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FDA Warning: Topical Anesthetic

Posted Jan 27 2009 4:27pm

After two young females died after applying topical lidocaine in preparation of a laser hair removal have died of a heart attacks recently.

The FDA recommends:

  • use a topical anesthetic that contains the lowest amount possible of medication that will relieve the pain; 
  • apply the topical anesthetic sparingly and only to the area where pain exists or is expected to occur;
  • not apply the topical anesthetic to broken or irritated skin.
  • ask their doctor what side effects are possible and how to lower their chance of having life-threatening side effects from anesthetic drugs.
  • be aware that if wrapping or covering the skin with any type of material or dressing is recommended or considered, this can increase the chance of serious side effects, as can applying heat to the treated area while the medication is still present.

Some possible topical anesthetics are

  • lidocaine
  • benzocaine
  • tetrocaine
  • prilocaine

Some of the possible side effects are:

  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Coma
  • Death

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