Bupivacaine Hydrochloride (Page 4 of 6)


7.1 Local Anesthetics

The toxic effects of local anesthetics are additive. If coadministration of other local anesthetics with Bupivacaine Hydrochloride injection cannot be avoided, monitor patients for neurologic and cardiovascular effects related to local anesthetic systemic toxicity [see Dosage and Administration (2.1), Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

7.5 Drugs Associated with Methemoglobinemia

Patients who are administered Bupivacaine Hydrochloride injection are at increased risk of developing methemoglobinemia when concurrently exposed to following drugs, which could include other local anesthetics [see Warnings and Precautions (5.3)].

Examples of Drugs Associated with Methemoglobinemia:




nitric oxide, nitroglycerin, nitroprusside, nitrous oxide

Local anesthetics

articaine, benzocaine, bupivacaine, lidocaine, mepivacaine, prilocaine,

procaine, ropivacaine, tetracaine

Antineoplastic agents

cyclophosphamide, flutamide, hydroxyurea, isofamide, rasburicase


dapsone, nitrofurantoin, para-aminosalicylic acid, sulfonamides


chloroquine, primaquine


phenobarbital, phenytoin, sodium valproate

Other drugs

acetaminophen, metoclopramide, quinine, sulfasalazine

7.6 Potent Inhalation Anesthetics

Serious dose-related cardiac arrhythmias may occur if preparations containing a vasoconstrictor such as epinephrine are used in patients during or following the administration of potent inhalation anesthetics.


8.1 Pregnancy

Risk Summary

Bupivacaine Hydrochloride injection is contraindicated for obstetrical paracervical block anesthesia. Its use in this technique has resulted in fetal bradycardia and death [see Contraindications (4), Warnings and Precautions (5.1)].

There are no available data on use of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride injection in pregnant women to inform a drug-associated risk of adverse developmental outcomes.

In animal studies, embryo-fetal lethality was noted when bupivacaine was administered subcutaneously to pregnant rabbits during organogenesis at clinically relevant doses. Decreased pup survival was observed in a rat pre- and post-natal developmental study (dosing from implantation through weaning) at a dose level comparable to the daily maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) on a body surface area (BSA) basis. Based on animal data, advise pregnant women of the potential risks to a fetus (see Data).

Local anesthetics rapidly cross the placenta, and when used for epidural, caudal, or pudendal block anesthesia, can cause varying degrees of maternal, fetal, and neonatal toxicity [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.3)]. The incidence and degree of toxicity depend upon the procedure performed, the type, and amount of drug used, and the technique of drug administration. Adverse reactions in the parturient, fetus, and neonate involve alterations of the CNS, peripheral vascular tone, and cardiac function.

If this drug is used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant while taking this drug, inform the patient of the potential hazard to the fetus. The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated populations are unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.

Clinical Considerations

Maternal Adverse Reactions

Maternal hypotension has resulted from regional anesthesia. Local anesthetics produce vasodilation by blocking sympathetic nerves. The supine position is dangerous in pregnant women at term because of aortocaval compression by the gravid uterus. Therefore, during treatment of systemic toxicity, maternal hypotension or fetal bradycardia following regional block, the parturient should be maintained in the left lateral decubitus position if possible, or manual displacement of the uterus off the great vessels be accomplished. Elevating the patient’s legs will also help prevent decreases in blood pressure. The fetal heart rate also should be monitored continuously and electronic fetal monitoring is highly advisable.

Labor or Delivery

Epidural, caudal, or pudendal anesthesia may alter the forces of parturition through changes in uterine contractility or maternal expulsive efforts. Epidural anesthesia has been reported to prolong the second stage of labor by removing the parturient’s reflex urge to bear down or by interfering with motor function. The use of obstetrical anesthesia may increase the need for forceps assistance.

The use of some local anesthetic drug products during labor and delivery may be followed by diminished muscle strength and tone for the first day or two of life. This has not been reported with bupivacaine.

It is extremely important to avoid aortocaval compression by the gravid uterus during administration of regional block to parturients. To do this, the patient must be maintained in the left lateral decubitus position or a blanket roll or sandbag may be placed beneath the right hip and gravid uterus displaced to the left.


Animal Data

Bupivacaine hydrochloride produced developmental toxicity when administered subcutaneously to pregnant rats and rabbits at clinically relevant doses.

Bupivacaine hydrochloride was administered subcutaneously to rats at doses of 4.4, 13.3, & 40 mg/kg and to rabbits at doses of 1.3, 5.8, & 22.2 mg/kg during the period of organogenesis (implantation to closure of the hard palate). The high doses are comparable to the daily MRHD of 400 mg/day on a mg/m2 BSA basis. No embryo-fetal effects were observed in rats at the high dose which caused increased maternal lethality. An increase in embryo-fetal deaths was observed in rabbits at the high dose in the absence of maternal toxicity with the fetal No Observed Adverse Effect Level representing approximately 0.3 times the MRHD on a BSA basis.

In a rat pre- and post-natal developmental study (dosing from implantation through weaning) conducted at subcutaneous doses of 4.4, 13.3, & 40 mg/kg, decreased pup survival was observed at the high dose. The high dose is comparable to the daily MRHD of 400 mg/day on a BSA basis.

8.2 Lactation

Risk Summary

Lactation studies have not been conducted with bupivacaine. Bupivacaine has been reported to be excreted in human milk suggesting that the nursing infant could be theoretically exposed to a dose of the drug.

Bupivacaine Hydrochloride injection should be administered to lactating women only if clearly indicated. Studies assessing the effects of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride injection in breastfed children have not been performed. Studies to assess the effect of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride injection on milk production or excretion have not been performed. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for bupivacaine and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from bupivacaine or from the underlying maternal condition.

8.4 Pediatric Use

Bupivacaine Hydrochloride injection is approved for use in adults. Administration of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride injection in pediatric patients younger than 12 years is not recommended.

Continuous infusions of bupivacaine in pediatric patients have been reported to result in high systemic levels of bupivacaine and seizures; high plasma levels may also be associated with cardiovascular abnormalities.

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