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Bupivacaine is an anesthetic, classified as a sodium channel blocker, used to provide numbness by blocking nerve impulses and thus preventing pain signals from being sent to your brain. Often given as an epidural injection, bupivacaine may provide needed numbness for many medical procedures as well as for pregnancy labor and surgery. Bupivacaine is regularly used as an anesthetic in dental procedures.

How to Use Bupivacaine

Bupivacaine is an injectable and most likely will be administered before a procedure. Check with your doctor.

Possible Side Effects

Some patients may experience no side effects at all but others may experience one or more, or many side effects. Common side effects seen with bupivacaine are: Vomiting and/or Nausea Headaches Chills / Shivering Back Pain Many other side effects are possible. If any of the above or any other side effects are experienced, monitor them closely. Seek medical assistance if you feel it is warranted, and absolutely if any side effects are increasing or lingering.

Serious & Severe Side Effects:

  • Difficulty Speaking
  • Vision Problems
  • Seizure
  • Accelerated Heart Rate
  • Slowed Heart Rate
  • Feeling Hot
  • Gasping
  • Urinating Low Amounts or No Urination
  • Feeling Anxious or Confused
  • Passing Out (or feeling like you may pass out)
  • Ear Ringing
  • Metallic Taste
  • Tremors
  • Numbness or Tingling in and around the Mouth
  • Shallow or Difficult Breathing

If you experience any of the Serious & Severe Side Effects listed above, get medical treatment immediately.


Bupivacaine is explicitly contraindicated for breast-feeding mothers. Bupivacaine may be a risk for pregnant women. Consult with your physician before taking bupivacaine if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking bupivacaine contact your physician immediately upon first knowledge of your pregnancy. Caution and medical consultation is especially advised before taking bupivacaine if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Issues or Disease
  • Syphilis
  • Brain Tumor
  • Spinal Cord Tumor
  • Blood Clot Disorder
  • Polio
  • Anemia
  • Spinal Curvature
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Arthritis

Severe allergic reactions to bupivacaine are possible. Watch for signs of a potentially severe allergic reaction and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Swelling (pay close attention to the face, throat and tongue)
  • Severe Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Sneezing
  • Rash
  • Difficulty Breathing

While some common side effects may be similar to severe side effects or severe allergic reaction it is always best to seek immediate medical treatment if the side effect is concerning to you.

  • "It is rare to find health professionals who are so willing to educate the patient on what they need to know."

    Clair C. | West Hollywood, CA