A while back, I blogged about a study that suggested over-the-counter lidocaine gel decreases the discomfort of a mammogram. (The gel numbs the skin after you rub it on.)
Recently, the FDA issued an alert reminding us that, although there were no serious side effects in the study, this same lidocaine gel and similar numbing agents can cause life-threatening side effects if you absorb too much through the skin. Rarely, it has caused heart irregularities, seizures, breathing problems, coma and death.
A lot to risk for the minimal benefit found in the study, don’t you think? In small amounts it appears to be safe, but the FDA recommends: