Epinephrine Affects Pharmacokinetics of Ropivacaine Infiltrated Into Palate

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Pulpal anesthesia success rates for ropivacaine following maxillary infiltration anesthesia seem to be low. We investigated the hypothesis that the addition of epinephrine would affect the pharmacokinetics of ropivacaine by retaining ropivacaine in the mucosa of the injected area through the time-dependent distribution of ropivacaine in the rat maxilla and serum following maxillary infiltration anesthesia using 3H-labeled ropivacaine. We then examined the vasoactivity of ropivacaine with or without epinephrine on local peripheral blood flow. The addition of epinephrine to ropivacaine increased ropivacaine concentrations in the palatal mucosa and adjacent maxilla by more than 3 times that of plain ropivacaine at 20 minutes. By observing the autoradiogram of 3H-ropivacaine, plain ropivacaine in the maxilla was remarkably reduced 20 minutes after injection. However, it was definitely retained in the palatal mucosa, hard palate, adjacent maxilla, and maxillary nerve after the administration with epinephrine. Ropivacaine with epinephrine significantly decreased labial blood flow. This study suggests that 10 μg/mL epinephrine added to 0.5% ropivacaine could improve anesthetic efficacy and duration for maxillary infiltration anesthesia over plain ropivacaine.

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