Is Novocaine a narcotic drug? 

Is Novocaine a narcotic drug? 

No, Novocaine (Procaine) is not a narcotic medication nor a controlled substance, and it does not work like one either. This medication does not bind to Opioid receptors that most narcotics do and does not affect your body like those meds. 

However, Novocaine can be used in combination with narcotic medications like Hydrocodone or Oxycodone after dental surgery. This combination not only helps with post-surgical pain, but Opioids can also enhance the numbing effects of the local anaesthetic. 

If we talk about Novocaine alone, it has no narcotic property of its own and it doesn’t have the potential of making you fail a drug test. However, if you’re using this local anaesthetic with a narcotic medication, make sure you properly follow your doctor’s directions and do not take more than the prescribed dose. 

How is Novocaine different from narcotics?

Novocaine (Procaine) is a local anaesthetic that is used to numb a specific area of the body. Novocaine temporarily numbs the area where it is injected by preventing the transmission of nerve impulses (1).

Dental operations, minor surgical procedures, and diagnostic testing all frequently need the use of Novocaine. Moreover, it can be used to manage labour pain. The effects normally last between 30 and 60 minutes, depending on the dose and the individual’s response.

Narcotics, on the other hand, are pain relievers. They do so by attaching to certain receptors in the brain and spinal cord. Moreover, narcotics can affect the body in various ways, as they can impair breathing and cause drowsiness, constipation, and respiratory depression.

Although both Novocaine and narcotics are used for pain relieving purposes, they work in entirely different ways and are prescribed for different causes of pain. 

Can Novocain cause side effects?

Novocain, although it is not a narcotic, can cause side effects. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site
  • Numbness or tingling at the injection site
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Nervousness or anxiety
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Changes in heart rate or blood pressure

More serious side effects of Novocain can include:

  • Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis (a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction)
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Cardiovascular collapse (a sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate)

These side effects can vary from person to person and are not generally considered dangerous – unless you’re allergic to the drug or it triggers seizures. Make sure you seek medical attention if you experience any of the serious side effects of Novocain.

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PubChem [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US), National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2004-. PubChem Compound Summary for CID 4914, Procaine; [cited 2023 Feb. 11]. Available from: