Lidocaine cream helps relieve pain during infant immunization

25 Jan 2023
Lidocaine cream helps relieve vaccination pain in infants

Use of lidocaine 4% cream reduces total cry duration after vaccinations of infants relative to placebo, as shown in a study, noting that both caregivers and nurses are willing to use this cream for pain management in a clinic setting if available.

A team of investigators conducted a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in an urban clinic, including patients aged ≤14 months accompanied by a caregiver who witnessed the patient receiving an immunization within the previous 7 months. Infants were randomly assigned to receive either lidocaine 4% cream or placebo cream prior to vaccination. Time to cry and duration of cry were both recorded.

Afterwards, caregivers completed surveys that evaluated attitudes toward immunization-related pain and their satisfaction with the vaccination process through Likert scale ratings. Nurses also completed a questionnaire to assess the efficacy and feasibility of lidocaine cream for pain management.

Forty-four patients were included in the analysis. Mean duration of cry was significantly shorter among patients who received lidocaine cream compared to those who received placebo (48.6 vs 65.9 seconds; 95 percent confidence interval, ‒33.97 to ‒0.48; p<0.05).

“Immunizations are a common source of pain and anxiety within the paediatric population,” the investigators said. “Implementation of lidocaine 4% cream, which has a short onset of action, as a standard of care for immunization practices may be feasible.”

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