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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994 Jan;148(1):72-5.

Lidocaine as a diluent for ceftriaxone in the treatment of gonorrhea. Does it reduce the pain of the injection?

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Department of Pediatrics, Saint Francis Hospital, Hartford, Conn.

Erratum in

  • Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1995 Mar;149(3):271.



To compare the pain associated with ceftriaxone sodium injections by using two different diluents, ie, lidocaine hydrochloride and sterile water.


Prospective study of adolescents who were culture positive for gonorrhea. Random selection of the diluent used for the intramuscular ceftriaxone therapy.


Urban, hospital-based adolescent medicine service.


Thirty-nine adolescents and young adults, predominantly of black or Hispanic backgrounds, ranging in age between 14 and 23 years (mean age, 17.6 years; median age, 17 years), of whom 27 were females.


Pain predictions were elicited from the adolescents before treatment. Pain ratings were obtained at five time intervals after the injections. All ratings were obtained by using a visual analog scale.


No pain prediction differences before the injection were noted between the two groups. Individual t tests showed significant pain differences between the two groups at the time after the injection and at 10- and 20-minute and 6-hour intervals. Repeated-measures analysis of variance models showed that the diluent effect on pain was significant.


Lidocaine can reduce the amount of pain of an intramuscular injection of ceftriaxone when compared with sterile water as a diluent. These findings have implications not only for the treatment of gonorrhea but also for other situations where intramuscular injections utilizing a diluent may be necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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