The dosage of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection 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. Administer the smallest dosage and concentration required to produce the desired result.
The types of block and recommended Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection concentrations are shown in Table 1.
Type of Block
Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine
Peripheral nerve block
Lumbar epidural block†
✓ (not for obstetrical anesthesia)
Epidural test dose
At recommended dosages, Bupivacaine Hydrochloride/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine produces complete sensory block, but the effect on motor function differs among the three concentrations. Table 2 provides information on the expected effect on motor function for the three concentrations.
Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection Concentration
0.25% (2.5 mg/mL)*
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% (5 mg/mL) or 0.75% (7.5 mg/mL) solutions.
Provides motor blockade for caudal, epidural, or nerve block, but muscle relaxation may be inadequate for operations in which complete muscle relaxation is essential.
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 Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection is such that for most indications, a single dose is sufficient.
The maximum dosage limit within the recommended dosage range must be individualized in each case after evaluating the size and physical status of the patient, as well as the anticipated rate of systemic absorption from a particular injection site.
The dosages in Table 3 are recommended as a guide for use in the average adult. These doses may be repeated once every three hours. Do not exceed a total daily dosage of 400 mg in 24 hours. The duration of anesthetic effect may be prolonged by the addition of epinephrine.
Concentration of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection
mg of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection
0.25% (2.5 mg/mL)†
Up to 70(without epinephrine)
Up to 175(without epinephrine)
Up to 90(with epinephrine)
Up to 225(with epinephrine)
0.5% (5 mg/mL)†
moderate to complete
Retrobulbar block[see Dosage and Administration (2.6)]
0.75% (7.5 mg/mL)
0.25% (2.5 mg/mL)
Caudal block[see Dosage and Administration (2.4)]
Lumbar epidural block[see Dosage and Administration (2.3)]
0.75% (7.5 mg/mL)‡
partial to moderate
Epidural test dose [see Dosage and Administration (2.4)]
0.5% (5 mg/mL) with epinephrine
10–15 (10–15 micrograms epinephrine)
Dental[see Dosage and Administration (2.5)]
1.8–3.6 per site
9–18 per site
During the administration of epidural anesthesia, it is recommended that a test dose of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection without antimicrobial preservative (0.5% bupivacaine with 1:200,000 epinephrine) be administered initially and the effects monitored before the full dose is given. When using a "continuous" catheter technique, test doses should be given prior to both the initial and all supplemental doses, because a catheter in the epidural space can migrate into a blood vessel or through the dura [see Dosage and Administration (2.4)].
During epidural administration, administer Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection, 0.5% (5 mg/mL) and Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection 0.75% (7.5 mg/mL) solutions in incremental doses of 3 mL to 5 mL with sufficient time between doses to detect toxic manifestations of unintentional intravascular or intrathecal injection. Administer injections slowly, with frequent aspirations before and during the injection to avoid intravascular injection. Perform syringe aspirations before and during each supplemental injection in continuous (intermittent) catheter techniques. In obstetrics, use ONLY the 0.5% (5 mg/mL) and 0.25% (2.5 mg/mL) concentrations of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection/Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection [see Warnings and Precautions (5.1)]; incremental doses of 3 mL to 5 mL of the 0.5% (5 mg/mL) 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 clinically contraindicated. Use only the single-dose vials for caudal or epidural anesthesia; avoid use of the multiple-dose vials for these procedures, which contain a preservative [see Dosage and Administration (2.1, 2.4), Warnings and Precautions (5.4, 5.9)].
Three mL of Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection without antimicrobial preservative (0.5% bupivacaine with 1:200,000 epinephrine) is recommended for use as a test dose prior to caudal and lumbar epidural blocks when clinical conditions permit. This test dose may serve as a warning of unintended intravascular or intrathecal injection. Closely monitor for early clinical signs of toxicity following each test dose [see Warnings and Precautions (5.9)]. Allot adequate time for onset of spinal block to detect possible intrathecal injection. An intravascular or intrathecal injection is still possible even if results of the test dose are negative. The test dose itself may produce a systemic toxic reaction, high spinal, or cardiovascular effects from the epinephrine [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2, 5.9), Overdosage (10)].
Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection 0.5% (5 mg/mL) is recommended for infiltration and block injection in the maxillary and mandibular area when a longer duration of local anesthesia is desired, such as for procedures generally associated with significant postoperative pain. The average dose of 1.8 mL (9 mg) per injection site will usually suffice; an occasional second dose of 1.8 mL (9 mg) may be used if necessary to produce adequate anesthesia after allowing 2 to 10 minutes for block onset [see Clinical Pharmacology (12.2)]. Use the lowest effective dose and allow time between injections; it is recommended that the total dose for all injection sites, spread out over a single dental sitting, not exceed 90 mg for a healthy adult patient (ten 1.8 mL injections of 0.5% (5 mg/mL) Bupivacaine Hydrochloride and Epinephrine Injection). Inject slowly and with frequent aspirations.
When Bupivacaine Hydrochloride Injection 0.75% (7.5 mg/mL) is used for retrobulbar block, complete corneal anesthesia usually precedes onset of clinically acceptable external ocular muscle akinesia. Therefore, presence of akinesia rather than anesthesia alone should determine readiness of the patient for surgery [see Warnings and Precautions (5.15)].
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