INDICATIONS : BENZOCAINE
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Benzocaine is a local anesthetic commonly used as a topical pain reliever. It is the active ingredient in many over-the-counter anesthetic ointments (e.g. products for oral ulcers of Anbesol by Wyeth, Kank+a by Blistex, and Orabase B and Orajel by Del Pharmaceuticals). It is also combined with antipyrine to form A/B Otic Drops, (Brand name Auralgan) to relieve earpain and remove earwax.
Pain is caused by the stimulation of free nerve endings. When the nerve endings are stimulated, sodium enters the neuron, causing depolarization of the nerve and subsequent initiation of an action potential. The action potential is propagated down the nerve toward the central nervous system, which interprets this as pain. Esters of PABA work as a chemical barrier, stopping the sodium entering the nerve ending.
Allergic reactions occur with ester local anaesthetics (like benzocaine ) because of the PABA structure. Benzocaine also is a well-known cause of methemoglobinemia. Because it may be used in topical creams with a concentration as much as 20%, it is not difficult to administer a dose sufficient to cause this problem.
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What is Anesthesia? An anesthetic (anaesthetic), is a drug that causes anesthesia — reversible loss of sensation. They contrast with analgesics (painkillers), which relieve pain without eliminating sensation. These drugs are generally administered to facilitate surgery. A wide variety of drugs are used in modern anesthetic practice. Many are rarely used outside of anesthesia, although others are used commonly by all disciplines. Anesthetics are categorized in to two classes: general anesthetics, which cause a reversible loss of consciousness, and local anesthetics, which cause a reversible loss of sensation for a limited region of the body while maintaining consciousness. Combinations of anesthetics are sometimes used for their synergistic and additive therapeutic effects, however, adverse effects may also be increased.