Lidocaine is used as a topical or injected numbing agent, primarily for dental work and minor surgery. Common names for lidocaine include Lidoderm, Emla, Xylocaine, and AnaMantle.
Precautions During Pregnancy
Though lidocaine is regularly administered to pregnant women, there are reports of negative side effects on infants born to mothers using the anesthetic. This is usually due to women getting too much lidocaine — at a normal dose, these adverse outcomes are unlikely.
Lidocaine does pass very quickly through the placenta so doctors suggest only using the anesthetic for established medical needs. Lidocaine can be used as an epidural during labor. No negative side effects from epidural use have been reported.
The drug has not been shown to have any effect on fertility in animal studies, but no human studies have been completed.
Safe During Breastfeeding
Lidocaine is found in breast milk. While there does not appear to be negative side effects associated with lidocaine use while breastfeeding, allergic reactions have occurred. If your infant shows signs of an allergic reaction after breastfeeding, contact your pediatrician immediately.