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Colour coding of LA cartridges

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drsnehamaheshwari's picture
Joined: 16 Mar 2013
Color Coding of Local Anesthetic Cartridges
This color-coding system, adopted by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs in 2003, was designed to be part of the labeling on all injectable local anesthetics that carried the ADA Seal of Acceptance. However, it was implemented by most manufacturers for all of their injectable local anesthetics, whether or not their products had the ADA Seal.
The system was developed as a result of a resolution adopted by the ADA House of Delegates in response to dentist's concerns that color coding schemes currently in use often differed from manufacturer to manufacturer for the same anesthetic product. The ADA worked closely with local anesthetic manufacturers to come up with a reasonable and workable system. Although the Association believes that dentists should read the labels of all drugs they administer, it also believes that uniform color-coding will be a useful adjunct in identifying the specific anesthetic/vasoconstrictor in the product.
Injectable local anesthetics have not been in the ADA Seal of Acceptance Program since the end of 2007, at which time the ADA terminated the Seal Program for professional dental products. The ADA Seal Program still awards the ADA Seal to consumer products. Professional dental products are now evaluated in the ADA Professional Products Report program. Even though they are no longer in the ADA Seal Program, most injectable local anesthetics marketed in the US continue to use this color coding system. 



PMS Color Code*
Lidocaine 2% with Epinephrine 1:100,000

Red: 185, 186, 199 or 200

Lidocaine 2% with Epinephrine 1:50,000

Green: 347, 348, 355 or 356

Lidocaine Plain

Light Blue: 279

Mepivacaine 2% with Levonordefrin 1:20,000

Brown: 471, 477, 478, 498 or 499

Mepivacaine 3%

Plain Tan: 466, 467 or 468

Prilocaine 4% with Epinephrine 1:200,000

Yellow: 108, 109, 110, 115 or 116

Prilocaine 4%

Plain Black

Bupivacaine 0.5% with Epinephrine1:200,000

Blue: 300 or 301

Articaine 4% with Epinephrine 1:100,00

Gold: 871, 872, 873, 874, or 875

Articaine 4% with Epinephrine 1:200,000

Silver: 877C




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