Lidocaine vs Amiodarone – Comparison of Side Effects & Benefits


It is a medication that belongs to a group of drugs called local anesthetics. It stops nerves from sending pain signals to the brain.

When applied topically, the effects of the medication remain on the surface of the skin, therefore, it is not used for pain which is felt below the skin, like – muscle pain.


This prescription medication is commonly used to prevent pain before medical procedures (like – getting your blood drawn at the doctor’s office) or to relieve pain due to:

  • minor scratches, cuts, or burns;
  • skin irritations like – insect bites, sunburn, poison oak, poison ivy, or poison sumac;
  • nerve pain following a shingles infection;
  • cosmetic procedures, such as – laser hair removal;
  • insect bites.

In addition, it can help in the prevention of thermal stress during the hyperthermia which results from chemotherapy, according to the Osaka Minami National Hospital.


The usual recommended dose for children to relieve pain is based on body weight and must be determined by your healthcare provider.

The usual recommended dose for adults to relieve pain caused by minor skin conditions is one topical application 3 or 4 times per day.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • numbness in places where this local anesthetic is accidentally applied;
  • mild irritation where the medication is applied.

Rare side effects may include:

  • swelling or redness;
  • severe stinging, burning, or irritation where the local anesthetic was applied;
  • unusual sensations of temperature;
  • ringing in the ears;
  • sudden drowsiness or dizziness after the local anesthetic is applied;
  • blurred vision;
  • confusion.

To make sure that this medication is safe for you, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • liver disease;
  • an allergy to corn products;
  • a history of malignant hyperthermia (a type of severe reaction which happens to particular drugs used during general anesthesia);
  • circulation problems;
  • kidney disease;
  • coronary artery disease;
  • heart disease.


It is a potent antiarrhythmic drug that works to correct an improper heartbeat. This antiarrhythmic is used to treat ventricular arrhythmias (abnormally rapid heart rhythms which originate in the lower chambers of the heart) and atrial fibrillation and is commonly given when other drugs haven’t worked.

It may be found in some form under the following brand names – Cordarone, Pacerone, and Nexterone.

The medication works by affecting the potassium (an essential mineral) level in the heart muscle that helps the heart resist irregular electrical signals.

It was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1985 under the brand name Pacerone. Currently, it is produced by Pfizer, a global biopharmaceutical company, that engages in the manufacture of biologic medicines and vaccines.


It is used to maintain a normal heart rate and to treat irregular heart rhythms (when the heart beats too slow, too fast, or with an irregular rhythm).


The usual recommended dosage is 200mg, 3 times per day for seven days. Then, the dose is reduced to 200mg, 2 times per day for another seven days.

After intake, this antiarrhythmic drug has a bioavailability of around 30%. In addition, it has a half-life of approximately one month and a half, hence, it may take over 2 weeks to have an effect on the body.

Important note – if you have been taking another similar drug, you need to gradually stop taking that antiarrhythmic drug when you start taking amiodarone.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • stomach pain;
  • vomiting;
  • lack of coordination;
  • nausea;
  • constipation;
  • insomnia;
  • loss of appetite;
  • fatigue;
  • decreased sex drive;
  • unusual movements of the body;
  • tremor;
  • headaches.

Rare side effects may include:

  • chest pain;
  • a cough;
  • a new or a worsening irregular heartbeat pattern;
  • wheezing;
  • breathing problems which get worse;
  • unexplained weight gain;
  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • seeing halos around lights;
  • upper stomach pain;
  • feeling more sensitive to cold temperatures;
  • coughing up blood;
  • irregular menstrual periods;
  • numbness in the hands or lower legs;
  • muscle pain;
  • muscle weakness;
  • extreme tired feeling;
  • loss of coordination;
  • swelling in the neck;
  • pain behind the eyes;
  • increased sweating;
  • vision loss;
  • clay-colored stools;
  • hoarse voice;
  • loss of appetite;
  • blurred vision;
  • dark urine;
  • joint pain;
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes;
  • thinning hair;
  • dry skin.

Drug Interactions

This medication can negatively interact with other drugs, including:

  • Orap (pimozide);
  • Nebupent (pentamidine);
  • Juxtapid (Lomitapide);
  • Invicek (telaprevir);
  • drugs to control heart rhythm, such as – Multaq (dronedarone), Tikosyn (dofetilide), and Covert (ibutilide);
  • Sporonax or Omnel (itraconazole);
  • Vfend (voriconazole);
  • Seroquel (quetiapine), Clozaril (clozapine), Invega (paliperidone);
  • Foradil (formoterol);
  • antibiotics, such as – Biaxin (clarithromycin), Zithromax (azithromycin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin);
  • rytary;
  • Nizoral (ketoconazole), Diflucan (fluconazole);
  • St. John’s Wort;
  • cancer medications, such as – Eligard, Gleevec (imatinib), and Xalkori (crizotinib);
  • statins, like – Mevacor (lovastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), or Zocor (simvastatin);
  • antidepressants, like – Effexor (venlafaxine), Pamelor (nortriptyline), Celexa (citalopram);
  • HIV/AIDS drugs, such as – Norvir (ritonavir), Crixivan (indinavir), and Invirase (saquinavir);
  • psychiatric medications, such as – Geodon (ziprasidone) and Haldol (haloperidol).

To make sure that this antiarrhythmic drug is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have or ever had:

  • asthma;
  • an intolerance to certain sugars;
  • heart failure;
  • an implantable cardioverter defibrillator;
  • porphyria (a group of disorders that can cause skin or nerve problems);
  • liver problems;
  • kidney problems:
  • eyesight problems, especially optic neuritis (an inflammation that damages the optic nerve);
  • uncontrolled low blood pressure;
  • low blood potassium levels (hypokalemia).

Bottom Line – Lidocaine vs Amiodarone

Lidocaine is a local anesthetic that works by blocking nerve signals in the body.

Amiodarone is a medication used to treat irregular heartbeats. It belongs to a group of drugs known as anti-arrhythmic and is sold under the brand names Nexterone, Cordarone, or Pacerone.

According to a 2002 study conducted at the Rush University, Chicago, USA, amiodarone is more effective than lidocaine in the treatment of shock-resistant ventricular fibrillation.


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