Author(s): Oertel R, Rahn R, Kirch W
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Articaine is the most widely used local anaesthetic agent in dentistry in a number of European countries. The amide structure of articaine is similar to that of other local anaesthetics, but it contains an additional ester group which is quickly hydrolysed by esterases. High performance liquid chromatography has been used to determine the concentrations of articaine and its metabolite articainic acid in serum. Rapid sample preparation is critical in the accurate determination of articaine serum concentrations, since blood and serum are the sites of metabolism. The time to maximum drug concentrations of articaine occurs about 10 to 15 minutes after submucosal injection of articaine 4\% 80 mg, irrespective of epinephrine (adrenaline). The mean maximum plasma drug concentration is about 400 micrograms/L for articaine with epinephrine 1:200,000 and 580 micrograms/L for articaine without epinephrine. The elimination half-time of articaine is about 20 minutes. The rapid breakdown of articaine to the inactive metabolite articainic acid is related to a very low systemic toxicity and consequently to the possibility of repeated injections. Equal analgesic efficacy along with lower systemic toxicity (i.e. a wide therapeutic range) permits the use of articaine in higher concentrations than other amide-type local anaesthetics. Complete anaesthesia can be observed in nearly 90\% of all cases, using articaine 4\% 60 to 80 mg with epinephrine 1:200,000. Articaine is better able to diffuse through soft tissue and bone than other local anaesthetics. The concentration of articaine in the alveolus of a tooth in the upper jaw after extraction was about 100 times higher than that in systemic circulation. The plasma protein binding rate of articaine and articainic acid is 70\%. It has been concluded that an unintentional intravascular injection of articaine 80 mg does not cause toxic effects in healthy individuals.
This article was published in Clin Pharmacokinet
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access