Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Public Service Announcement

I have been doing research this morning on the use of epinephrine (adrenalin) in dentistry. Dentists are now mixing epinephrine with the ___caine anesthetics. The reason for this is that it prolongs the window of time for a dentist to work without the patient experiencing pain - a significant amount of time from about 15-20 minutes to 1-2 hours. However, what many dentists may not be aware is that there are some patients for whom this could be life-threatening. If a patient has heart disease, diabetes or thyroid disease, administering epinephrine can produce a fatality. I share this not because I want to scare anyone, but because I do not want anyone to unnecessarily suffer the trauma I had on the dental table. I have thyroid disease and while not diabetic, am "insulin resistant."

If you have any of these conditions, Google your condition along with the keywords "dental epinephrine" and print them out and take them to your dentist to discuss with him before you have dental anesthesia.

Been there, done that...so NOT fun.



Vicki said...

Oh Charity, how horrible. Hope you recover quickly!! Best wishes being sent your way.

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Kat said...

Oh my gosh! That is almost unbelieveable (yet VERY believable) that dentists, being that it is a medical profession, may not fully understand the use and medical risks of epinephrine. On second thought, it doesn't surprise me because far too many doctors don't prescribe epinephrine for its standard use in treatment of anaphylactic shock for life threatening allergies.

Again, wishing you a safe and quick recovery from your dental experience. No one should have to go through this.

Kat said...

Just adding, I am the average Jane who knows more about epinephrine and its uses/consequences than (IMO) 50% of GP doctors. Maybe even more. I was well educated by a Board certified allergist and it's appalling how many "regular" doctors do not understand the use and/or importance of certain medicines. Maybe because it's not their specialty? I just don't know. Our former pediatrician gave us advice that was in direct contradiction with our allergist. When in doubt, I go with the specialist in the medical field. That is their area of expertise.

I'm still in shock that your dentist didn't think to warn you, ask medical questions, or consult your medical chart. VERY scary!

Sandy Berry said...

I'm sorry you had such bad side effects. I just became aware of epi being in novacain a couple of years ago. I am not one to be afraid of the dentist but I noticed the last few times I'd been given epi my heart started racing. Then someone told me why. I have since asked my dentist to use novacaine w/out it.

Little Mysteries said...

That must have been a horrible horrible experience for you. I have a mild sensitivity to it, and also ask for the one without it. I am sorry you had to find out the hard way that you are highly allergic to it. Hope you recover quickly.

Pretty Ditty said...

I'm so glad I came across your blog via blog catalog. My sister has recently been diagnosed with diabetes and I'm not sure she knows about this. Thanks =)