Bupivacaine Hydrochloride (Page 3 of 10)

5.3 Methemoglobinemia

Cases of methemoglobinemia have been reported in association with local anesthetic use. Although all patients are at risk for methemoglobinemia, patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, congenital or idiopathic methemoglobinemia, cardiac or pulmonary compromise, infants under 6 months of age, and concurrent exposure to oxidizing agents or their metabolites are more susceptible to developing clinical manifestations of the condition [see Drug Interactions (7.5)]. If local anesthetics must be used in these patients, close monitoring for symptoms and signs of methemoglobinemia is recommended.

Signs of methemoglobinemia may occur immediately or may be delayed some hours after exposure, and are characterized by a cyanotic skin discoloration and/or abnormal coloration of the blood. Methemoglobin levels may continue to rise; therefore, immediate treatment is required to avert more serious CNS and cardiovascular adverse effects, including seizures, coma, arrhythmias, and death. Discontinue Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection and any other oxidizing agents. Depending on the severity of the signs and symptoms, patients may respond to supportive care, i.e., oxygen therapy, hydration. A more severe clinical presentation may require treatment with methylene blue, exchange transfusion, or hyperbaric oxygen.

5.4 Antimicrobial Preservatives in Multiple-Dose Vials

Avoid use of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection solutions containing antimicrobial preservatives, i.e., those supplied in multiple-dose vials, for epidural or caudal anesthesia because safety has not been established with such use.

5.5 Chondrolysis with Intra-Articular Infusion

Intra-articular infusions of local anesthetics including Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection following arthroscopic and other surgical procedures is an unapproved use, and there have been post-marketing reports of chondrolysis in patients receiving such infusions. The majority of reported cases of chondrolysis have involved the shoulder joint; cases of gleno-humeral chondrolysis have been described in pediatric and adult patients following intra-articular infusions of local anesthetics with and without epinephrine for periods of 48 to 72 hours. There is insufficient information to determine whether shorter infusion periods are associated with chondrolysis. The time of onset of symptoms, such as joint pain, stiffness and loss of motion can be variable, but may begin as early as the 2nd month after surgery. Currently, there is no effective treatment for chondrolysis; patients who experienced chondrolysis have required additional diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and some required arthroplasty or shoulder replacement.

5.6 Risk of Adverse Reactions Due to Drug Interactions with Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection

Risk of Severe, Persistent Hypertension Due to Drug Interactions Between Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection and Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors and Tricyclic Antidepressants

Administration of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection (containing a vasoconstrictor) in patients receiving monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI), or tricyclic antidepressants may result in severe, prolonged hypertension. Concurrent use of these agents should generally be avoided. In situations when concurrent therapy is necessary, careful monitoring of the patient’s hemodynamic status is essential [see Drug Interactions (7.2)].

Risk of Severe, Persistent Hypertension or Cerebrovascular Accidents Due to Drug Interactions Between Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection and Ergot-Type Oxytocic Drugs

Concurrent administration of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection and ergot-type oxytocic drugs may cause severe, persistent hypertension or cerebrovascular accidents. Avoid use of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection concomitantly with ergot-type oxytocic drugs [see Drug Interactions (7.3)].

Risk of Hypertension and Bradycardia Due to Drug Interactions Between Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection and Nonselective Beta-Adrenergic Antagonists

Administration of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection (containing a vasoconstrictor) in patients receiving nonselective beta-adrenergic antagonists may cause severe hypertension and bradycardia. Concurrent use of these agents should generally be avoided. In situations when concurrent therapy is necessary, careful monitoring of the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate is essential [see Drug Interactions (7.4)].

5.7 Risk of Cardiac Arrest with Intravenous Regional Anesthesia Use (Bier Block)

There have been reports of cardiac arrest and death during the use of bupivacaine for intravenous regional anesthesia (Bier Block). Information on safe dosages and techniques of administration of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection in this procedure is lacking. Therefore, Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection is contraindicated for use with this technique [see Contraindications (4)].

5.8 Allergic-Type Reactions to Sulfites in Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection

Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection contains sodium metabisulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic-type reactions including anaphylactic symptoms and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people. The overall prevalence of sulfite sensitivity in the general population is unknown and probably low. Sulfite sensitivity is seen more frequently in asthmatic than in nonasthmatic people. Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection without epinephrine does not contain sodium metabisulfite.

5.9 Risk of Systemic Toxicities with Unintended Intravascular or Intrathecal Injection

Unintended intravascular or intrathecal injection of. Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection may be associated with systemic toxicities, including CNS or cardiorespiratory depression and coma, progressing ultimately to respiratory arrest. Unintentional intrathecal injection during the intended performance of caudal or lumbar epidural block or nerve blocks near the vertebral column has resulted in underventilation or apnea (“Total or High Spinal”). A high spinal has been characterized by paralysis of the legs, loss of consciousness, respiratory paralysis, and bradycardia [see Adverse Reactions (6)].

Aspirate for blood or cerebrospinal fluid (where applicable) before injecting Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection, both the initial dose and all subsequent doses, to avoid intravascular or intrathecal injection. However, a negative aspiration for blood or cerebrospinal fluid does not ensure against an intravascular or intrathecal injection.

Use of Test Dose with Epidural Anesthesia

To serve as a warning of unintended intravascular or intrathecal injection, 3 mL of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection without antimicrobial preservative (0.5% bupivacaine with 1:200,000 epinephrine) may be used as a test dose prior to administration of the full dose in caudal and lumbar epidural blocks [see Dosage and Administration (2.4)]. Three mL of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection without antimicrobial preservative (0.5% bupivacaine with 1:200,000 epinephrine) contains 15 mg bupivacaine and 15 mcg epinephrine. An intravascular or intrathecal injection is still possible even if results of the test dose are negative.

Signs/symptoms of unintended intravascular or intrathecal injection of the test dose of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection and monitoring recommendations are described below.

  • Unintended intravascular injection: Likely to produce a transient “epinephrine response” within 45 seconds, consisting of an increase in heart rate and/or systolic blood pressure, circumoral pallor, palpitations, and nervousness in the unsedated patient. The sedated patient may exhibit only a pulse rate increase of 20 or more beats per minute for 15 or more seconds. Therefore, following the test dose, the heart rate should be monitored for increases. Patients on beta-blockers may not manifest changes in heart rate, but blood pressure monitoring can detect a transient rise in systolic blood pressure.
  • Unintended intrathecal injection: Evidenced within a few minutes by signs of spinal block (e.g., decreased sensation of the buttocks, paresis of the legs, or, in the sedated patient, absent knee jerk).

The test dose itself may produce a systemic toxic reaction, high spinal or epinephrine-induced cardiovascular effects [see Overdosage (10)].

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