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synthetic organic compound used in medicine as a local anesthetic. Introduced in 1905 under the trade name Novocaine, it became the first and best-known substitute for cocaine in local anesthesia. Generally used in a 1 to 10 percent saline solution, procaine hydrochloride is administered by injection for infiltration (area flooding as in dental anesthesia), nerve-block, spinal, and caudal anesthesia. Unlike cocaine, procaine is not toxic, addicting, or irritating. It has been displaced somewhat by the chemically related drugs lidocaine and mepivacaine, which produce prompter, more intense anesthesia