Novel local anaesthetics and novel indications for local anaesthetics

M. W. Hollmann, M. E. Durieux, B. M. Graf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Research into local anaesthetic mechanisms over the past few years has focused on two main issues. First, attention has focused on development of compounds with fewer side effects, better sensory/motor separation and longer duration of action; this has resulted in the introduction of ropivacaine and levobupivacaine into clinical practice. These agents have a lesser cardiotoxic effect than older compounds, and ropivacaine may in addition offer better sensory/motor separation. Several other compounds, including tonicaine and sameridine, are under investigation. In addition, the local anaesthetic properties of amitryptiline are being studied, and liposome encapsulation of local anaesthetics appears able to confer new pharmacokinetic properties on common drugs. Second, the molecular basis for several local anaesthetic actions that are not mediated by sodium channels has become a topic of interest. The mechanisms that underlie anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic actions are at present being unravelled. How local anaesthetics potentiate antitumour agents, protect neuronal tissue and prevent bronchial reactivity is less clear, but the potential clinical benefits of these effects deserve further exploration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)741-749
JournalCurrent Opinion in Anaesthesiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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