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A 54-year-old male asked:

But when it comes to local anaesthetics during ear, nasal or throat surgury, are lidocaine and cocaine interchangable? or is that fair to say, somehow cocaine=lidocaine+epinephrine? thank you very much!

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Louis Gallia
Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial 46 years experience
No: No. Different drugs, different indications. OFten used together. Ask your ENT surgeon about what he/she plans to use.
Dr. John Chiu
Allergy and Immunology 58 years experience
Somewhat: Cocaine constricts the blood vessels and thus provides long duration of action (this also is the cause septum perforation for some users). Lidocaine does not constrict the blood vessels and thus epinephrine is usually added in order to prolong its action. They are not interchangeable however.
Dr. Paul Grin
Pain Management 37 years experience
Cocaine or LA w/epi: Because local blocks often require several additional injections, many surgeons prefer general anesthesia or deep sedation.

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Last updated Jul 4, 2016

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