Dentistry => Procaine
Procaine, a regional anesthetic, commonly referred to by its trademark Novocain, used in dentistry and surgery. Procaine hydrochloride, as this alkaloid is properly called, was first synthesized in 1905. It quickly replaced cocaine, because it is easier to synthesize and sterilize, has a shorter duration of action, is nonaddictive, and is four to six times less toxic. Procaine, like other local anesthetics such as tetracain, acts as a nerve block, halting the generation and conduction of nerve impulses that signal pain. In dentistry it permits painless tooth extraction. In minor surgery it was commonly used together with a vasoconstrictor drug that restricts blood flow. It is also used in obstetrics and sometimes for relief of pain in the lower back. Procaine has now been replaced in large part by other anesthetics such as lidocaine. Some individuals are hypersensitive to procaine and develop hives when the drug is injected beneath the skin. Procaine's chemical formula is C13H20O2N2HCl.