Local Anesthetics

  • Gary R. Strichartz

Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 81)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. G. R. Strichartz, J. M. Ritchie
    Pages 21-52
  3. K. R. Courtney, G. R. Strichartz
    Pages 53-94
  4. S. A. Raymond, A. J. Gissen
    Pages 95-164
  5. G. R. Arthur
    Pages 165-186
  6. J. M. Garfield, L. Gugino
    Pages 253-284
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 285-294

About this book


Local anesthetics are among the most widely used drugs. Their development over the past century ranges from a documented influence on Freud's Interpretation of Dreams 1 to the synthesis of the ubiquitously popular lidocaine, as described in Chapter 1. For surgical procedures the use of regional, epidural and intrathecal local anesthesia has increased continuously during the past decade. Local anesthetics are also applied by physicians to ameliorate unpleasant sensations and reactions to other procedures, such as tracheal intubation. The presence or the threat of cardiac arrhythmias is often countered by chronic administration oflocal anesthetic-like agents, such as lidocaine or procainamide. Relief of acute pain, accompanying dental manipulations, for example, and of chronic pain are also accomplished with traditional local anesthetics. And over-the-counter formula­ tions of topical local anesthetics provide practitioners of solar indiscretion welcome relief from their otherwise unaccommodating sunburn. In all these applications the final effect of the local anesthetic is an inhibition of electrical activity, accomplished as a reduction or total blockade of action potentials. The primary site of action is the sodium channel, a transmembrane protein which is essential for the influx of sodium ions that subserves impulse generation and propagation in nerves, skeletal muscle, and heart. The detailed mechanisms oflocal anesthetic action are still being investigated and Chapter 2 of this volume provides a current overview of that subject.


anesthesia intubation pain

Editors and affiliations

  • Gary R. Strichartz
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Anesthesia Research LaboratoriesBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-71112-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-71110-7
  • Series Print ISSN 0171-2004
  • Series Online ISSN 1865-0325
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals
Pharmacology & Toxicology
Consumer Packaged Goods