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Carbocaine Dosage

Generic name: Mepivacaine hydrochloride 30mg in 1mL
Dosage form: injection, solution
Drug class: Local injectable anesthetics

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 21, 2024.

As with all local anesthetics, the dose varies and depends upon the area to be anesthetized, the vascularity of the tissues, individual tolerance and the technique of anesthesia. The lowest dose needed to provide effective anesthesia should be administered. For specific techniques and procedures refer to standard dental manuals and textbooks.

For infiltration and block injections in the upper or lower jaw, the average dose of 1 cartridge will usually suffice.

Each cartridge contains 1.7 mL (34 mg of 2% or 51 mg of 3%).

5.3 cartridges (180 mg of the 2% solution or 270 mg of the 3% solution) are usually adequate to effect anesthesia of the entire oral cavity. Whenever a larger dose seems to be necessary for an extensive procedure, the maximum dose should be calculated according to the patient's weight. A dose of up to 3 mg per pound of body weight may be administered. At any single dental sitting the total dose for all injected sites should not exceed 400 mg in adults.

The maximum pediatric dose should be carefully calculated.

Maximum dose for pediatric population =
Child's Weight (lbs.) × Maximum Recommended Dose for Adults (400 mg)

The following table, approximating these calculations, may also be used as a guide. This table is based upon a recommended maximum for larger pediatric population of 5.3 cartridges (the maximum recommended adult dose) during any single dental sitting, regardless of the pediatric patient's weight or (for 2% mepivacaine) calculated maximum amount of drug:

Maximum Allowable Dosage*
3% Mepivacaine
2% Mepivacaine
1:20,000 Levonordefrin
3 mg/lb
(270 mg max.)
(180 mg max.)
mg Number of Cartridges mg Number of Cartridges
Adapted from Malamed, Stanley F: Handbook of medical emergencies in the dental office, ed. 2, St. Louis, 1982. The C.V. Mosby Co.
20 60 1.2 60 1.8
30 90 1.8 90 2.6
40 120 2.3 120 3.5
50 150 2.9 150 4.4
60 180 3.5 180 5.3
80 240 4.7 180 5.3
100 270 5.3 180 5.3
120 270 5.3 180 5.3

When using CARBOCAINE for infiltration or regional block anesthesia, injection should always be made slowly and with frequent aspiration.

Any unused portion of a cartridge should be discarded.

Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.