Description and Brand Names

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

US Brand Name

  1. Marcaine HCl
  2. Marcaine Spinal
  3. Sensorcaine
  4. Sensorcaine-MPF


Bupivacaine injection is used to numb an area of your body during or after surgery or other procedures, childbirth, or dental work. This medicine is also used to numb your shoulder after surgery for up to 72 hours. It is a local anesthetic.

Bupivacaine injection causes a loss of feeling and prevents pain by blocking signals at the nerve endings. It does not cause loss of consciousness.

This medicine is to be given only by or under the direct supervision of your doctor.

This product is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Solution

Before Using

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:


Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.


Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of bupivacaine injection during surgery and procedures in the pediatric population. Use is not recommended in children younger than 12 years of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established.

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of bupivacaine injection after shoulder surgery in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.


Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of bupivacaine injection in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have low blood pressure or kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving bupivacaine injection.


There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are receiving this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Amifampridine
  • Articaine
  • Benoxinate
  • Benzocaine
  • Benzyl Alcohol
  • Bupropion
  • Chloroprocaine
  • Cocaine
  • Dibucaine
  • Donepezil
  • Dyclonine
  • Ethyl Chloride
  • Etidocaine
  • Fospropofol
  • Hyaluronidase
  • Levobupivacaine
  • Lidocaine
  • Mepivacaine
  • Pramoxine
  • Prilocaine
  • Procaine
  • Proparacaine
  • Propofol
  • Propranolol
  • Ropivacaine
  • St John's Wort
  • Tetracaine
  • Verapamil

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Alacepril
  • Benazepril
  • Captopril
  • Cilazapril
  • Delapril
  • Enalaprilat
  • Enalapril Maleate
  • Fosinopril
  • Imidapril
  • Lisinopril
  • Moexipril
  • Pentopril
  • Perindopril
  • Quinapril
  • Ramipril
  • Spirapril
  • Temocapril
  • Trandolapril
  • Zofenopril

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Arthritis or
  • Back pain, chronic or
  • Blood clotting problems or
  • Headache, before surgery or
  • Mental illness (eg, psychosis) or
  • Paresthesia (nerve problem), persistent or
  • Pernicious anemia, history of or
  • Poliomyelitis, history of or
  • Spinal problems or
  • Syphilis, history of or
  • Tumor, history of—Use with caution. May prevent the use of bupivacaine in patients with these conditions.
  • Blood vessel disease or
  • Heart disease or
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)—Use with caution. The chance of side effects may be increased.
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD) or
  • Heart problems or
  • Lung or breathing problems or
  • Methemoglobinemia (blood disorder), hereditary or idiopathic (unknown cause)—Use with caution. May increase risk of having methemoglobinemia.
  • Heart rhythm problems (eg, arrhythmia, heart block) or
  • Hemorrhage (bleeding), severe or
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure), severe or
  • Infection at the injection site or
  • Septicemia (blood infection) or
  • During uterine contractions—Marcaine™ should not be used in patients with these conditions.
  • Heart rhythm problems (eg, heart block) or
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)—Use with caution. Posimir® may make these conditions worse.
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use

A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine in a hospital. Marcaine™ is sometimes given through a catheter placed into your lower back for an epidural or a spinal block. Posimir® is usually given in the shoulder area.

Posimir® should not be used to ease labor pains during childbirth.

This medicine should cause numbness only to the area where it is injected. You may experience temporary loss of sensation or movement in the injected area. This type of numbing procedure is called local anesthesia. It is not meant to cause you to fall asleep or become unconscious.

You may experience temporary loss of sensation and movement, usually in the lower half of your body, if you receive this medicine into your lower back (epidural). It may be easier to hurt yourself while your treated body area is still numb. Be careful to avoid injury until you have regained all the feeling and are no longer numb.

To avoid injury after dental work, do not chew solid foods until normal feeling has returned to the area. Do not test the feeling in your mouth by biting or poking the treated area (up to 7 hours).

If you are receiving this medicine as an epidural to ease labor pains, it may take longer than normal for you to push your baby out. It is also possible that the baby may have unwanted effects after birth (including sleepiness, slow responses). Talk to your doctor if you have questions about how this medicine might affect your baby.


It is very important that your doctor check your or your child's progress closely while receiving this medicine to see if it is working properly. Blood tests may be needed to check for any unwanted effects.

This medicine may cause a rare, but serious blood problem called methemoglobinemia. The risk may be increased in children younger than 6 months of age, elderly patients, or patients with certain inborn defects. It is more likely to occur in patients receiving too much of the medicine, but can also occur with small amounts. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child has the following symptoms after receiving this medicine: pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nails, confusion, headache, lightheadedness, fast heartbeat, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

This medicine may cause a bone or joint problem called chondrolysis. Check with your doctor right away if you or your child have bone or joint pain or stiffness or an inability to move.

This medicine may cause low blood pressure (hypotension). This is more likely in patients with blood vessel problems, including high blood pressure (hypertension) or a decrease in blood volume. Check with your doctor right away if you have confusion, dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position, sweating, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Bupivacaine injection may also cause a dangerous increase in body temperature (hyperthermia). Check with your doctor if you or your child have fast shallow breathing, a fast, weak heartbeat, headache, muscle cramps, pale, clammy skin, or an extremely high fever or body temperature.

This medicine may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how this medicine affects you.

Check with your doctor before receiving this medicine with other medicines that affect the central nervous system (CNS). The use of other medicines that affect the CNS with bupivacaine injection may worsen the side effects of this medicine, such as dizziness, poor concentration, drowsiness, unusual dreams, and trouble with sleeping. Some examples of medicines that affect the CNS are antihistamines or medicine for allergies or colds, sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicines, medicine for depression, medicine for anxiety, prescription pain medicine or narcotics, medicine for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, medicine for seizures or barbiturates, or muscle relaxants.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor or nurse immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

More common

  1. Burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
  2. change or loss of taste
  3. chest pain or discomfort
  4. continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  5. decrease in the frequency and amount of urine
  6. diarrhea
  7. difficult or painful urination
  8. dizziness
  9. dry mouth
  10. fever
  11. headache
  12. hearing loss
  13. increased thirst
  14. loss of appetite
  15. mood changes
  16. muscle pain or cramps
  17. nausea or vomiting
  18. seizures
  19. sleepiness or unusual drowsiness
  20. slow or irregular heartbeat
  21. trouble breathing
  22. unusual bleeding or bruising
  23. unusual tiredness or weakness

Less common

  1. Arm, leg, back, or jaw pain
  2. bloating or swelling of the face, arms, hands, lower legs, or feet
  3. blurred vision
  4. body aches or pain
  5. chills
  6. cough or hoarseness
  7. cramps
  8. difficulty in moving
  9. dry throat
  10. ear congestion
  11. fast or pounding heartbeat or pulse
  12. increased blinking
  13. loss of voice
  14. muscle stiffness or twitching
  15. nervousness
  16. pain, cramps, or heavy menstrual bleeding
  17. pain, swelling, or redness in the joints
  18. pounding in the ears
  19. runny or stuffy nose
  20. sneezing
  21. sore throat
  22. swelling of the testes
  23. tightness in the chest
  24. twitching of the eyelids
  25. unusual weight gain or loss

Incidence not known

  1. Anxiety
  2. cold, clammy, pale skin
  3. confusion
  4. difficulty swallowing
  5. discouragement
  6. dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
  7. excitement
  8. false or unusual sense of well-being
  9. feeling sad or empty
  10. general feeling of illness
  11. hives, itching, skin rash
  12. irritability
  13. loss of interest or pleasure
  14. puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, lips, or tongue
  15. restlessness
  16. shivering
  17. slowing of labor
  18. stiff neck or back
  19. sweating
  20. trouble concentrating
  21. trouble sleeping
  22. weakness of the muscles in your face

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Acid or sour stomach
  2. belching
  3. bleeding, blistering, burning, coldness, discoloration of skin, feeling of pressure, hives, infection, inflammation, itching, lumps, numbness, pain, rash, redness, scarring, soreness, stinging, swelling, tenderness, tingling, ulceration, or warmth at the injection site
  4. constipation
  5. excess air or gas in the stomach or intestines
  6. full feeling
  7. heartburn
  8. indigestion
  9. passing gas
  10. stomach discomfort, upset, or pain

Incidence not known

  1. Abnormal ejaculation
  2. decreased sexual performance or desire
  3. loss of bladder and bowel control
  4. loss of genital sensation and sexual function
  5. no sensation in the legs
  6. numbness
  7. unable to move the legs

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.