Effects of Anesthetics — at the Dentist’s Office

Anesthetics and Fibromyalgia

Effects of anesthetics on people diagnosed with Fibromyalgia aren’t well documented in the professional journals, although I have seen episodes posted on Fibromyalgia forums.

Though I did not find any studies being done on the effects of anesthetics from a routine dental visit, I felt the need to share my own traumatic experience.

It was going to be a normal visit to the dentist office to get my tooth filled. The dentist was not able to numb the area of the molar I was having fixed.  So, during the procedure, a second shot of novacaine was injected into the area – then a third, then a fourth and even more!


Anesthesia is a way to control pain during a surgery or procedure by using medicine called anesthetics.  The dentist usually uses a local anesthetic to numb the area, such as Novocain. Epinephrine is added to constrict the blood vessels and keep the anesthesia  longer  in the area  that needs the pain relief.  Epinephrine is also known as adrenaline and is also secreted by the adrenal glands.

***These effects of anesthesia when combined with epinephrine are what could happen to your body once a dose is given:

  • The blood pressure and glucose levels may rise and you may experience a headache and nausea and may even vomit.
  • Mixed with Novocain, epinephrine may cause local tissue necrosis or systemic toxicity.
  • Palpitations, tachycardia symptoms, anxiety, tremors, hypertension and headaches may occur.
  • Arrhythmia and pulmonary edema may also be some of the negative side effects when given in extra amounts.
  • The most extreme side effect you may experience is cerebral hemorrhage!

Novocaine side-effects:

Novocain by itself can sometimes cause anxiety, restlessness, blurry vision, tinnitus (sensation of sound in your ears), dizziness, tremors and convulsions. Novocain can also cause drowsiness, loss of consciousness and respiratory depression (trouble breathing).

Novocain may also cause arrhythmias. Your heart beats due to an organized electrical conduction system that runs from the top to the bottom of your heart. Novocain may affect this conduction system and cause your heart to beat erratically DentalAnxietyNetand irregularly when this conduction system is disorganized.

The National Library of Medicine also says that high doses of Novocain can cause hypotension (low blood pressure), reduced cardiac output (condition in which your heart does not pump enough blood) and cardiac arrest (condition in which your heart stops beating).

I started to feel the effects of the anesthetic in my head.  I felt like I was going to die.  My heart was beating so fast and hard in my chest.  I kept pacing and pacing, walking up and down the steps trying to speed the drug out of my system.

Eventually, it did pass out of my body and I was able to calm down.

What is unbelievable is………I had gone back a second time!

The dentist was not able to fill the tooth the first time with the pain I had experienced on my previous visit.  This time, another dentist attempted to fill the tooth.  I told them what happened and the former dentist actually smirked at me and convinced me that I had caused myself a panic attack attributed to my anxiety of being at the dentist.  I BELIEVED HER!!!!!  After all, she was the professional and epinephrine does create symptoms similar to a panic attack.

This time, I received a number of injections into the same area and left shortly thereafter.  That spacey feeling came over me again.  This time, through the trembling, I dialed their office on speakerphone, since I could not hold the receiver—my hands were shaking so badly.

They did not know what to say to me or what to do, so did nothing.  I hung up feeling dismissed and terrified.  My heart was racing erratically. To this day, I am traumatized from the effects of the anesthetic from a routine visit to the dentist’s office.  The memory is ever present.

I scheduled a visit with my doctor.

I was scheduled for a well visit with my doctor soon after and shared what I had been subject to.  He appeared horrified and pulled the PDR (Physicians’ Desk Reference) from the shelf and showed me the side effects of the anesthetic that I had experienced.

I was told that when a heart races that quickly and sporadically, you are in danger of the blood not being circulated from the heart. He didn’t understand why a dentist would do that—inject that many times into the same place, into the same vein.  They should know better than that.  If I had a hidden heart condition, it probably would have been fatal.

The effects of anesthetics may be more pronounced when living with Fibromyalgia.

Tell your doctor if you suffer from liver, heart, muscle or blood disorders. Your dentist may have to adjust your Novocain dosage to prevent side effects of anesthesia.

I have located a dentist that I feel comfortable with who listens to me.  My anxiety may not be completely gone, but has settled down to a more normal level. I have had teeth restored and will be getting my adult braces off next month!

Staying with my nutritional program with the detoxifying effects of afa blue-green algae, the negative effects of anesthesia are quickly gone, the the memories of the trauma at the dentist’s office remains.

Photo credit: http://ow.ly/fTkuH

Thank you for Stopping by!  Please share!

Today, besides being an active grandmother, I am a volunteer with several community organizations and love spreading the word of this amazing super food, afa blue-green algae, which will always fit into a natural lifestyle.


You can read my story here about  my own challenges living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.




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