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Bupivacaine (By injection)

Bupivacaine (bue-PIV-a-kane)

Used to numb an area of your body during surgery or other procedures, childbirth, or dental work. This medicine is a local anesthetic.

Brand Name(s):

Active Injection Kit BLM-1, Active Injection Kit BM, Active Injection Kit DLM, Active Injection Kit KM, Active Injection Kit Ketmarc-L, Active Injection Kit LM-2, Active Injection Kit LM-DEP, Active Injection Kit LM-Dep-1, Active Injection Kit LM-Dep-2, Active Injection Kit M-1, BL Injection Kit, BT Injection Kit, Bupivacaine HCl Novaplus, Bupivacaine Spinal, Bupivilog Kit

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to bupivacaine or similar medicines, or if you have severe bleeding, low blood pressure, or infection, heart rhythm problems, or an infection at the injection site.

How to Use This Medicine:


  • Your doctor will prescribe your exact dose and tell you how the medicine will be given. It is sometimes given through a catheter placed into your lower back for an epidural or a spinal block. You may also receive the injection into your rib cage, chest, or other body areas. This medicine may also be injected directly into your gums for dental work.
  • A nurse or other health provider will give you this medicine.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Some medicines can affect how bupivacaine works. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following:
    • Blood pressure medicine (including atenolol, doxazosin, lisinopril, metoprolol, terazosin)
    • Ergot medicine or other medicines for headaches or migraines
    • Medicine to treat depression (including a tricyclic antidepressant or MAO inhibitor)
    • Phenothiazine medicine (including chlorpromazine, promethazine)
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, blood or blood clotting problems (including methemoglobinemia), asthma, diabetes, seizures, myasthenia gravis, thyroid problems, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, lasting back pain, arthritis, spinal problems, or mental illness.
  • This medicine may cause the following problems:
    • Chondrolysis (a bone or joint problem)
    • Low blood pressure
    • Hyperthermia (a dangerous increase in body temperature)
  • This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.
  • This medicine should cause numbness only to the area where it is injected. It is not meant to cause you to fall asleep or become unconscious.
  • 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 (including 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
  • Anxiety, depression, restlessness, drowsiness, ringing in your ears, blurred vision
  • Bone or joint pain or stiffness, inability to move
  • Chest pain, fast, pounding, slow, or uneven heartbeat, trouble breathing
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
  • Nausea, vomiting, chills, metallic taste in your mouth
  • Seizures, shivering, shaking, or tremors

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

  • Headache, back pain
  • Pain, redness, or swelling where the needle was placed

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: 7/4/2018

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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