Hypertensive patients receiving nonselective β-adrenergic antagonists are vulnerable to hypertension and bradycardia when injected with dental local anesthetic formulations containing epinephrine. Dexmedetomidine (DEX), an α2-adrenergic agonist, has been reported to prolong and enhance the local anesthetic effects of lidocaine. The cardiovascular effects of the DEX-lidocaine combination have not yet been investigated in the presence of nonselective β-adrenergic antagonists. Therefore, we assessed the cardiovascular effects of the DEX-lidocaine combination in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) treated with a nonselective β-adrenergic antagonist (propranolol). We injected propranolol-treated rats with various concentrations of DEX alone, 100 μg/kg epinephrine alone, or 5 μg/kg DEX combined with 2% lidocaine and measured their blood pressure (BP) and heart rates (HR) to assess the cardiovascular effects. The BP of propranolol-treated SHR was significantly increased by treatment with 100 μg/kg epinephrine alone. The BP and HR of propranolol-treated SHR were not significantly changed by treatment with low concentrations of DEX, but they were significantly decreased by treatment with a high concentration of DEX (50 μg/kg). Moreover, there was no significant difference in the BP and HR of propranolol-treated SHR after the injection of a combination of 5 μg/kg DEX and 2% lidocaine. Thus, the DEX-lidocaine combination may be an acceptable addition to dental local anesthetic solutions from a cardiovascular standpoint for hypertensive patients receiving nonselective β-adrenergic antagonists.

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