May 25, 2017




Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.



Prilocaine in Oraqix can cause elevated methemoglobin levels particularly in conjunction with methemoglobin-inducing agents. Methemoglobinemia has also been reported in a few cases in association with lidocaine treatment. Patients with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency or congenital or idiopathic methemoglobinemia are more susceptible to drug-induced methemoglobinemia. Oraqix should not be used in those patients with congenital or idiopathic methemoglobinemia and in infants under the age of twelve months who are receiving treatment with methemoglobin­inducing agents. Signs and symptoms of methemoglobinemia may be delayed some hours after exposure. Initial signs and symptoms of methemoglobinemia are characterized by a slate grey cyanosis seen in, e.g., buccal mucous membranes, lips and nail beds. In severe cases symptoms may include central cyanosis, headache, lethargy, dizziness, fatigue, syncope, dyspnea, CNS depression, seizures, dysrhythmia and shock. Methemoglobinemia should be considered if central cyanosis unresponsive to oxygen therapy occurs, especially if metHb-inducing agents have been used. Calculated oxygen saturation and pulse oximetry are inaccurate in the setting of methemoglobinemia. The diagnosis can be confirmed by an elevated methemoglobin level measured with co-oximetry. Normally, metHb levels are < 1%, and cyanosis may not be evident until a level of at least 10% is present. The development of methemoglobinemia is generally dose related. The individual maximum level of metHb in blood ranged from 0.8% to 1.7% following administration of the maximum dose of 8.5g Oraqix.

Management of Methemoglobinemia

Clinically significant symptoms of methemoglobinemia should be treated with a standard clinical regimen such as a slow intravenous infection of methylene blue at a dosage of 1to 2 mg/kg given over a five minute period.

Patients taking drugs associated with drug-induced methemoglobinemia such as sulfonamides, acetaminophen, acetanilide, aniline dyes, benzocaine, chloroquine, dapsone, naphthalene, nitrates and nitrites, nitrofurantoin, nitroglycerin, nitroprusside, pamaquine, para-aminosalicylic acid, phenacetin, phenobarbital, phenytoin, primaquine, and quinine are also at greater risk for developing methemoglobinemia. Treatment with Oraqix should be avoided in patients with any of the above conditions or with a previous history of problems in connection with prilocaine treatment.

Do Not Inject

Oraqix should not be used with standard dental syringes. Only use this product with the Oraqix blunt-tipped applicator, which is available from DENTSPLY Pharmaceutical.

Allergic/anaphylactic reactions

Allergic and anaphylactic reactions associated with lidocaine or prilocaine in Oraqix can occur. These reactions may be characterized by urticaria, angioedema, bronchospasm, and shock. If these reactions occur they should be managed by conventional means.

Avoid Contact with Eyes

Oraqix coming in contact with the eye should be avoided because animal studies have demonstrated severe eye irritation. A loss of protective reflexes may allow corneal irritation and potential abrasion. If eye contact occurs, immediately rinse the eye with water or saline and protect it until normal sensation returns. In addition, the patient should be evaluated by an ophthalmologist, as indicated.

History of Drug Sensitivity

Patients allergic to paraminobenzoic acid derivatives (procaine, tetracaine, benzocaine, etc.) have not shown cross sensitivity to lidocaine and/or prilocaine. However, Oraqix should be used with caution in patients with a history of drug sensitivities, especially if the etiologic agent is uncertain.

Severe Hepatic Disease

Patients with severe hepatic disease, because of their inability to metabolize local anesthetics normally, are at greater risk of developing toxic plasma concentrations of lidocaine and prilocaine.

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility


Long-term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of either lidocaine or prilocaine. Chronic oral toxicity studies of o-toluidine, a metabolite of prilocaine, have shown that this compound is a carcinogen in both mice and rats. The tumors associated with o-toluidine included hepatocarcinomas/ adenomas in female mice, multiple occurrences of hemangiosarcomas/hemangiomas in both sexes of mice, sarcomas of multiple organs, transitional-cell carcinomas/papillomas of urinary bladder in both sexes of rats, subcutaneous fibromas/fibrosarcomas and mesotheliomas in male rats, and mammary gland fibroadenomas/adenomas in female rats. These findings were observed at the lowest tested dose of 150 mg/kg/day or greater over two years (estimated daily exposures in mice and rats were approximately 6 and 12 times, respectively, the estimated exposure to o-toluidine at the maximum recommended human dose of 8.5g of Oraqix gel on a mg/m² basis). Thus, the no effect dose is less than 6 to 12 times the estimated exposure to o-toluidine at the maximum recommended human dose, assuming 100% bioavailability of prilocaine from the Oraqix gel. Complete conversion of prilocaine to its metabolite o-toluidine on a molar basis is assumed. This gives a conversion on a weight basis of about 50% for prilocaine base (dependent on the molecular weights, i.e. 220 for prilocaine base and 107 for o-toluidine).


The mutagenic potentials of lidocaine and prilocaine have been tested in the Ames Salmonella reverse mutation assay, an in vitro chromosome aberrations assay in human lymphocytes and in an in vivo mouse micronucleus assay. There was no indication of any mutagenic effects for either compound in these studies. o-Toluidine, metabolite of prilocaine, was positive in Escherichia coli DNA repair and phage-induction assays. Urine concentrates from rats treated orally with 300 mg/kg o-toluidine were mutagenic to Salmonella typhimurium in the presence of metabolic activation. Several other tests on o-toluidine, including reverse mutations in five different Salmonella typhimurium strains with or without metabolic activation, and single strand breaks in DNA of V79 Chinese hamster cells, were negative.

Impairment of Fertility

The effect of lidocaine on fertility was examined in the rat model. Administration of 30 mg/kg, s.c. (180 mg/m² or 1.4 fold the maximum recommended human oral dose for one treatment session assuming 100% bioavailability of lidocaine) to the mating pair did not produce alterations in fertility or general reproductive performance of rats. There are no studies that examine the effect of lidocaine or prilocaine on sperm parameters. The effects of prilocaine on fertility was examined in rats treated for 8 months with 10 or 30 mg/kg, s.c. lidocaine or prilocaine (60 mg/m² and 180 mg/m² on a body surface area basis, respectively up to 1.4-fold the maximum recommended exposure for a single procedure assuming 100% bioavailability of lidocaine and prilocaine). This time period encompassed 3 mating periods. There was no evidence of altered fertility.

Use In Specific Populations


Pregnancy Category B

Reproduction studies have been performed in rats with lidocaine, prilocaine and a 1:1 (weight:weight) mixture of the two compounds. There was no evidence of harm to the fetus at subcutaneous doses of up to 30 mg/kg lidocaine (estimated exposure was approximately equivalent to the expected lidocaine exposure at the maximum recommended human dose of Oraqix (lidocaine and prilocaine periodontal gel) 2.5% / 2.5% on a mg/m² basis). Following intramuscular prilocaine doses of up to 300 mg/kg (estimated exposure was approximately 11 times the expected prilocaine exposure at the maximum recommended human dose of Oraqix gel on a mg/m² basis), there was no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus. Similarly, subcutaneous administration of a lidocaine and prilocaine mixture of 40 mg/kg of each compound (estimated exposures were approximately 1.5 times the expected lidocaine and prilocaine exposures at the maximum recommended human dose of Oraqix gel on a mg/m² basis) produced no teratogenic, embryotoxic, or fetotoxic effects. Reproductive toxicology studies of lidocaine were also conducted in rabbits. There was no evidence of harm to the fetus at a dose of 5 mg/kg, s.c. (60 mg/m²). Treatment of rabbits with 15 mg/kg (180 mg/m²) produced evidence of maternal toxicity and evidence of delayed fetal development, including a non­significant decrease in fetal weight (7%) and an increase in minor skeletal anomalies (skull and sternebral defects, reduced ossification of the phalanges). The effects of lidocaine and prilocaine on post-natal development was examined in rats treated for 8 months with 10 or 30 mg/kg, s.c. lidocaine or prilocaine (60mg/m² and 180 mg/m² on a body surface area basis, respectively up to 1.4-fold the maximum recommended exposure for a single procedure). This time period encompassed 3 mating periods. There was no evidence of altered post-natal development in any offspring; however, both doses of either drug reduced the average number of pups per litter surviving until weaning of offspring from the first 2 mating periods. In a separate study, the effect of prilocaine on pre-and postnatal development was examined in rats treated with up to 60 mg/kg, s.c. (up to 2.8 times the maximum recommended human dose of prilocaine in Oraqix gel on a mg/m² basis) from Day 6 of gestation to weaning. There was no evidence of altered post-natal development, viability, or reproductive capacity in any offspring. All the above calculations of exposure are assuming 100% bioavailability of lidocaine and prilocaine after Oraqix administration. There are, however, no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women. Because animal reproduction studies are not always predictive of human response, Oraqix should be used during pregnancy only if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Reproduction studies on the Oraqix drug product, including the inactive ingredients, have not been conducted.

Nursing Mothers

Lidocaine and, possibly, prilocaine are excreted in breast milk. Caution should be exercised when Oraqix is administered to nursing women.

Pediatric Use

Safety and effectiveness in pediatric patients have not been established. Very young children are more susceptible to methemoglobinemia. There have been reports of clinically significant methemoglobinemia in infants and children following excessive applications of lidocaine 2.5% topical cream [See WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].

Geriatric Use

Of the total number of subjects in clinical studies of Oraqix, 7% were aged 65 and over, while 1% were aged 75 and over. No overall differences in safety or effectiveness were observed between these subjects and younger subjects. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses between elderly and younger patients, but greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.

Dose selection for an elderly patient should be cautious, usually starting at the low end of the dosing range, reflecting the greater frequency of decreased hepatic, renal, or cardiac function, and of concomitant disease or other drug therapy.

This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.

Last reviewed on RxList: 3/20/2017


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