Side Effects of Novocaine

By Contributing Writer

Novocaine is used most often as a local anesthetic during various types of dental procedures and surgeries. It is a very powerful drug and should only be used by licensed medical professionals. Novocaine is not a prescribed drug or available over the counter. Novocaine provides a general numbing effect on the patient and makes surgery more tolerable and reduces the perception of pain in the body. The drug is only available for administration by medical professionals and is considered a safe local anesthetic.

Adrenaline Release

One of the more common side effects of Novocaine is related to how the body distributes epinephrine (adrenaline). Adrenaline is released by the body when it senses that its survival is endangered. The release of adrenaline causes the heart to beat at a hard and fast rate. For the patient that is being administered novocaine this can be a daunting experience. When this occurs some patients believe that they are having a heart attack. This side effect of novocaine is easily avoided if the medical professional withdraws the excess fluid in the syringe before injecting the patient.

Slowing of the Heart

Novocaine can slow the heart rate considerably if too much is administered. The amount of novocaine administered to a patient corresponds to body weight. A smaller patient requires less novocaine than a larger patient. In very rare cases a patient will be allergic to novocaine. This may cause temporary interruption in breathing patterns. Seizures can also occur if the allergy is not realized before injection.

Use of Novocaine During Pregnancy

The safety of adminstering novocaine during pregnancy has not been fully tested in regards to the effects it may have on the developing fetus. The medical professional administering the drug should consider this fact before injecting a woman who is pregnant with novocaine.

Central Nervous System Effects

Novocaine can effect the function of the central nervous system. Some of the common side effects indicative of effect to the central nervous system include nervousness, blurred vision, tremors, and dizziness. In some cases a patient may become drowsy or have convulsions. In extreme cases a patient may become unconscious and possibly go into cardiac arrest.


Novocaine is meant to be administered by a licensed medical professional. Any other use of the drug is not safe as it can cause life-threatening side effects if not administered properly. If you feel that your medical history indicates the possibility of an adverse reaction to novocaine, contact the medical professional who is scheduled to use novocaine during your medical procedure immediately.

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