Methemoglobinemia and local anaesthesia

Posted by in Doctor X files, Other drug question

 

I have an MD in the family who says that almost any “Caine” can cause serious problems with blood oxygenation and that they were taught in med school of a few instances of deaths due to OTC numbing agents like Orajel. Is this true?

 

Both benzocaine and lidocaine can produce a rare condition called methemoglobinemia, in which proteins binding oxigen in blood get oxidized and cannot transport oxigen.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2263062/

It is an extremely rare condition, but possible.

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