(C 65.44%, H 6.71%, N 8.48%)
: 89 Degrees (Celsius)
: 172 Degrees (Celsius)
Also known as: p-amino-, ethyl ester; p-(ethoxycarbonyl)aniline; p-Aminobenzoic acid, ethyl ester; p-Carbethoxyaniline; p-Ethoxycarboxylic aniline; Amben ethyl ester; Anaesthan-syngala; Anaesthesin; Anaesthin; Anestezin; Anesthesin; Anesthesine; Anesthone
Benzocaine is chemically related to lidocaine and novocaine, and is used as a local anesthetic, as well as an additive in diet candies and chewing gums. It alters the taste sensation by numbing the mouth (including the taste buds), and when used as a local anesthetic, it works by interfering with the pain signals sent by nerve fibers to the brain. Benzocaine differs from typical anesthetics because it is not injected; it is applied directly to the area to be anesthetized.
Benzocaine is absorbed slowly, therefore its anesthetic properties last a long time. The slow absorption rate also prevents the build-up of toxic levels of benzocaine within the body, since it is found in such common items as ointments and sprays for treating sunburn, insect bites, and minor skin injuries, as well as suppositories for relieving hemorrhoids.
Benzocaine is a white, odorless powder. It was developed in Germany in 1890, and was given the trade name "Anesthesin" due to its anesthetic properties. Benzocaine also led to the development of "procaine" (another local anesthetic) which became a replacement for cocaine. Yes, cocaine is an anesthetic, however neither benzocaine or procaine are addictive.