GENERIC NAME: bupivacaine
BRAND NAMES: Marcaine; Sensorcaine
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Bupivacaine is a local anesthetic that is similar to lidocaine and mepivacaine (amide type). Bupivacaine, like other local anesthetics reduces the flow of sodium in and out of nerves. This decreases the initiation and transfer of nerve signals in the area in which the drug is applied. This blockage leads first to a loss of sensation of pain, then temperature, touch, deep pressure, and muscle control. The concentration of the drug will determine how quickly it starts working. The FDA approved bupivacaine in October 1972.
SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects are related to higher doses, as well as unintentional injection into alternative sites. Absorption into the blood stream may lead to the following sied effects:
- low blood pressure,
- slow heart rate,
- strong or irregular heartbeat,
- and cardiac arrest.
Other important side effects include:
- fecal and urinary incontinence,
- loss of sexual function,
- blurred vision,
- ringing in the ears, and
- loss of joint cartilage.
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