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Observations placeholder

Systemic toxic reactions to procaine penicillin G.



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 8


Procaine is a local anesthetic drug of the amino ester group. It is used primarily to reduce the pain of intramuscular injection of penicillin, and it is also used in dentistry. Owing to the ubiquity of the trade name Novocain, in some regions procaine is referred to generically as novocaine. It acts mainly by being a sodium channel blocker.

Procaine was first synthesized in 1905, shortly after amylocaine. It was created by the German chemist Alfred Einhorn who gave the chemical the trade name Novocaine, from the Latin nov- (meaning new) and -caine, a common ending for alkaloids used as anesthetics. It was introduced into medical use by surgeon Heinrich Braun. Prior to the discovery of Stovaine and Novocaine, cocaine was the most commonly used local anesthetic. Einhorn wished his new discovery to be used for amputations, but surgeons preferred general anesthetic. Dentists, however, found it very useful. Einhorn was displeased by this and spent many years touring dental schools to advise them not to use it!

A description of the experience

Sex Transm Dis. 1978 Jan-Mar;5(1):4-9.

Systemic toxic reactions to procaine penicillin G.

Downham TF 2nd, Cawley RA, Salley SO, Dal Santo G.


Systemic toxic were encountered in eight of 10,469 patients during or immediately following the intramuscular injection of 4,800,000 units of procaine penicillin G for the treatment of gonorrhea. Fear of imminent death, visual and auditory disturbances, violent combativeness, confusion, disorientation, and restlessness, disturbance in taste, cardiovascular changes, and grand mal seizures are the principal manifestations; these usually subside in two to 10 minutes spontaneously or after treatment. Symptoms and signs closely parallel systemic toxic reactions to local anesthetics. Pharmacokinetic analysis in dogs using 14C-procaine and 14C-procaine penicillin G showed rapid distribution of labeled drugs from plasma to cerebrospinal fluid for the intravenous as compared to the intramuscular route of administration. The animal studies were consistent with the hypothesis that the inadvertent intravenous administration of procaine penicillin G is responsible for the systemic toxic reactions. Plasma procainesterase (pseudocholinesterase) activity was assayed with an ultraviolet spectroscopic method. Substrates were procaine and procaine penicillin G. The plasma procainesterase activity of patients who had experienced systemic toxic reactions was significantly decreased as compared to that of controls, an observation not previously reported.

PMID:  417409

The source of the experience


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