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Keywords:

  • benzocaine;
  • methylene blue;
  • methemoglobin;
  • methemoglobinemia

A 39-year-old man developed significant methemoglobinemia after receiving benzocaine spray; he was treated appropriately with intravenous methylene blue. The patient's methemoglobin levels decreased, but this was followed by a critical rebound phenomenon to levels frequently considered near fatal. After further treatment with methylene blue, the patient's methemoglobin levels returned to normal. Clinicians need to be aware that a decreasing level of methemoglobin does not necessarily indicate that a crisis has passed and that further monitoring and treatment may be indicated.