Introduction to Benzocaine
Benzocaine is a local anaesthetic commonly used in topical and in some surgical applications. The anaesthetic properties of benzocaine work through blocking the sodium (NA+) channels of cell membranes. This means that membranes cannot transmit sensory messages to the neurons and hence numbs the local area it is applied to. Benzocaine powder is formally known as ethyl ester of p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA). Esters are important compounds in organic chemistry and used in a wide range of synthetic reactions as well as applications within the medical and cosmetics industry. Benzocaine is most commonly produced through a Fischer Esterification reaction which turns carboxylic acid into an ester benzocaine.