Health Guide
Drug Guide

Anesthetic, local (Topical application, dental, buccal mucosa route, gargle)

Uses of This Medicine:

Dental anesthetics are used in the mouth to relieve pain or irritation caused by many conditions. Examples include toothache, teething, and sores in or around the mouth, such as cold sores, canker sores, and fever blisters. Also, some of these medicines are used to relieve pain or irritation caused by dentures or other dental appliances, including braces. However, if you have an infection or a lot of large sores in your mouth, check with your medical doctor or dentist before using a dental anesthetic because other kinds of treatment may be needed. Also, the chance of side effects is increased.

One form of lidocaine is also used to relieve pain caused by certain throat conditions. Some forms of benzocaine, benzocaine and menthol combination, and dyclonine are also used to relieve sore throat pain.

Some of these medicines are available only with your medical doctor's or dentist's prescription. Others are available without a prescription; however, your medical doctor or dentist may have special instructions on the proper use and dose for your medical problem. Some nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) aerosols, gels, liquids, or ointments that contain a local anesthetic are not meant to be used in or around the mouth. If you have any questions about which product to use, check with your pharmacist.

Before Using This Medicine:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to medicines in this group or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children

Children may be especially sensitive to the effects of dental anesthetics. This may increase the chance of unwanted effects, some of which can be serious, during treatment. When using a dental anesthetic for a child, be very careful not to use more of the medicine than directed on the label, unless otherwise directed by your health care professional. Teething medicines that contain benzocaine may be used in babies 4 months of age and older. One product that contains benzocaine (Orabase-B with Benzocaine) may be used in children 6 years of age and older. Most of the other nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines that contain a dental anesthetic may be used in children 2 years of age and older. However, these other nonprescription products should not be used in infants or children younger than 2 years of age unless prescribed by a health care professional.

Older adults

Elderly people are especially sensitive to the effects of many local anesthetics. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment, especially with lidocaine. Nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) products containing local anesthetics are not likely to cause problems. However, elderly people should be especially careful not to use more medicine than directed on the package label, unless otherwise directed by a medical doctor or a dentist.

Pregnancy

Dental anesthetics have not been reported to cause birth defects or other problems in humans.

Breast-feeding

Dental anesthetics have not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Other medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking any of these medicines, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using medicines in this class with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

Other interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

For safe and effective use of this medicine:

To use the viscous (very thick) liquid form of lidocaine (e.g., Xylocaine Viscous):

To use benzocaine film-forming gel (e.g., Oratect Gel):

To use other gel or liquid forms of a dental anesthetic :

To use benzocaine dental paste (e.g., Orabase-B with Benzocaine):

To use aerosol or spray forms of a dental anesthetic :

To use lozenge forms of benzocaine, benzocaine and menthol, or dyclonine:

Dosing

The dose medicines in this class will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of these medicines. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Store the canister at room temperature, away from heat and direct light. Do not freeze. Do not keep this medicine inside a car where it could be exposed to extreme heat or cold. Do not poke holes in the canister or throw it into a fire, even if the canister is empty.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

Check with your medical doctor:

You may have a condition that needs other treatment.

Check with your health care professional:

You may have a condition that needs other treatment

Check with your dentist:

False test results may occur if benzocaine or lidocaine is present in your body when a certain laboratory test is done. This test uses a medicine called bentiromide (e.g., Chymex) to show how well your pancreas is working. You should not use any products containing benzocaine or lidocaine for about 72 hours (3 days) before this test is done.

If you are using this medicine in the back of the mouth, or in the throat, do not eat or drink anything for one hour after using it. When this medicine is applied to these areas, it may interfere with swallowing and cause choking.

Do not chew gum or food while your mouth or throat feels numb after you use this medicine. To do so may cause an injury. You may accidentally bite your tongue or the inside of your cheeks.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common
Large swellings that look like hives on skin or in mouth or throat
Signs and symptoms of too much medicine being absorbed by the body
Blurred or double vision
confusion
convulsions (seizures)
dizziness or lightheadedness
drowsiness
feeling hot, cold, or numb
headache
increased sweating
ringing or buzzing in the ears
shivering or trembling
slow or irregular heartbeat
troubled breathing
unusual anxiety, excitement, nervousness, or restlessness
unusual paleness
unusual tiredness or weakness

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common
Burning, stinging, swelling, or tenderness not present before treatment
skin rash, redness, itching, or hives in or around the mouth

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

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


Last Updated: 10/12/2016

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