Bupivacaine injection

Bupivacaine injection prevents pain caused by certain procedures. It works by causing you to lose feeling in your skin and tissues. A healthcare provider will give you this injection in a hospital or clinic setting.

What is this medication?

BUPIVACAINE (bue PIV a kane) prevents pain from some procedures. It works by causing loss of feeling in the skin or other tissues.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Marcaine, Marcaine Spinal, Sensorcaine, Sensorcaine MPF


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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • G6PD deficiency
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lung or breathing disease (asthma, COPD)
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to bupivacaine, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

This medication is injected into the affected area. It is given by a health care provider in a hospital or clinic setting.

Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be given to children as young as 12 years for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.


What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply. This medication is not for regular use.

What may interact with this medication?

  • Acetaminophen
  • Certain antibiotics like dapsone, nitrofurantoin, aminosalicylic acid, sulfonamides
  • Certain medications for seizures like phenobarbital, phenytoin, valproic acid
  • Chloroquine
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Flutamide
  • Hydroxyurea
  • Ifosfamide
  • Metoclopramide
  • Nitric oxide
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Nitroprusside
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Other local anesthetics like lidocaine, pramoxine, tetracaine
  • Primaquine
  • Quinine
  • Rasburicase
  • Sulfasalazine

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.


What should I watch for while using this medication?

Your condition will be monitored carefully while you are receiving this medication.

Be careful to avoid injury while the area is numb, and you are not aware of pain.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • CNS depression—slow or shallow breathing, shortness of breath, feeling faint, dizziness, confusion, trouble staying awake
  • Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
  • Methemoglobinemia—trouble breathing, fast or irregular heartbeat, feeling faint or lightheaded headache, pale, gray, or blue colored mouth, nails or skin, unusually weak or tired
  • Seizures

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report these to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Anxiety, nervousness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

This medication is given in a hospital or clinic. It will not be stored at home.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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