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I know this won't be meaningful to folks right now (sounds like everyone's got a lot of other kinds of issues going on...) but this may come up sometime in the future...

Anyway, I had some dental work today and finally remembered to write down the name of the numbing agent he uses on me instead of novacaine. I recommend it for anyone w/POTS having dental work. It does NOT have a vasoconstrictor, so NO epinephrine. It wears off quickly--about 1/2 hour or 45 minutes typically, so depending on what's going on, you may need to ask for a little more during the appointment. NEVER accept pain; always ask for a little more if need be.

The name: Carbocaine 3%.

Take care, all.


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Thank you so much for posting this helpful information.

I never had any trouble with novacaine - until about two years ago. I was sitting in my dentist's chair and she had just administered a little more novacaine around a tooth that needed a replacement filling. I suddenly felt very panicky, though I didn't let her in on it. (No one likes the dentist - let's face it - but I don't have any particularly fierce dental anxiety.) The feeling eventually passed, but it was extremely unpleasant.

Just about a month later, I began having that same feeling for no apparent reason - and then I realized my heart was racing and behaving very erratically - slowing down, speeding up, throwing off ectopic beats, etc. My blood pressure would also tend to rise during this time, which is why (after a long fight to rule out panic attacks) I was worked up for pheochromocytoma. All tests for pheo were negative, which is why I ultimately found myself with the diagnosis of some sort of hyperadrenergic form of autonomic dysfunction - something short of full-blown POTS, but clearly a misfiring or hyper-reactivity of the ANS.

I now look at the incident in the dentist's office as sort of a harbinger of what was to come. At that time, I felt perfectly normal, but even then my ANS must have been growing more sensitive or iritiated, since I had never had any trouble with epinepherine containing products before.

I have also found myself extremely suspectible to things like caffeine and pseudoephedrine-containing cold and flu remedies, whereas these products never bothered me before. I avoid both now because they give me that same panicky feeling I had with the novacaine. Does anyone with ANS dysfunction / POTS have similar reactions to these products - even when they are in an upswing and feeling relatively asymptommatic? I find even just a small dose of these things will flare up my tachycardia and give me a very uncomfortable nervous feeling.


(hoping to RUN away from the flu this season!)

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i was just at the dentist the other day...and thankfully, my teeth are one part of me that seem to be fine! :)

he said to me, i'm so sorry you feel so terrible...but your teeth look great! :blink:

he is the nicest dentist in the whole world! i wish you could all go to him...no more dental anxiety! i love going to the dentist! i might not be saying that if i need carbocaine though, huh? :angry:


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Guest tearose

hi merrill, I've missed you. I guess I dropped off the planet for a bit...as I figure out my new way of life in this new environment I'm going to try to carve out one part of my day to stay in touch here. Why don't you come on over and help me settle in?

Any way, I didn't know that novicane contained epinepherine. Maybe that's why I use to pass out at the dentists office? and Yes, runnergirl, I do have problems with sudafed and super fast heart rates...I avoid the over the counter cold remedies and do the chicken soup thing when faced with a cold. I guess the goal here is good health and strong teeth! take care, tearose

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