Benzocaine is a topical anesthetic. It numbs wherever it is applied. It is widely used in first aid creams and sunburn remedies. Benzocain is an ester, a compound made from the organic acid PABA (para amino benzoic acid) and the alcohol ethanol. Benzocaine is a para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) derivative and cross-reacts with other benzoic acid derived local anaesthetics (both topical and injectable forms). It also has the potential to cross-react with paraphenylenediamine found in permanent hair dyes, sulfonamides, sulfonylureas, PABA-based suncreens, and thiazide-related diuretics.
Benzocaine is a widely used local and topical anaesthetic. It is used in pharmaceutical preparations and rarely cosmetics. Doctors and dentists use benzocaine preparations, especially on mucosal surfaces such as the mouth, to prepare or 'numb' a site for injection. Benzocaine ear drops are used for temporary relief of ear pain. Benzocaine will not treat an ear infection. Antibiotics are still needed if ear pain is due to an infection.
Benzocaine is a short-acting local anesthetic of the ester type. It is used for topical anesthesia in a wide variety of clinical situations including mucous membrane anesthesia prior to endoscopic examination or instrumentation, gag reflex suppression, and anorectal disorders and various pain syndromes. It is available in many dosage forms including gels, creams, ointments, lotions, aerosols, and lozenges. Many nonprescription products are available for the temporary relief of dental or oral pain. Benzocaine and tetracaine are more likely to cause contact sensitization than are other local anesthetics.
Benzocaine interferes with the ability of certain nerves to conduct electrical signals, which blocks the transmission of nerve impulses that carry pain messages. Benzocaine works by stopping the sodium entering the nerve ending at the site of the pain. This prevents an electrical signal building up and passing along the nerve fibres to the brain. In this way benzocaine causes numbness and relieves pain at the area it is applied to.
Molecular formula: C9H11NO2
CAS Registry Number: 94-09-7
Synonyms: 4-Aminobenzoic acid, ethyl ester; Benzocaine; Ethyl 4-aminobenzoate; Ethyl p-aminobenzoate; Ethyl p-aminophenylcarboxylate; p-Aminobenzoic acid ethyl ester; Benzoic acid, 4-amino-, ethyl ester; Benzoic acid, p-amino-, ethyl ester