Background and objective: Pain following the injection of propofol is a common problem. It is often treated by the coadministration of intravenous lidocaine. Iontophoresis, which facilitates the delivery of charged molecules such as lidocaine to body tissues, may be a practical alternative to lessen the pain.
Methods: The iontophoretic application of lidocaine was compared with intravenous lidocaine to assess the relative efficacy of reducing pain during propofol administration.
Results: The incidence rate of moderate or severe pain was significantly greater in the iontophoresis group (26.7 compared with 6.9% in the intravenous lidocaine group) (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: The iontophoretic administration of lidocaine 60 mg does not compare favourably with lidocaine 40 mg mixed with propofol for the reduction of pain on administration of propofol.