected area after applying Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone. As Lidocaine acts as a local anesthetic, the patient will experience numbness after the cream or lotion has been applied. Whilst this is extremely effective in reducing the patient's pain, it could result in them causing further injuries to the area if they aren't vigilant whilst the numbing effect is present.

Unlike general anesthetics, Lidocaine does not cause the patient to lose consciousness or become sedated. Instead, it temporarily deadens the nerve endings in the skin of the affected area, thus effectively providing pain relief.

As a corticosteroid, Hydrocortisone does not directly relieve pain but does reduce swelling, inflammation and redness. As many skin conditions, such as bites or stings, can cause intense itching and discomfort, the addition of Hydrocortisone ensures that these symptoms are relieved.

Due to the beneficial effects of both Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, it is commonly used as a combination medicine. Rather than attempting to apply each medication separately, patients can get the benefit of a local anesthetic and corticosteroid whilst only having to apply one medication to the affected area.

Conditions Treated

  • Minor skin injuries
  • Sunburn
  • Minor burns
  • Poison oak
  • Poison ivy
  • Poison sumac
  • Insect bites or stings
  • Cuts or scratches

Type Of Medicine

  • Topical local anesthetic (Lidocaine)
  • Topical corticosteroid (Hydrocortisone)

Side Effects

Although any medication can cause adverse effects, Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone does not typically cause patients to experience any side effects. Providing patients use the medication in accordance with their doctor's instructions, they are unlikely to develop any side effects. However, if patients exhibit the following adverse effects when using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, they should notify a healthcare practitioner immediately:

  • Stinging or burning sensation of the skin
  • Redness or paleness of the skin
  • Swelling of the skin

In addition to this, patients should obtain medical advice or assistance if they develop any other side effects when using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone.

Dosage

When adult patients are prescribed Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone cream or lotion, they are usually advised to apply it to the affected area in a thin layer. Typically, patients can apply the medication two or three times per day.

However, patients should not use Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone more than is advised and should not apply more than the recommended amount of lotion or cream. Using excessive amounts of Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone increases the patient's risk of developing serious side effects and complications.

Although Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone is used to treat minor skin complaints, it should not be applied to skin which is inflamed, broken, irritation or to any open wounds or sores. When using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, patients must ensure that the cream or lotion does not come into contact with the mouth, ears, nose or eyes. If Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone does come into contact with these areas, it can cause severe irritation. Patients should rinse the areas thoroughly with clean water for at least fifteen minutes and obtain immediate medical advice if the medication comes into contact with their eyes, nose, ears or mouth.

Before and after using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, patients should wash their hands thoroughly. If Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone has been prescribed for the treatment of hemorrhoids, the medication should be accompanied by an applicator. This applicator tip can be screwed on to the tube of medication, once the original cap has been removed. Patients should squeeze the tube to allow a small amount of cream to lubricate the applicator tip. Following this, patients can insert the applicator tip into the anal area and apply the Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone cream. However, patients should not insert the tube or applicator tip deep into the rectum or anus. Patients can then remove the applicator tip before disposing of it carefully.

If patients forget to administer a dose of Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, they should do so as soon as they remember to. However, if their next application of cream is almost due, patients should skip the missed dose and continue with their normal treatment regime. Patients should not attempt to apply a double dose of Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, even if an earlier dose has been missed.

Before using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, patients should make sure that they know when and how to use the medication. If they are unsure, patients should contact their physician or pharmacist for further advice.

Potential Drug Interactions

Due to the risk of an interaction occurring, Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone is not usually prescribed to patients who are already taking the following medication:

  • Amiodarone

If patients are prescribed both Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone and Amiodarone, their dose of medicine may be altered or they may be advised to use the medications at different times of the day.

Before using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, patients should tell their physician if they are taking any other medications, supplements or vitamins. Similarly, patients should obtain medical advice before using anew new medicines, vitamins or supplements once they have begun using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone as a topical or rectal medication.

Warnings

If patients have any other medical conditions, they should notify their doctor before they are prescribed Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone. Similarly, patients should discuss their medical history with their physician before they start using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone. There are some conditions which can affect the use of this medication and these may include:

Although Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone may be prescribed to pediatric patients, it should be used with caution. Lidocaine, in particular, can be toxic and both Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone can be extremely dangerous if swallowed. Due to this, Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone is only usually used to treat pediatric patients if other medications have been ineffective. If Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone is applied to a pediatric patient, they must be monitored at all times to ensure that the medication does not come into contact with their mouth, ears, nose or eyes.

Whilst Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone can be prescribed to elderly patients, these patients may be more likely to have age-related health problems, such as liver disease, which could prevent the use of this medication. In some cases, geriatric patients may be prescribed a smaller dose of Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone than average.

When using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, patients usually notice an improvement in their symptoms fairly quickly. However, if the patient's symptoms worsen or do not improve with a few days, they should seek further medical advice.

Using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone for too long or using too much of the medication can increase the patient's risk of developing problems with their adrenal glands. This risk may be greater for infants and children. If patients experience one or more of the following symptoms when using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, they should obtain medical assistance:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Fainting
  • Pounding, irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Increased urination or thirst
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness
  • Irritability

Patients should not use any cosmetics, moisturizers or other skin care products in the affected areas whilst using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone.

If patients exhibit the following symptoms when using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, they should stop using the medication and seek medical help:

  • Rash on the skin
  • Swelling
  • Stinging, irritation or burning on the skin

Classified as a category C medication in relation to pregnancy, Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone should only be used by pregnant patients if other, safer treatments have failed to be effective. Due to the risks to the unborn fetus, Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone should only be used by pregnant patients if it is absolutely necessary and if the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. Pregnant patients must seek medical advice before using this medication.

If patients become pregnant when using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, they should notify their physician immediately.

It is not known if Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone can be excreted in breast milk or what risk this would pose to the nursing infant. Due to this, patients are usually advised not to breastfeed when using this medicine and should obtain medical advice before doing so.

If patients have any known allergies, they should inform their doctor before they start using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone. This includes allergies to other medicines, foods, dyes, preservatives and/or animals. In rare cases, patients may exhibit an allergic reaction when using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone and, if so, they will require emergency medical care. The symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Itching
  • Hoarseness
  • Hives
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling of the face, hands, lips, mouth, throat or tongue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash on the skin

Storage

When keeping Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone at home, patients should ensure that the medication is kept in a safe location and that children and/or pets cannot gain access to it. In order to keep the medicine safely, patients should follow the manufacturer's instructions.

However, Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone can usually be kept at room temperature but should be protected from light, moisture and heat. Patients should not, therefore, keep this medicine in a location which is exposed to extremes of temperature, such as a kitchen or bathroom.

If the medicine reaches its use-by date or if patients are advised to stop using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone, they should dispose of it carefully. It is not safe to throw medication out with regular household waste. Instead, patients should contact their physician's office or pharmacist and make use of a specialist medicine disposal service.

Summary

Although Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone is used to treat relatively mild skin conditions, the potency and toxicity of this medication should not be overlooked. It is essential that patients follow their doctor's instructions when using Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone and that the medication is not over-used.

Providing Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone is used appropriately, it can provide relief from pain, swelling, redness, itching and irritation. Ideal for use on sunburn, cuts, scratches, minor burns and/or insect stings and bites, Lidocaine and Hydrocortisone is a much-used combination medicine and is effective in providing fast-acting relief from the discomfort of minor skin complaints.