Novocaine (or novocain), also known as procaine hydrochloride, is a local anesthetic that is commonly used during dental procedures, like cavity fillings. It often works very quickly and its effects don’t usually last long. This drug should not be mistaken for Malava Novocaine™, the anti-stress drink that contains organic Kava Root and promoted as a drink that helps reduce stress and anxiety while relaxing the mind and body.
Before using Novocain, talk to your healthcare provider if you have
- liver problems;
- bleeding or blood clotting problems;
- heart problems;
- a neuromuscular disease such as myasthenia gravis; or
- other serious medical conditions.
You may not be able to use Novocain, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment.
It is not known whether Novocain will be harmful to an unborn baby. Do not use Novocain without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.
It is not known whether Novocain passes into breast milk. Do not use this medicine without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How Novocaine Works
Local anesthetics like Novocaine block the generation and the conduction of nerve impulses, presumably by increasing the threshold for electrical excitation in the nerve, by slowing the propagation of the nerve impulse, and by reducing the rate of rise of the action potential.
Systemic absorption of Novocaine produces effects on the cardiovascular and central nervous systems. At blood concentrations achieved with normal therapeutic doses, changes in cardiac conduction, excitability, refractoriness, contractility, and peripheral vascular resistance are minimal.
Following systemic absorption, Novocaine can produce central nervous system stimulation, depression, or both. Apparent central stimulation is manifested as restlessness, tremors and shivering, progressing to convulsions, followed by depression, and coma progressing ultimately to respiratory arrest if taken above therapeutic doses.
How Long Does Novocaine Last?
Onset of anesthesia with Novocain is rapid, the time of onset for sensory block ranges from about two to five minutes depending upon such factors as the anesthetic technique, the type of block, the concentration of the solution, and the individual patient. The degree of motor blockade produced is dependent on the concentration of the solution. Novocain will normally provide anesthesia which is adequate for one hour.
Depending upon the route of administration, the drug is distributed to all body tissues, with high concentrations found in highly perfused organs such as the liver, lungs, heart, and brain.
Generally, the effects of Novocaine can last for up to 3-5 hours after administration and approximately 90% of the para-aminobenzoic acid metabolite and its conjugates and 33% of the diethylaminoethanol metabolite are excreted in the urine, while less than 2% of the administered dose is recovered unchanged in the urine.
How to make Novocaine wear off faster
Massaging: Massaging increase blood flow, once the blood circulation in the body increases, it begins to carry the drug away in the bloodstream. This causes the effects of Novocaine to begin wearing off. It is said that activities that increase blood flow in the body help to make Novocaine wear off faster. If there is no swelling, apply a warm compress to increase blood flow to the affected area. Along with a warm compress, try massaging your lips to warm them and increase blood flow. Please avoid touching the treatment area directly, and always wash your hands before massaging.
Light Physical Activity: Ask your dentist if it’s safe to start any physical activity after your treatment. Taking a light run or going for a bike ride will aid in minimizing numbness. Physical activity fuels up the blood flow, helping anesthesia move away from the injection site. This, in return, will enable your body to break down and metabolize the Novocaine administered during your treatment.
Go to Bed: While falling asleep is the opposite of being active, it can help your mind forget that some parts of your mouth and face are numb. Do nothing and relax, and allow the feeling of numbness to dissolve until the anesthetic wears off.
Reversal Injection: An alternative option is to have a medication administered that reverses the effects of local anesthetic. Research suggests that these medications are safe and that they do not interact with other medications. An important consideration is that they cost extra and insurance does not cover these costs.
What are the side effects of Novacaine?
While it is considered a safe drug for most people by the FDA, there are some common and some not-so-common Novacaine side effects that you should be aware of before using.
According to Drugs.com, the most common side effects are numbness, tingling and some minor pain around the injection site. These side effects are usually not severe and often subside within a few hours of the injection. In some cases, other more serious side effects occur, such as difficulty breathing, swelling, hives, or closing of the throat. These are the signs of an allergic reaction and need to be treated right away. Other rare side effects include chest pain or irregular heartbeats, dizziness or drowsiness, anxiety, restlessness, nausea, vomiting, trembling, or seizures. These are much less common, but because they can be very dangerous, it is important to tell your dentist right away if you experience any of them.
Your dentist will determine the best dosage of Novocaine to use for you. It is very important for you to tell your dentist about any medications that you are taking, both over the counter and prescriptions, as well as any health conditions that you have. Sometimes, Novocaine can interact with other drugs, causing dangerous side effects, or it can make some health conditions worse. Being up front with your dentist about medications and health conditions will help minimize the risk of you experiencing any dangerous Novocaine side effects.