Small doses of local anesthetics injected into the head and neck area, including retrobulbar, and stellate ganglion blocks, may produce adverse reactions similar to systemic toxicity seen with unintentional intravascular injections of larger doses. The injection procedures require the utmost care. Confusion, convulsions, respiratory depression, and/or respiratory arrest, and cardiovascular stimulation or depression have been reported. These reactions may be due to intra-arterial injection of the local anesthetic with retrograde flow to the cerebral circulation. They may also be due to puncture of the dural sheath of the optic nerve during retrobulbar block with diffusion of any local anesthetic along the subdural space to the midbrain. Patients receiving these blocks should have their circulation and respiration monitored and be constantly observed. Resuscitative equipment and personnel for treating adverse reactions should be immediately available. Dosage recommendations should not be exceeded. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION.)
Clinicians who perform retrobulbar blocks should be aware that there have been reports of respiratory arrest following local anesthetic injection. Prior to retrobulbar block, as with all other regional procedures, the immediate availability of equipment, drugs, and personnel to manage respiratory arrest or depression, convulsions, and cardiac stimulation or depression should be assured (see also WARNINGS and Use in Head and Neck Area, above). As with other anesthetic procedures, patients should be constantly monitored following ophthalmic blocks for signs of these adverse reactions, which may occur following relatively low total doses.
A concentration of 0.75% bupivacaine is indicated for retrobulbar block; however, this concentration is not indicated for any other peripheral nerve block, including the facial nerve, and not indicated for local infiltration, including the conjunctiva (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE and PRECAUTIONS, General). Mixing bupivacaine hydrochloride with other local anesthetics is not recommended because of insufficient data on the clinical use of such mixtures.
When bupivacaine hydrochloride 0.75% is used for retrobulbar block, complete corneal anesthesia usually precedes onset of clinically acceptable external ocular muscle akinesia. Therefore, presence of akinesia rather than anesthesia alone should determine readiness of the patient for surgery.
When appropriate, patients should be informed in advance that they may experience temporary loss of sensation and motor activity, usually in the lower half of the body, following proper administration of caudal or epidural anesthesia. Also, when appropriate, the physician should discuss other information including adverse reactions in the package insert of bupivacaine hydrochloride.
The administration of local anesthetic solutions containing epinephrine or norepinephrine to patients receiving monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants may produce severe, prolonged hypertension. Concurrent use of these agents should generally be avoided. In situations when concurrent therapy is necessary, careful patient monitoring is essential.
Concurrent administration of vasopressor drugs and of ergot-type oxytocic drugs may cause severe, persistent hypertension or cerebrovascular accidents.
Phenothiazines and butyrophenones may reduce or reverse the pressor effect of epinephrine.
Long-term studies in animals to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of bupivacaine hydrochloride have not been conducted. The mutagenic potential and the effect on fertility of bupivacaine hydrochloride have not been determined.
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Bupivacaine hydrochloride should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus. Bupivacaine hydrochloride produced developmental toxicity when administered subcutaneously to pregnant rats and rabbits at clinically relevant doses. This does not exclude the use of bupivacaine hydrochloride at term for obstetrical anesthesia or analgesia. (See Labor and Delivery.)
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 maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 400 mg/day on a mg/m2 body surface area (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 1/5th the MRHD on a BSA basis.
In a rat pre- and post-natal development study (dosing from implantation through weaning) conducted at subcutaneous doses of 4.4, 13.3, & 40 mg/kg mg/kg/day, 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.
SEE BOXED WARNING REGARDING OBSTETRlCAL USE OF 0.75% BUPIVACAINE HYDROCHLORIDE.
Bupivacaine hydrochloride is contraindicated for obstetrical paracervical block anesthesia.
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, Pharmacokinetics.) 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 central nervous system, peripheral vascular tone, and cardiac function.
Maternal hypotension has resulted from regional anesthesia. Local anesthetics produce vasodilation by blocking sympathetic nerves. Elevating the patient’s legs and positioning her on her left side will help prevent decreases in blood pressure. The fetal heart rate also should be monitored continuously and electronic fetal monitoring is highly advisable.
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.
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. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants from bupivacaine, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or not administer bupivacaine, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Until further experience is gained in pediatric patients younger than 12 years, administration of bupivacaine hydrochloride in this age group is not recommended. Continuous infusions of bupivacaine in children have been reported to result in high systemic levels of bupivacaine and seizures; high plasma levels may also be associated with cardiovascular abnormalities. (See WARNINGS, PRECAUTIONS, and OVERDOSAGE.)
Patients over 65 years, particularly those with hypertension, may be at increased risk for developing hypotension while undergoing anesthesia with bupivacaine hydrochloride. (See ADVERSE REACTIONS.)
In clinical studies, differences in various pharmacokinetic parameters have been observed between elderly and younger patients. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.)
This product is known to be substantially excreted by the kidney, and the risk of toxic reactions to this drug may be greater in patients with impaired renal function. Because elderly patients are more likely to have decreased renal function, care should be taken in dose selection, and it may be useful to monitor renal function. (See CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY.)
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