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What is benzocaine?

Jan 20, 2021
What is benzocaine?

Benzocaine is an anesthetic drug that can be commonly seen as an active ingredient in medicinal products such as pain relievers. If you use products for topical use to help you get relief from minor pain in your body, sore throat, sunburn, or simply skin irritations, benzocaine can be an active ingredient for those products. The drug gets the nerve signals from a specific part of your body (where you applied it) blocked so it would not reach your brain, which is basically how local anesthetic works. Looking at its chemistry, it is a poorly soluble anesthetic, and it is an ester of para-aminobenzoic acid. It is a benzoate that has an acid component, which is 4-aminobenzoic acid and an alcohol component, which is ethanol. Benzocaine is manufactured in concentrations of 1 to 20% (2).

Benzocaine Uses

Benzocaine, being a local anesthetic, has a lot of uses in the medical field. As mentioned previously in this article, this product can be used as a pain reliever when you have a sunburn or skin irritations. This can be applied to the skin to feel relief from different kinds of minor pain on the skin. In addition, benzocaine can be used when there is a need to insert a medical instrument on a patient. For instance, a tube needs to be inserted to the mouth, throat, or to the nose, benzocaine is applied on the surface to numb the area where it is going to be inserted.

Benzocaine is also used as a reagent in a laboratory for analytical purposes.

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