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Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) (bupivacaine HCl) is indicated for the production of local or regional anesthesia or analgesia for surgery, for oral surgery procedures, for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and for obstetrical procedures. Only the 0.25% and 0.5% concentrations are indicated for obstetrical anesthesia. (See WARNINGS.)

Experience with non-obstetrical surgical procedures in pregnant patients is not sufficient to recommend use of the 0.75% concentration in these patients. Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) is not recommended for intravenous regional anesthesia (Bier Block). (See WARNINGS.) The routes of administration and indicated Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) concentrations are:

local infiltration 0.25%
peripheral nerve block 0.25%, 0.5%
retrobulbar block 0.75%
sympathetic block 0.25%
lumbar epidural 0.25%, 0.5% and 0.75% (non-obstetrical)
caudal 0.25%, 0.5%
epidural test dose (see PRECAUTIONS)

(See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION for additional information.) Standard textbooks should be consulted to determine the accepted procedures and techniques for the administration of Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) .

Use only the single dose ampules and single dose vials for caudal or epidural anesthesia; the multiple dose vials contain a preservative and, therefore, should not be used for these procedures.


The dose of any local anesthetic administered varies with the anesthetic procedure, the area to be anesthetized, the vascularity of the tissues, the number of neuronal segments to be blocked, the depth of anesthesia and degree of muscle relaxation required, the duration of anesthesia desired, individual tolerance, and the physical condition of the patient. The smallest dose and concentration required to produce the desired result should be administered. Dosages of Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) should be reduced for young, elderly and/or debilitated patients and patients with cardiac and/or liver disease. The rapid injection of a large volume of local anesthetic solution should be avoided and fractional (incremental) doses should be used when feasible.

For specific techniques and procedures, refer to standard textbooks.

In recommended doses, Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) (bupivacaine HCl) produces complete sensory block, but the effect on motor function differs among the three concentrations.

0.25%—when used for caudal, epidural, or peripheral nerve block, produces incomplete motor block. Should be used for operations in which muscle relaxation is not important, or when another means of providing muscle relaxation is used concurrently. Onset of action may be slower than with the 0.5% or 0.75% solutions.

0.5%—provides motor blockade for caudal, epidural, or nerve block, but muscle relaxation may be inadequate for operations in which complete muscle relaxation is essential.

0.75%—produces complete motor block. Most useful for epidural block in abdominal operations requiring complete muscle relaxation, and for retrobulbar anesthesia. Not for obstetrical anesthesia.

The duration of anesthesia with Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) is such that for most indications, a single dose is sufficient.

Maximum dosage limit must be individualized in each case after evaluating the size and physical status of the patient, as well as the usual rate of systemic absorption from a particular injection site. Most experience to date is with single doses of Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) up to 225 mg with epinephrine 1:200,000 and 175 mg without epinephrine; more or less drug may be used depending on individualization of each case.

These doses may be repeated up to once every three hours. In clinical studies to date, total daily doses up to 400 mg have been reported. Until further experience is gained, this dose should not be exceeded in 24 hours. The duration of anesthetic effect may be prolonged by the addition of epinephrine.

The dosages in Table 1 have generally proved satisfactory and are recommended as a guide for use in the average adult. These dosages should be reduced for young, elderly or debilitated patients. Until further experience is gained Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) is not recommended for children younger than 12 years. Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) is contraindicated for obstetrical paracervical blocks, and is not recommended for intravenous regional anesthesia (Bier Block).

Use in Epidural Anesthesia

During epidural administration of Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) , 0.5% and 0.75% solutions should be administered in incremental doses of 3 mL to 5 mL with sufficient time between doses to detect toxic manifestations of unintentional intravascular or intrathecal injection. In obstetrics, only the 0.5% and 0.25% concentrations should be used; incremental doses of 3 mL to 5 mL of the 0.5% solution not exceeding 50 mg to 100 mg at any dosing interval are recommended. Repeat doses should be preceded by a test dose containing epinephrine if not contraindicated. Use only the single dose ampules and single dose vials for caudal or epidural anesthesia; the multiple dose vials contain a preservative and therefore should not be used for these procedures.

Test dose for Caudal and Lumbar Epidural Blocks


Unused portions of solutions in single dose containers should be discarded, since this product form contains no preservatives.

Table 1. DOSAGE RECOMMENDATIONS - SENSORCAINE (bupivacaine hci injections) (bupivacaine HCl) INJECTIONS

Type of Block Conc. Each Dose
(mg) Motor Block*
Local Infiltration 0.25%† up to max. up to max.
Epidural 0.75%‡, † 20-Oct 75-150 complete
0.5%† 20-Oct 50-100 moderate to complete
0.25%† 20-Oct 25-50 partial to moderate
Caudal 0.5%† 15-30 75-150 moderate to complete
0.25%† 15-30 37.5-75 moderate
Peripheral Nerves 0.5%† 5 to max. 25 to max. moderate to complete
0.25%† 5 to max. 12.5 to max. moderate to complete
Retrobulbar§ 0.75%† 4-Feb 15-30 complete
Sympathetic 0.25% 20-50 50-125
Epidural§ 0.50% 3-Feb 15-Oct
Test Dose w/epi   10-15 µg epinephrine (See PRECAUTIONS)  
*With continuous (intermittent) techniques, repeat doses increase the degree of motor block. The first repeat dose of 0.5% may produce complete motor block. Intercostal nerve block with 0.25% may also produce complete motor block for intra-abdominal surgery
†Solutions with or without epinephrine
‡For single dose use, not for intermittent epidural technique. Not for obstetric anesthesia


Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration whenever the solution and container permit. The Injection is not to be used if its color is pinkish or darker than slightly yellow or if it contains a precipitate.



Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hci injections) -MPF (methylparaben free) is available in the following forms

Single Dose Ampules:
30 mL 0.25%, 0.5% and 0.75% without epinephrine
Single Dose Vials:
10 mL with E-Z Off™ 0.25%, 0.5% and 0.75% without epinephrine
vial closure; 0.25% and 0.5% with epinephrine 1:200,000
30 mL 0.25%, 0.5% and 0.75% without epinephrine
0.25%, 0.5% and 0.75% with epinephrine 1:200,000
Sensorcaine is available in the following forms:
Multiple Dose Vials: 0.25% and 0.5% without epinephrine
50 mL 0.25% and 0.5% with epinephrine 1:200,000

Disinfecting agents containing heavy metals, which cause release of respective ions (mercury, zinc, copper, etc.), should not be used for skin or mucous membrane disinfection since they have been related to incidents of swelling and edema. When chemical disinfection of the container surface is desired, either isopropyl alcohol (91%) or ethyl alcohol (70%) is recommended. It is recommended that chemical disinfection be accomplished by wiping the ampule or vial stopper thoroughly with cotton or gauze that has been moistened with the recommended alcohol just prior to use.

Solutions should be stored at controlled room temperature 15-30°C (59-86°F) [See USP].

Solutions containing epinephrine should be protected from light.

AstraZeneca LP, Wilmington, DE 19850. Rev. 03/02.

Last reviewed on RxList: 5/19/2009
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.


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