Lidocaine is synthetic aminoethylamide characterized by antiarrhythmic and local anesthetic properties. The chemical formula of the substance is C14H22N2O. Its CAS number is 137-58-6. Lidocaine is also known under the names, xylocaine, lignocaine, and 2-Diethylamino-N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl) acetamide.

The first person to synthesize it was Swedish chemist Nils Löfgren. It received the name “xylocaine” and become the first local anesthetic amino amide-type. The substance came into the market since 1949.


Lidocaine is an amine. That means it contains an amine bond. This chemical has a nitrogen-hydrogen (NH) bound to a carbon-oxygen (CO). Benzene with two methyl groups is on the other side of the nitrogen-hydrogen group, when on the other side of the carbon-oxygen group there is a carbon bound to one more nitrogen with two ethane groups.

Lidocaine Properties

Lidocaine is a crystalline powder of white to yellow color with a characteristic odor. Its molar mass is 234.34 g/mol. The other lidocaine properties include:

  • Melting point: 68.5 °C;
  • Boiling point: 181 °C;
  • Density: 0.9944;
  • Flash point: 9 °C

The chemical is soluble in ethanol, ether, chloroform, benzene, and oil. Water solubility is 410 mg/L at 30 °C. The substance is stable under normal storage conditions.

Lidocaine is very flammable. When heated to decomposition, emits toxic fumes. Besides, the chemical is toxic if swallowed. In that case, it is necessary to call a poison center or a doctor.

Manufacture and Uses

The process of lidocaine synthesis includes acylation of 2,6-dimethylaniline with chloroacetyl chloride. Then the resulting product reacts with diethylamine.

This chemical has property to stop the sodium ions from passing through the voltage-gated channels. Thus, the signals for pain can be stopped before they are even formed. That is why this substance is mainly used as local anesthetic. Besides, it is widely applied in medicine as antiarrhythmic drug, a cough suppressor, in treating epilepsy, etc.

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