alternatives to lidocaine

edited February 2015 in Magnets
I know you can purchase the pain management kit from dangerousthings but for the sake of discusion and on the off chance someone is allergic to just doesn't want to go that route, what are some other pain management options? Would a topical anesthetic penetrate deep enough to be useful? Is there anything otc? I know diphenhydramine hydrochloride can be used but I don't know if it's any easier to get though although if you really wanted you could extract it from otc stuff but i guess the same can be said of lidocaine.


  • diphenhydramine is benedryl... so probably pretty easy to get a hold of...

    i believe that allergies to local anesthetics are rare, but if they occur, one can try more general anesthetics or (don't do this) opioids.

    There should not be an instance where one "just doesn't want to go that route". If one has access to tools but chooses to forgo them for non medical reasons, that's just not a good idea. no reason to make life difficult. lidocaine is easy to get.
  • When I say doesn't want to go that route, as in not ordering online. Are there local ways of obtaining it? Im not above ordering online this is just for the sake of curiosity. It's not that I don't want lidocaine. I very much do, with epi ideally but a bulk or local option interests me
  • Im not sure what type of modification you are intending to do, but Lidocaine with epi shouldn't be used on fingers.
  • A study was recently done correcting that. It showed that after years of testing the old saying to keep epi away from tops of things wasn't valid and that it's safe to use on fingers. If it would stem the bleeding it would be idea if you're attempting to preform the procedure on yourself. Which on the topic of that, super glue may be ideal for sealing the incision for self surgery as it's next to impossible to do one handed stitches well without a bit of help far as ive seen. either that or hold the thing closed till the bleeding stops but that's less ideal. Can you order bulk in canada?
  • I myself have an allergy to Lidocaine, nothing serious - it's more of a sensitivity - but a little inconvenient. That aside, having an injection of Lidocaine with epi in my fingertip ranks as the MOST painful thing I have ever experienced. If you're doing a DIY implant, I don't recommend it.
  • OK, noted, no epi. I was browsing ebay and found that some suture kits come with lidocaine so really everything is covered.

    this one in particular offers vials of lidocain up to 100ml. not the cheapest but good. not sure if the kit includes a sterile needle though... either way this has been sorted out
  • DO NOT use phenol based locals hypodermically.  They really should only be used topically.

    I tested really low concentrations on the back of my forearm with promising results.  The same concentration in my non-dominant index finger seems to have done some lasting damage - I now have a small area on the side of that finger that has been numb for weeks.  I don't think it's coming back.
  • Doc, if it caused nerve damage it can possibly take months to regenerate, but feeling could return. Though I guess anyone doing grinding should expect damaging some nerves beyond repairs.
  • Why settle for permanently damaged nerves? I've noticed a number of research projects on nerve regeneration, some using materials that are fairly accessible to the average grinder.

    If one of these comes to fruition, perhaps it would be feasible to temporarily sever nerves for pain management?
  • @Shaedlaer makes a good point about nerve regeneration taking time.

    My intent, however, was simply to share my experience to warn other people who might attempt this route.  Since we experiment on ourselves, we are bound to fail and possibly suffer long term consequences as a result of that failure.  I figure we should warn each other away from those things we have attempted and experienced this kind of failure.
  • Quick update - maybe interesting, maybe not.  Two things, although I don't suggest anyone try either...

    First thing... most of the feeling has returned to the finger I tried the Phenol local on.  I do have something like a callus where I injected, and associated diminished sensation, but I can feel it again and I'm fairly confident that the callus will diminish with time.

    On a better note, diphenhydramine from generic antihistamine capsules dissolved 10mg/ml in saline seems to work just fine without adverse effects.  Caveat:  It was only truly effective for fifteen or twenty minutes, so you would need to work fast or use boosters..

    Another caveat:  diphenhydramine capsules have several "inactive ingredients" that really should be removed prior to injection.  Look up the appropriate solvents and work through the solutes and precipitates until it is fairly clean.  The greatest bulk of the inactive ingredients is plain old starch... this is super easy to remove... some of the other crap, not so much.

    Might be easier to get the dye and preservative free kind they make for people with severe allergies to dyes and such.  I imagine those have a lot less crap in them... I just used what I had on hand.  I did clean mine up a bit, but maybe not as much as I should have - it burned like shit going in.

    One last bit, I pointed the needle at myself and am not suggesting anyone else do the same.  Although, in this community a disclaimer might be largely a formality.
  • All sounds very interesting. glad someone actually tested this. It's an interesting idea that if it was an emergency and you didn't have lidocaine on hand then it could be a readily available alternative. do they sell the dye free stuff in stores or is it a custom order?
Sign In or Register to comment.