Is The Epidural In The Gi Cocktail?

Question

Asked by lynnheather

Is The Epidural In The Gi Cocktail?

I was having chest pains and went to the emergency room where they gave me the "GI cocktail" (thick green drink), then I broke out in hives. I'm allergic to the epidural too. Could that have been the reason i broke out? Those are the only two meds I can't take. They did have to remove my galbladder.

Answer

lynnheather,

Thanks for your question.

An epidural is a form of anesthesia that is an injection into the back. The medication is delivered to an area just outside of the spinal column and bathes the nerves as they exit the spinal canal. The medication usually used are drugs that are related to novacaine (Lidocaine, Marcaine). Some people have severe allergic reactions to this type of medication.

Most "GI Cocktails" given in emergency rooms contain a liquid like Maalox (or another antacid) plus an anti-spasmotic like Donnatal. There is no set list of ingredients for this remedy. I can think of one other possibility and that is adding viscous lidocaine (an anesthetic that can be ingested, usually used for mouth pain) which is a very thick liquid. Years ago, there was a medication called Oxaine M which was a combination of Maalox and lidocaine, but it has long been discontinued. I think you have to ask the personnel in the emergency room what the ingredients are of their "cocktail". If it does contain viscous lidocaine, then you are correct.

I hope this has been helpful.

Martin Cane, M.D.