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Articaine is a short-acting local anesthetic of the amide type whose structure is similar to that of other local anesthetics but Articaine is exceptional because it contains an additional ester group that is hydrolyzed very quickly in the blood.
Articaine causes a transient and completely reversible nerve block because it prevents the generation and conduction of the nerve impulse by decreasing the neuronal membrane’s permeability to sodium ions. This reduction causes a depolarization of membrane and increases the threshold that is necessary for electrical excitability.
To exert its anesthetic action, Articaine stabilizes the neuronal membrane by inhibiting the ionic fluxes required for the initiation and conduction of nerve impulses.
Epinephrine causes local vasoconstriction which restricts the absorption of the anesthetic, prolongs its action and diminishes its systemic toxicity.