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MARCAINE - VIAL Highlights (bupivacaine hydrochloride injection, USP - VIAL)


These highlights do not include all the information needed to use MARCAINE™ and MARCAINE™ WITH EPINEPHRINE safely and effectively. See full prescribing information for MARCAINE™ and MARCAINE™ WITH EPINEPHRINE.

MARCAINE™ (bupivacaine hydrochloride) injection, for infiltration, perineural, caudal, epidural, or retrobulbar use
MARCAINE™ WITH EPINEPHRINE (bupivacaine hydrochloride and epinephrine) injection, for infiltration, perineural, caudal, or epidural use
Initial U.S. Approval: 1972


See full prescribing information for complete boxed warning.

There have been reports of cardiac arrest with difficult resuscitation or death during use of MARCAINE for epidural anesthesia in obstetrical patients. In most cases, this has followed use of the 0.75% (7.5 mg/mL) concentration. Resuscitation has been difficult or impossible despite apparently adequate preparation and appropriate management. Cardiac arrest has occurred after convulsions resulting from systemic toxicity, presumably following unintentional intravascular injection. The 0.75% (7.5 mg/mL) concentration of MARCAINE is not recommended for obstetrical anesthesia and should be reserved for surgical procedures where a high degree of muscle relaxation and prolonged effect are necessary (5.1).


MARCAINE contains bupivacaine, an amide local anesthetic, and MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE is a combination of bupivacaine, an amide local anesthetic, and epinephrine, an alpha and beta-adrenergic agonist. MARCAINE / MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE is indicated in adults for the production of local or regional anesthesia or analgesia for surgery, dental and oral surgery procedures, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and for obstetrical procedures. For each type of block indicated to produce local or regional anesthesia or analgesia, specific concentrations and presentations are recommended. (1, 2.2)

Limitations of Use

Not all blocks are indicated for use with MARCAINE / MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE given clinically significant risks associated with use. (1, 2.2, 4, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5, 5.7, 5.9)


Not for intrathecal use. (2.1)
Avoid use of solutions containing antimicrobial preservatives (i.e., multiple-dose vials) for epidural or caudal anesthesia. (2.1, 5.4)
Three mL of MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE 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. (2.4)
See full prescribing information for:
Recommended concentrations and dosages of MARCAINE / MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE according to type of block. (2.2)
Additional dosage and administration information pertaining to use in epidural anesthesia, test dose for caudal and lumbar epidural blocks, use in dentistry, and use in ophthalmic surgery. (2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6)


MARCAINE injection and MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE injection are available in multiple concentrations. See full prescribing information for detailed description of each formulation. (3)


Obstetrical paracervical block anesthesia. Its use in this technique has resulted in fetal bradycardia and death. (4)
Intravenous regional anesthesia (Bier Block). (4)
Known hypersensitivity to bupivacaine or to any local anesthetic agent of the amide-type or to other components of MARCAINE / MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE. (4)


Dose-Related Toxicity: Monitor cardiovascular and respiratory vital signs and patient's state of consciousness after injection of MARCAINE / MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE. (5.2)
Methemoglobinemia: Cases of methemoglobinemia have been reported in association with local anesthetic use. See full prescribing information for more detail on managing these risks. (5.3)
Chondrolysis with Intra-Articular Infusion: Intra-articular infusions of local anesthetics including MARCAINE following arthroscopic and other surgical procedures is an unapproved use, and there have been post-marketing reports of chondrolysis in patients receiving such infusions. (5.5)
Risk of Cardiac Arrest with Intravenous Regional Anesthesia Use (Bier Block): There have been reports of cardiac arrest and death during the use of bupivacaine for intravenous regional anesthesia (Bier Block). (5.7)
Allergic-Type Reactions to Sulfites in MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE: MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE contains sodium metabisulfite, a sulfite that may cause allergic-type reactions including anaphylactic symptoms and life-threatening or less severe asthmatic episodes in certain susceptible people. (5.8)
Risk of Systemic Toxicities with Unintended Intravascular or Intrathecal Injection: Unintended intravascular or intrathecal injection may be associated with systemic toxicities, including CNS or cardiorespiratory depression and coma, progressing ultimately to respiratory arrest. Aspirate for blood or cerebrospinal fluid (where applicable) prior to each dose and consider using a test dose of MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE. (5.9)


Most common adverse reactions are related to the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system. (6)

To report SUSPECTED ADVERSE REACTIONS, contact Pfizer Inc. at 1-800-438-1985 or FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or


Local Anesthetics: The toxic effects of local anesthetics are additive. Monitor for neurologic and cardiovascular effects when additional local anesthetics are administered. (7.1)
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors and Tricyclic Antidepressants: Administration of MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE to patients receiving monoamine oxidase inhibitors or tricyclic antidepressants may produce severe, prolonged hypertension. Concurrent use of these agents should generally be avoided. (5.6, 7.2)
Ergot-Type Oxytocic Drugs: Concurrent administration of MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE and ergot-type oxytocic drugs may cause severe, persistent hypertension or cerebrovascular accidents. (5.6, 7.3)
Nonselective Beta-Adrenergic Antagonists: Administration of MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE (containing a vasoconstrictor) in patients receiving nonselective beta-adrenergic antagonists may cause severe hypertension and bradycardia. Concurrent use of these agents should generally be avoided. (5.6, 7.4)
Drugs Associated with Methemoglobinemia: Patients are at increased risk of developing methemoglobinemia when concurrently exposed to nitrates, nitrites, local anesthetics, antineoplastic agents, antibiotics, antimalarials, anticonvulsants, and other drugs. (7.5)
Potent Inhalation Anesthetics: Serious dose-related cardiac arrhythmias may occur if preparations containing a vasoconstrictor such as epinephrine are used in patients during or following the administration of potent inhalation anesthetics. (5.13, 7.6)


Pediatric Use: Administration of MARCAINE / MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE in pediatric patients younger than 12 years is not recommended. (8.4)
Geriatric Use: Patients 65 years and over, particularly those with hypertension, may be at increased risk for developing hypotension while undergoing anesthesia with MARCAINE / MARCAINE WITH EPINEPHRINE. (8.5)
Moderate to Severe Hepatic Impairment: Consider increased monitoring for bupivacaine systemic toxicity. (8.6)


Revised: 3/2023

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