Lidocaine HCl Solution (2% Xylocaine® Viscous)

Author: OncoLink Team
Last Reviewed: June 23, 2020

Pronounced: LYE-doe-kane VIS-kus

Classification: Topical anesthetic

About: Lidocaine HCl Solution (2% Xylocaine® Viscous)

Lidocaine Hcl Solution, also called viscous lidocaine, is a medication used to numb the mucous membranes of your mouth, gums, and/or throat. Your provider may prescribe viscous lidocaine solution for you if you have mucositis from cancer treatment. Mucositis causes sores or inflammation in your mouth, on your gums, or down your throat. Viscous lidocaine works by blocking nerve cells in the affected area. This causes numbness and can ease pain due to mucositis. 

How to Take Lidocaine HCl Solution (Viscous Lidocaine)

Viscous lidocaine can be given on as needed or scheduled basis and should be taken as prescribed by your provider. It is important to make sure you are taking the correct amount of medication every time. Before every dose, check that what you are taking matches what you have been prescribed. Never take more than is prescribed.

Use a measuring cup to make sure you have the right amount of viscous lidocaine. This should come with the medication. Do not dilute (mix) with water or any other liquid. 

  • If you have sores or irritation in your mouth or on your gums, swish the viscous lidocaine all around your mouth. Once your whole mouth is coated, spit out the viscous lidocaine. 
  • If you have sores or irritation in your throat, you can gargle the viscous lidocaine in the back of your throat and swallow. If you have pain in both your mouth and down your throat, swish the viscous lidocaine in your mouth, then gargle and swallow. Do not take two doses at one time.
  • If you have only a few sores in your mouth, you can use a cotton swab to dip into the viscous lidocaine and put the cotton swab right on the sore.

Avoid eating or drinking for at least 1 hour after taking viscous lidocaine. Since your mouth may be numb, you may have trouble swallowing and could bite your tongue or cheek.

Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medications and supplements you take. If you are allergic to any numbing medication, tell your provider before taking lidocaine viscous. Tell your provider if you have liver disease or problems with your heart. 

Viscous lidocaine should never be used for children who are teething. Serious side effects and death have happened in children under the age of 3. 

Storage and Handling

Viscous lidocaine should be stored in the original, labeled container at room temperature. Keep containers out of reach of children and pets.  

If you are no longer taking viscous lidocaine but have some medication left, be sure to throw the left over medication away somewhere so that children or pets cannot get to it.

Where do I get this medication?

Viscous lidocaine is available through retail/mail order pharmacy. Your oncology team will work with your prescription drug plan to identify an in-network retail/mail order pharmacy for medication distribution. You can work with your provider’s office if this medication needs a prior authorization.

Insurance Information

This medication may be covered under your prescription drug plan. Patient assistance may be available to qualifying individuals without prescription drug coverage. Co-pay cards, which reduce the patient co-pay responsibility for eligible commercially (non-government sponsored) insured patients, may also be available. Your care team can help you find these resources, if they are available.

Possible Side Effects of Lidocaine HCl Solution

This medication is given to manage and/or prevent side effects of your cancer treatment. If you are having side effects from this medication you should talk to your team about if this medication is necessary to your treatment or if there are other options to help manage the side effect this medication is treating. 

Many of the side effects of viscous lidocaine happen when you take too much of this medication. This can happen by taking it more often than prescribed or by taking too much at one time (overdosage). If you take lidocaine viscous too often, or take too much at one time, call 911 right away. Signs of overdosage can be:

  • Central Nervous System (CNS) Effects: lightheadedness, shallow breathing, dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, nervousness, ringing in the ears, blurred or double vision, vomiting, twitching, convulsions/seizures. Drowsiness is often the first sign of overdosage.
  • Heart (Cardiovascular) Effects: Slow or irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure (hypotension), changes in heart rhythm.

Reproductive Concerns

You should consult with your healthcare team prior to becoming pregnant, fathering a child or breastfeeding while receiving this medication.  

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