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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
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Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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Does carbocaine need to have its ph altered to prevent stinging

Resolved Question:

Does carbocaine need to have its ph altered to prevent stinging on injection? Also for a toe block with 1% Carbocaine plain, what is the duration of the block?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 4 years ago.
It is not necessary to change the pH of carbocaine for it to work. That being said, adding a bit of bicarbonate does help with the stinging....although, even without this the stinging only lasts a second with the first injection. Any followup injections, if needed, do not sting at all as the area is already pretty numb.

Carbocaine has a rapid onset of action (two to three minutes) and, when compared to other local anesthetics in this class, a moderate duration of effect, lasting anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours.

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