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Bupivacaine (Injection)

Bupivacaine (bue-PIV-a-kane)

Causes numbness or loss of feeling in an area of your body. Given before and during surgery or other procedures, childbirth, or dental work.

Brand Name(s):

Bupivacaine Spinal, Marcaine, Marcaine HCl, Marcaine Hydrochloride, Marcaine Spinal, Physicians EZ Use M-pred Injection Kit, Sensorcaine, Sensorcaine-MPF

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not receive this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to bupivacaine or other types of local anesthetic (numbing medicine).

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how the medicine will be given. This medicine is sometimes given through a catheter placed in your lower back for an epidural or a spinal block. You may also receive the injection into your rib cage, chest, or other body area. This medicine is injected directly into your gums for dental work.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.
  • This medicine should cause numbness only to the area where it is injected. This type of numbing procedure is called local anesthesia (an-iss-THEE-zuh). It is not meant to cause you to fall asleep or become unconscious.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using St. Johns wort, digoxin (Lanoxin®), droperidol (Inapsine®), haloperidol (Haldol®), or maprotiline (Ludiomil®). Tell your doctor if you use blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin®), ergot medicines (such as Cafergot® or Wigraine®), an MAO inhibitor (Eldepryl®, Marplan®, Nardil®, Parnate®), blood pressure medicine (such as atenolol, doxazosin, terazosin, toprolol, Cardura®, Hytrin®, Inderal®, Toprol®, enalapril, lisinopril, Accupril®, Altace®, Lotensin®, Lotrel®, Monopril®, Prinivil®, Vasotec®, Zestril), medicine for depression (such as amitriptyline, nortriptyline, Norpramin®, Vivactil®), or medicines called phenothiazines (such as Compazine®, Mellaril®, Phenergan®, Serentil®, Tacaryl®, Thorazine®, Trilafon®).
  • Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol or if you are using any medicine that makes you sleepy, such as allergy medicine or narcotic pain medicine.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • If you are not receiving this medicine for childbirth, make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Tell your doctor if you have asthma, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, or seizures (epilepsy). make sure your doctor knows if you have myasthenia gravis, thyroid problems, circulation problems, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, or a blood-iron disorder called methemoglobinemia.
  • Tell your doctor if you have any heart problems such as congestive heart failure or heart rhythm disorders.
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • It may be easier to hurt yourself while your treated body area is still numb. Be careful to avoid injury until you have regained all the feeling and are no longer numb.
  • If you are receiving this medicine as an epidural to ease labor pains, it may take longer than normal for you to push your baby out. It is also possible that the baby may have unwanted effects after birth (sleepiness, slow responses). Talk to your doctor if you have questions about how this medicine might affect your baby.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Chest pain, uneven heartbeat, trouble breathing.
  • Lightheadedness or fainting.
  • Numbness in another part of your body that has not been treated with this medicine.
  • Ringing in your ears.
  • Seizures.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Back pain.
  • Constipation, nausea, vomiting.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Feeling restless or anxious.
  • Headache.
  • Pain, redness, or swelling where the needle was placed.
  • Shivering, shaking, or tremors.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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